HEARTLAND OF AMERICA – Clips of meathead cops pushing young black teens into the ground. FOX News defending the bigotry because, hey, that’s what happens now. The Left lines up on one side and the Right takes their dutiful position on the other.
On my way into my cut-rate hotel room, on my destined trek toward Iowa, I listened to a couple of contractors bullshitting in the parking lot. What no one tells you in POLY SCI 101 or on your first day on the campaign is that personal economics and politics are inextricably linked. The country’s floating your bank account, you keep the son of a bitch in office. If you’re a little slow come the first of the month, you start thinking about change.
I heard one of them say they didn’t know from where their next gig was going to come while the team of landscapers did battle with the hedges near the paint-stripped office. Across the street a struggling Mexican restaurant. On the corner an underserved gas station with a quartet of cars battling over sonic superiority. Everyone in the Midwest is suffering tonight, but there’s enough beer to numb the pain ‘til tomorrow.
On the highways and byways there’s a bumper sticker becoming more and more prevalent. A black background, plain white text.
IF ONLY HILLARY HAD MARRIED OJ INSTEAD!
I’ve seen it now in Louisiana, Kentucky, Illinois. Sentiments that may have seemed funny in a gift shop, but with a little closer of a glance support misogyny and murder.
Other bumper stickers for sale on the same site:
HILLARY IS A BAD MAN
LIFE’S A BITCH: DON’T ELECT ONE!
A buddy of mine and me have been talking lately about Obama and whether the country was actually ready for a black president. Sure, we voted him in, but were we intellectually ready? Emotionally? Psychically?
We both have our doubts.
Some day a great book will be written about the bigoted forces that surrounded the Obama presidency. This will be after there are hundreds of Barack Obama elementary and high schools. When there are Barack Obama boulevards in most every major city. Statues honoring him in town squares. Maybe a place on Mount Rushmore, maybe a spot on The Mall.
Until then, it’s veiled criticisms and dog whistles. Threats from ignorant cousins and out-of-their-head racists who aren’t even smart enough to realize they’re racist.
This season will be filled with wink-wink-nod-nod sexism.
Comments coded with patriarchy and chauvinism, enough to validate all the hidden worries we’ve carried with us for years and years.
There are many criticisms of Hillary Clinton.
Place on the issues.
That should’ve never entered into the equation.
Last week, on Bourbon Street, I watched a gallery of women call down to the men with beads. Show us your tits! they yelled, drawing a few game and drunken men to play along.
Things are changing, for sure, but maybe not fast enough.
Tonight, listening to the squirrels in the walls, the boys in the room next to mine gambling away their tax-free wages and shoving each other in tune to the churn of the night, I hear murder and the potential of violence in the evening. We are ripe, with our cable news and twenty-four hour cycles, for outrage and conflict. We’d be more than happy to burn this motherfucker down if it meant annihilation for the other fella. It’s mutually-assured destruction, and that’s the best case scenario.
Photos: Founding Fathers by Zach Dischner and Ninja Squirrel by Sabrina S