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Two Sides

The Travails of Trump, sort of like the Perils of Pauline, just keep coming like the fifteenth installment of a bad movie sequel. The indictments, the guilty pleas, the conviction (I write that in the singular even though I think we all know there will be more to come in short order) – and now the New York Times anonymous editorial and the White House Inquisition complete with polygraphs, all tell the story of a presidency under attack from nearly all sides.

So as I rub my hands together and cackle maniacally, I turned my thoughts to those folks who chortled with glee when their chosen candidate Trump prevailed in the presidential election of 2016. And back then, I wrote about how all the celebrations and the pride in country and the belief that finally … finally … the country was headed in the right direction – reminded me of how I, along with about 70 million of my fellow Americans, felt after Obama won the election a mere 8 years earlier.

And I can’t help continuing with that thread of a thought now: just as early elation was tempered by disgust and disdain at the seemingly ceaseless onslaught of criticism against our chosen leader; so too is the conviction that we were absolutely on the side of all that is right, and just, and enduring about this country. When scores of detractors (including our current president) continued to question Obama’s birthplace long after the birth certificate had been produced; when he and his wife were called apes; when every legislative action, no mater how consistent with Republican values, was criticized and vilified on the sole ground that it had come from his administration – we felt like the deck was stacked, the witch hunt was on, the deep state of deeply entrenched white supremacy was on display.

Now those on the other side believe Trump is the victim of a Washington cartel aimed at bringing down the outsider. They believe that the unfair media and purveyors of Fake News have a bull’s eye on his back and that no matter the achievements, no matter how well the economy is doing (at least for the corporations, because wage earners are still getting the shit end of the stick), no matter what he says or doesn’t say, he is unfairly maligned by a cadre of detractors coming at him from all sides. Welcome to America, my friends.

We are two sides of the same coin, except that one side seems to want the other side gone. Seems some folks want to rub us out by the whitewashing of history, the deportation of all non-white immigrants whether of long-standing like the Vietnamese who came here in the ‘70s, or the Haitians who came after Hurricane Matthew struck in 2016 – seems some want all of us to go back to our shithole countries and Make America White Again.

But we are both living on the same coin nonetheless, the same little patch of ground at this moment in history. And if we can’t find a way to coexist, to come together and thrive, this country known as the Great Experiment will fail.

This country is going through the predictable turmoil accompanying changing demographics. And just as white folks have been telling victimized people of color for the last few hundred years, I have this to say to those who bemoan the browning of America -- get over it. This is our new reality, and we either work together or go down in flames. Or we don’t work together and some of us go down in flames – and the numbers will determine the survivors.

Either way, it’s time to start using our brains to figure out the areas of our commonality – our common enemy. And I think you’ll find that if you give it even a little thought, you’ll come to the conclusion that those who are exploiting us all don’t care about white and Black or yellow, red and brown. They care about green, and nothing else.

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