So I was having a very busy morning, with lots of database management and trouble-shooting in both my library management system AND the district’s textbook management system. Then a conservative Republican relative called. She asked if I was busy, and I should have said, “Yes! No time to talk!” but I was too nice, and said, “I have a few minutes.”
So then she rambled about a few things, and then, wouldn’t you know, she brings up the White House Correspondents Dinner, and talked about these “media people,” and how it’s supposed to be a fundraising event to generate money for scholarships, but they only took in X amount, and can you BELIEVE that, with those MEDIA people who make SO MUCH money?!
I figured this must be some Fox “News”-inspired talking point, to malign people who were laughing at President Dump. So I quietly said, “Well, it’s usually the people with the MOST money who are the least willing to part with it.” That’s a bi-partisan truth, if you ask me. But definitely way more true of conservatives, which is why we call them conservatives in the first place.
Then she started talking about “these people at the border, sitting on that fence and laughing and not taking it seriously, when it’s a SERIOUS MATTER…”
I was like, “Wait- what? Who’s sitting on what fence? Oh, hold on, is this that ‘caravan’ of refugees?”
Of course it was. And she thinks it’s scary and terrible that our borders are just WIDE OPEN, so that ANYONE can get in anywhere at any time, no matter what. To which I calmly said, “Well, that’s definitely NOT the case, and never has been.”
“Well,” she replied, “It sure seems like the way things are moving…”
I said, “They have to apply for sanctuary, and they may not get it. Personally, I think everyone has a right to seek safety for themselves and their loved ones. I feel bad for those people.”
I was hoping that would be the end of it, but she muttered about how it’s fine when it’s the “good ones,” but what about all the “bad ones” who are instantly going to be granted welfare "as soon as they set foot in this country," and will be "taking advantage," etc etc etc.
I could feel my blood pressure rising with frustration, and interrupted her by blurting something about some relatives who are visiting soon, hoping to get her off the topic. It sort of worked, but it was too late for my peace of mind. I said I needed to get back to work, hung up the phone, and seethed there at my desk for several minutes, just trying to breathe normally and un-grit my teeth.
Now I have the strong suspicion that either Fox & Friends or some other horrid right-wing hate program was spouting exactly those points she was so fired up about, because that’s how they operate. They use fear to get these older white people all stirred up, and Trumpily racist. Fuck, man. It's the exact same way most organized religions work, using base fears and the ugliest of human motivations to manipulate people.
As we were hanging up, we each said, "I love you," and I know we both mean it. But it is so monumentally disheartening, disturbing, and a host of other "dis" words, to gaze into the vast abyss that seems to exist between the concept of human decency that I hold dear, and that of my own flesh and blood who are steadfastly clinging to their right-wing beliefs. It's become crystal clear since the 2016 election what those right-wing beliefs are based on, and none of it is anywhere near what I call "good."
Dear Baby Jesus, please, PLEASE make the Trump Administration disappear ASAP so that our democracy, and more importantly our national soul, stands a chance at surviving this dark & hateful time in our history. The Republican party has shown its true face, and it's too late for them to try to put the mask back on.