April 20, 2017
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Dealing with the Trumpocalypse
by Doniphan Blair
A Jewish guy and Tila Tequila, the Vietnamese-American social media queen and bisexual dating show star, 'integrate' Alt-Right neo-Nazis with their seig-heiling selfie. photo: courtesy T. Tequila
IN THIS DEMORALIZING DAWN OF
Trump, why is it so—SO!—critical for us to step up for multiculturalism, love and democracy and down from tribalism, hate and civil strife—including excoriating opponents as racists, as despicable as they may be, or adopting ultra-radical tactics, as necessary as they may seem?
Elementary my dear Watson: one tribalism begets another; hate “A” fuels loathing “B;” and conspiracies inevitably mate, propagating a paranoiac race to the bottom of a cynical cesspool!
Hyperbolic enough for you? Well, it’s the Trumpocalypse! Nevertheless, reasoned discourse and sound strategy should remain the first order of the day.
Accusations of racism started ricocheting around America at the start of President Barrack Obama’s second Administration, from school kids to best-selling authors, from protests to presidential candidates, even friends of mine… against me.
Nevertheless, this is a perfectly plausible part of the Obama Miracle.
Considering the opportunism of the Republicans, the plethora of pre-existing bias, the criminalzation of people of color under Three Strikes, unfair drug laws and the School-to-Prison Pipeline, it is understandably hard to accept that the Obama Administration provoked pride and nationalism among blacks and whites alike, who proceeded to trigger each other.
But, think about it: You could not elect president the first Jew, Polynesian or Inuit without A) the Hebrews, Pacific Islanders or Northerners enjoying an ego boost, to the point of cockiness even, or B) getting push back from anti-Semites, Atlantic people or Southerners.
This simple fact brought a rise in tensions which, in turn, increased the killings of people of color by police, accusations of AND actual racism, and white tribalism, leading down the primrose path directly to Trump, who was elected as much by his opponents, who didn’t vote or protest voted, as by his supporters, a significant number of whom once cast ballots for Obama.
“I am not so naïve,” noted the radical political analyst, activist and Oaklander Angela Davis, “to think that it is not essential to vote for Clinton.” Alas, not all of us are strategic thinkers.
The bottom line: Even as America arrives at its point of no ethnic majority, or majority-minority or even minority-majority, as it is sometimes called, white will remain the largest group for a long time. And, strange as it may sound, they are a tribe, as I discovered driving from New York City to San Francisco after my years in South America. Poor whites are just another isolated community with their own morays, music, cuisine and character flaws—which they have in spades.
At the notorious “alt-right” meeting in the Ronald Reagan Building, six blocks from the White House, on November 19th, their leading light—if you can call him that, Richard Spencer, “railed against Jews and, with a smile, quoted Nazi propaganda in the original German,” according to the
. "He also claimed that “America… belonged to white people… who had been marginalized but now… were ‘awakening to their own identity,’” .
Though his speech was witnessed by only 200, that number included at least one Jewish guy and Tila Tequila, the Vietnamese-American social media queen and bisexual dating show star (“A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila”, 2007: MTV's #2 show that year), as indicated by their seig-heiling selfie, which went viral (see photo above).
cineSOURCE's parent company,
A Media Graphics & Web
, debuted this ad campaign days after the election, an aggressive combination of optimism and art war. illo: D. Blair
Who said radical multiculturalism could not keep progressing?
Although they were hanging out with admitted Klu Klux Klanners and neo-Nazis, they were also integrating them, which brings us to the big dilemma:
Is designating and dealing with Trump supporters as racists, Nazis, or "goddamn, stupid sick motherfuckers," a good idea, a psychologically sound strategy, a realistic political plan?
Unfortunately, as I have to remind my Buddhist buddies on occasion: No matter how much you yell at me, that won’t convince me to become the Dali Lama.
Sadly, we blew our chance at establishing the sophisticated post-modern multiculturalism exemplified by President Obama (see cineSOURCE's contribution to that effort
While Obama's gravitas and absence of excessive identity politics endowed that cool, it was a hard act to follow and Clinton reverted to standard identity politics, an error which became one of the eight trains—along with FBI email comments, poor polling analysis, campaigning in non-battle-ground states, Russian meddling and fake news—which collided in the wreck that edged her out of the Electoral College, while winning the popular vote overwhelmingly.
