I feel an eery presence in the quiet of a historic night. The world is volatile, everyone reactive, and yet, bad jokes seem to be either accepted or ridiculed as being overly protective, or too politically scrutinized.
But when a government official sends out a meme that suggests Trump has a black family removed from their home, and his colleagues seem to protect him immediately by suggesting it was a joke, I find myself confused.
North Carolina Representative George Cleveland sent this to his buddies today. This was the day of the inauguration. A person could argue this to be funny, and a lot of people might laugh at the irony, in fact, I did when I first read the words, “Trump Forces Black Family From Home” in a text from my friend. It wasn’t a happy laugh, only just a sad commentary on the bizarre reality of the day. A lot of people want to argue about what is right or wrong.
In my world, a privileged world because I am white, I will shrug this off as a disappointing but glaring truth to the state of affairs in our society. At the same time, I will not ignore the reality of our society, and how volatile the world really is, despite everyone trying to convince each other that the thoughts of racism are overblown.
The fears are not over the top. I see it in my students in my classroom. They are all on edge, and a powder keg of emotion just awaits the right fuse.
So a meme like this, sent by a white-haired old neo-conservative is not to be taken for granted. The oppression exists, the racism exists, and we better damn well be ready to address the needs of our country, and realize this man we just put in office, though deserving the respect of the POTUS, is not our unifying agent. That responsible is on our hands.