Musings of an Ethnomusicologist on Unrelated Topics
Trump voters of the moderate ilk: I keep hearing that you’re not racist, that you care about others. That all you wanted was change: better jobs, affordable healthcare, things like that.
If this is true, and I hope it is, I need to know when you’ll stand up, say no, and fight like hell for your fellow Americans.
Here’s where we stand so far, and all along the road you haven’t stood up to stop this tide:
You didn’t stand up when the invective started—when Trump called Mexicans rapists and stood by supporters who beat immigrants senseless, and stated clearly that a Mexican judge couldn’t preside over Trump with impunity. You didn’t stand up when he mocked a disabled reporter. You didn’t stand up when he defamed the Muslim parents of a Gold Star soldier. You didn’t stand up when he stated plainly his view of women, that–as a famous person–he could do whatever he wanted, including assaulting women by grabbing them “by the pussy.”
There were many moments to stand up aside from these.
But you sat by, and authorized all this. You voted for him in spite of it all.
And now he’s your guy, and it’s time to make your position known.
When will you stand up?
You didn’t stand up last week when the idea of interning Muslims like the Japanese in WWII was casually floated by a Trump advisor. You didn’t stand up when the neo-Nazis claimed him as their own, debating outwardly whether Jews are people. You didn’t stand up as he assembled his cabinet with white supremacists and people who disbelieve that moderate Islam exists.
Have you stood up yet? Is it time yet?
If you’re feeling sick about Trump and his supporters’ recent statements, appointments, and actions in the comfort of your own homes, it’s not enough. I need you shouting from the rooftops. I need you interrupting your friends and relatives when they demean others. I need your voice in the editorials of your local paper. I need you to speak out on Twitter and Facebook. I need your resistance to drown out every statement you make of “wait and see,” “let him lead,” and “let’s come together.”
I need you calling your senators and representatives, and telling your friends. I need you assembling on the street with signs. I need you taking a stand that outweighs every claim that today’s protestors are somehow entitled whiners. If they’re resisting “wrong,” I’d like to see you do it better. Stand the fuck up.
I need to hear you say that this is not okay, in unequivocal terms.
Because if you haven’t stood up yet, when will you? Where is the line?
Will you stand up when the invective becomes action?
Will you stand up at the first death of an innocent civilian?
Will you stand up when the first swath of people is interned for their lack of legal status or their religious beliefs or their gender identity?
Will you stand up as internment without guilt or trial becomes everyday?
Will you stand up as they build the gas chambers or assemble the firing squads?
Will you stand up when the executions begin, when there’s much at stake?
Will you stand up when the loss of life grows impossible to ignore?
Will you stand up when you might face loss of life by standing with the people who suffer?
This sounds alarmist and overstated. But I need to know when you’ll stand up.
If you haven’t stood up yet, it won’t get any easier to assert a contrary position going forward. We are in the midst of the easiest moment to resist.
You think this can’t happen here, but it can—your allowance will make it easier. I’ve seen you march with Trump down a road to violence, shrugging at rhetoric and the first blows of fists. I cannot take your word that you stand against genocide or ethnic cleansing, things which happen gradually and never all-at-once, unless you make it clear. Now. Right now.
Too many nice people have enabled these things in the past, and I see no reason to believe you’re somehow exceptional—that you’ll spring to action as a hero at some unforeseen moment in the future.
Stand up now. Today. Before it gets any harder. This is your moment.