Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Keep the swastikas up

This story, out of the hub, is indicative of what we can expect in this newer, less tolerent, age: Barely articulate impulsive spritzes of hate. As Samantha Crossland, a probable target along with the rest of her neighborhood, says, "Some people are saying, 'I can’t believe they didn't even get it right'...But this person is so hung up on [a] symbol of hate they had to do it anyway."

Is it an isolated incident? Perhaps. That seems to depend on your viewpoint. The Southern Poverty Law Center put out a report a couple weeks ago noting 700+ reported events since election day, a number that only seems to grow larger. Meanwhile, rightwing reports debunking selected incidents make the rounds among conservatives. But even if a majority of events are proved to be more experiences of feeling than fact, that makes the incidents no less heinous. If you aren't the target, you don't get to judge what's hateful.

Some folks are making the effort to sort of retake the public images by repurposing them, probably influenced by Berlin graffiti artists, where they have had to deal with this sort of thing for a half century. I undertstand that impulse. No one wants to see that shit and what it suggests about people in or passing through their community. And I certainly wouldn't want it on my garage door.

But here's my antidote. Leave them up. Leave the swastikas and the "Black Lives Don't Matter" and the "Whites/Colored" and the anti-immigrant stuff up. Leave it all where it is. It's painful and it should be painful, like a raw wound. We should see it every day. Moreover, Trump supporters, for whom their personal desire for "something different" trumped the hate his other supporters signaled, should see it daily and be reminded that this is the America they wanted. This is the America they voted for. This is the price for the America they want.

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