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Them Who Shall Be Asked For Papers

May 5th, 2011 § 5 comments § permalink

WE BEGIN, but do not end, with the sensational incident where the Obama White House, under Trumpian pressure, produced for public inspection the President’s “long form” birth certificate.

I do not know how successful I will be in my attempts to navigate the journey, but I think it’s important to move from an immediate feeling of hurt or anger to a broader view of the very thing that moves behind this event and is so upsetting about it. This is what I will try to do.



Why can’t we roam this open country?
Oh, why can’t we be what we wanna be?
We want to be free.

–Bob Marley, 3 o’Clock Roadblock


What a frenzy.

What a storm of feelings, thoughts, tweets, and emotions were exploded into view with that one event, where the President of the United States of America—a man of color—answered the insincere jeering of a single white citizen by producing his identity papers for inspection. As if our duly elected President was but a teen at a police checkpoint, wearing baggy pants and with his hands up against the hood. As if he were a young man standing on a corner looking Mexicano, immediately suspect and thus beholden to the law man to prove he was not up to criminal acts. What a shaking of the timbers of racial history were felt up and down the blogosphere in this one simple happening.

And rightly so. What a harsh reality we trade in; that it will take far more time than our grandparents’, parents’, or our own lifetimes to evolve past the sickly, sadistic, inhuman history we Americans share on matters of race. In matters of history—look to Mexico, or China, or Egypt—this country is in an infantile stage. And the things that were done to African Americans, and Indians (indigenous peoples from el Norte as well as from south of the “border”); to Chinese and Japanese and Chileans and so on…. these ghosts will not fade fast.

Donald Trump is one of those ghosts, his ailing caricature of a human form cavorting to and fro, swaying recklessly but cleverly. Almost as if animated by an actual soul, he bellows nearly-intelligible sounds, and the media flocks to absorb the spittle. His expression remains forever puckered like a lemon-shocked anus-mouth, his mind alight with tired stereotypes and bursts of fart-static. A clown who doesn’t have the decency to laugh at himself.

And Donald is so easy to hate, isn’t he? Because he is a hateful man. And because he enlists the powers of hate, hate long rooted in American soil. Hate that long ago drew blood and tossed ropes and smiled for the picture as the body cooled to a dusk-like temperature. Hate that raided Native American villages to murder sleeping children. Hate that buffed its boots before demanding that black men duck their eyes, and go drink from some other fountain. Hate that considers women, and Blacks and Cubans and Haitians and Iraqis and Afghanis and Mexican and Chinese and Vietnamese and Puerto Rican as less than human. Hate today that spends Joe Arpaio’s paycheck, props up his decaying frame, and parades his prisoners in pink. Hate yesterday that reneged on treaties, and swallowed up gold, and burned codices. » Jump the border and read on «

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