My husband came home tonight and told me a story of being at a convenience store with around six people in line earlier today. An African American man was managing the shop. While in line Eddie saw the manager approach one of the white male customers in a very direct manner taking an item from his hand and telling him to “get out.” Evidently there was some previous infraction which caused this reaction. Eddie frequents this spot on a regular basis as it’s in the orbit of where he works. I should note the most shocking part here, this was in Clintonville.
The white male customer of course protested. Lobbing some of the worst racial insults possible at the store manager. Yet the thing that stuck with Eddie & I most was that the white guy yelled back that the manager that he should be more careful because he was in “Trump’s America now!!” As a direct threat. A clear reference to personal harm.
Meanwhile I learned that a close family member confided in my mother in law her hopes for the day when economists, scientists and general industry trends would magically reverse to 150 years ago when coal was an industry in America. That Trump would be, somehow, proven right when coal came back in roaring force in the United States. As if to spite any advancement that could further our competitive edge on a global renewable energy market giving us a chance to show that innovative spirit we once commanded during the Space Race of the 1960’s. Or the Internet explosion of the 1990’s. No, she’s perfectly hoping that we turn our back on all that in favor of pure spite and the populist message that she, and so many other of Trump’s Americans, are consuming en mass thanks to Fox News and Brietbart not to mention scores of other anti Democracy, or worse, conspiracy theorist outlets.
It’s stark to think that we have come to such a sharp split between educated thinkers and, at best, misguided populists, at worst … outright sociopaths distrustful of their own shadows clinging to guns while standing with backs to the walls in public spaces.
My thoughts dwell on Independence Day tonight. I have to wonder. Are we?