When pundits wag their fingers about civility in response to boos
Last month, the current occupant of the White House was booed not once – but twice. Then First Lady Melania Trump was booed…at a youth summit…about opioids…in Baltimore. After such “humiliation,” pundits did what they do best – pontificate about civility. Vanilla punditry always wants to appeal to our “greater selves” and a common sense of civility. But what if this is currently our “greatest selves”? What if civility never existed in America? You see, punditry on civility isn’t necessarily about respecting others and ourselves. It’s about the veneer of comfortability, allowing Morning Joe viewers to avoid facing the hard ugly truths about America. Because let’s get real, shit never been civil.
Many view President Donald Trump as an aberration and are desperately looking for a sense of normalcy and unity. Many also feel that the Trump presidency is exposing racism that that same many never knew existed. However, I’m not here to appease feelings and sensibilities. Nor do I operate as a rebel that wants to disrupt and overthrow shit just to prove that racism has always existed even in “normal” forms perpetrated by that many. I’m here to reveal a vivid and apparent truth that often disrupts people’s sense of comfort. And that’s something many don’t want to be – uncomfortable.
Wanting to live in a cornucopia full of unity and civil euphoria isn’t something that is unique only to Rachel Maddow’s progressive pupils nor Bloomberg Acela suburbanites. A false sense of civility is something that appeals to all of us – because it’s easier. Before there was no “Blue State, Red State but the United States,” there was (and still is) the Black Mecca’s “the city too busy to hate” – both thin veils of civility and unity, covering up systematic disparities and racial divisions. (In the words of Karlie Redd, “it was all a lie.”)
However, this false sense of civility and unity isn’t here to show the Confederate-flag-hugging/red-cap-wearing/tiki-torch-toting scoundrels that they are outnumbered by a stronger army. And this false sense of civility isn’t here to prove to business interests and the world that we’re better than this. It’s a reflection on all of us as Americans, who would rather treat uncivility as a unique feature of our past, not a reflection of who we presently are. Because again, shit never was and definitely isn’t civil now.