An anachronism left over from slavery, the Electoral College and its creation of battleground states does, in fact, serve a legitimate purpose. It turns the presidential primaries into something like the regular baseball season, the battleground states into pennant races, where the teams duke it out in a personal manner, and the election into the World Series. While it heavily weights the rural states, NY and California do dominate the media and economy, which must give some advantage—albeit slight, as this election just proved.
Regardless, the Trumpocalypse, this ignominious defeat and disruptor of both the Republican and Democratic parties leaves us no choice but to take up Barrack’s multicultural mantle and double down on transcendental tolerance, even of our neighbors who are racists, which, of course, is the primary challenge of multiculturalism. Accepting those similar to you is not a challenge. Indeed, Obama is modeling that behavior in his attempts at interpreting The Donald.
Even if Trump is a misogynist, anti-immigrant, rude and somewhat racist rube, and some of his followers are much more so, tarring them indiscriminately with that very virulent brush will not help us repair four centuries of atrocities, not to mention defend our illegal immigrant neighbors, the environment, Obama care, the economy, international relations and more.
Indeed, calling people racists (even if they are), triballing up, violent demonstrations and, ultimately, civil war is not as much fun as it might seem, as most Americans well know, given still-fresh memories of our civil war, now over 150 years distant, as well as the 1960s, just two generations ago.
Moreover, it will impede us strategically as we attempt to form coalitions, litigate against criminal activity, convince cops to do their jobs. petition Congress and peacefully protest, presumably in the millions, to block the extreme or insane proposals or policies of the Trump Administration.
The time for hand-wringing is over. This is not Germany in 1933, which only had 15 years of a democracy installed after a horrific world war and centuries of animosity against the French and English and their 120 and 800 year-old democracies.
Indeed, America’s institutions and mixed culture—as degraded or inadequate as they sometimes seem—are among the healthiest in the world.
As good a president as Hillary Clinton may have become, Brexit, right-wing takeovers in Poland and Hungary, and the massive Republican gains from state houses to Congress, indicate that isolationism, revanchism against modernism, or simply voting for change in the form of conservatism is the order of the day, all over the world.
To counter it, as Michelle Obama so poignantly and perpetually reminds us: we have to go high—while also, of course, litigating, protesting and demonstrating.
Despite the endless animosity between tribes and civilizations, which are simply multi-tribal organizations, the two actually adore each other, each one profiting by the other. Since day one, tribal people have enjoyed certain manufactured goods—beads, hooks, guns, outboard motors and, of late, cell phones, while civilized folks appreciated tribal roots, music, food, medicine, mysticism and community.
Indeed, it is the ability to move fluidly between the two, be it through trade, romance or intellectual exchange, as well as physical immigration, tourism or world travel, which gives us the greatest advantage—but ONLY within the context of fair treatment, cultural respect and rule of law, not just those on the books but the ones we all find “self-evident.”
The great irony of the alt-right tribalists is that the white, male and sometimes slaving-owning founders of America established the very rule of law, ability to change and openness to reason that they are now attempting to degrade, if not abolish. Conversely, their opponents don't appear to remember how the early Americans were reformed.
But yelling at the rain to stop falling or racists to stop prejudicing is an obvious waste of time and the most efficient arena of change application is within and through coherent legislative, legal and activist action, as Democrats, liberals and progressives world-wide are suddenly realizing.
If we couldn’t bite the bullet, forgiving our neighbors and becoming radical multiculturalists a few years ago, we must do so now, even under the sickening shadows of the alt-right, the “reformed” neo-Nazis and The Donald himself.
Over time, tolerance, multiculturalism and pluralism always prevail, as we can see by the evolution of politics—despite this very serious negative blip—and even of the human species. In the course of that struggle, however, we are sorely tested and we are obliged to evolve.
In keeping with its radical multicultural approach, cineSOURCE released this the holiday greeting. actress: Kaitlin Persons, photo: D. Blair
“Men and nations behave wisely when they have exhausted all other resources,” as the Israeli diplomat Abba Eban said in 1967 or Churchill noted 25 years earlier. The only negative is time—surviving till the cure, liberation or widely-shared enlightened realizations.
Fortunately, we have freedom of speech—at least the last time I checked—and forums like cineSOURCE, where we can discuss avant-garde issues. With your support, we will continue to do so. Become a subscriber
Thanks and, despite everything, Happy Holidays.
Doniphan Blair is a writer, film magazine publisher, designer and filmmaker ('
Our Holocaust Vacation
'), who can be reached
Posted on Dec 22, 2016 - 03:05 PM