by: Marceline Donaldson
It is not only acceptable but a required part of your resume´ to be seriously considered for a substantial position within this Trump administration.
We have watched such happen for four years and each time a new set of nominations comes along we know the people so nominated have made Trump comfortable with the fact that they are full of prejudices and ready to act on them to bring about the ‘Northern European-ancestry white person’ as better than anyone to create the society Trump and his followers envision. After all, he did not have the Bible, nor Thurmans ‘Jesus and the Disinherited’ on his bedside table as did Martin Luther King, Jr. and so many others. On his bedside table – according to testimony in his divorce hearing – was a constant copy of ‘Mein Kampf’. Today, he does not have to go back and rummage through to come up with ‘what would Hitler have done’ – he has so internalized that way of being that it just oozes from him automatically in just about everything he does.
That can be clearly seen as we have lived through the many which this current Trump administration has nominated for top positions, middle and ‘at the bottom’ positions to maintain the bigotry which has existed in this country since its beginnings in slavery.
if you are full of racist, sexist, homophobic, immigrant, religious and all the other bigotries which we have been and are forced to live with to create and maintain one group ‘better than’ all others, then you have a chance of making Donald Trump’s list of nominees for government positions.
If your lifestyle shows you live that bigoted life as normal and everyday, you are certainly in line for promotions. If you assault women, have sexual problems disrespecting and forcing yourself on women or getting involved with all kinds of sexual deviancy and show your disdain and disgust for women who are independent and demand to live a life ‘equal to’ then you are also meant for greatness in this Trump government. If not, you are just cast aside and blocks thrown in your path even if you are far from the center of power. You still have to struggle so you won’t do much damage to the bigoted lifestyle required of you.
Currently, the topic is the Supreme Court nominee – Amy Coney Barrett.
What a great jurist she could be if only she wasn’t so imbued with the extreme bigotry which has been her lifestyle choice. What a destruction of the talent God gave her to use for good instead of for the evil path she has chosen.
That affects the rest of us because we do not have the internal strength and fortitude and honesty to call her out on her bigotries because we are afraid that in the process we might also be outed for all to see. Or, at the very least, have to endure shame and embarrassment as others rush to her defense.
During the hearings, to determine if Ms. Barrett should be confirmed, what was missing were questions about her extreme sexism. How can someone be a Supreme Court Justice in these United States when you believe women are inferior to men and cannot do the things a man can do or rise to the level to which a man has an automatic right to attain.
And then immediately comes – from many of you, even as you read this – DENIAL, DENIAL, DENIAL, EXPLANATION, EXCUSES, etc, etc ,etc.
I have heard those denials and explanations and excuses my whole entire life and today, being over 80 it is beyond enough already. But because I am losing the ability to continue to tolerate such doesn’t mean it will go away. My mother reached that point – so did my grandmother – and my grandfather – and I could go on listing all of my ancestors. But who would care? A few of you would give lip service and commiserate for a moment or two, but that would be the extent of it.
My family has achieved much, but their achievements have been in the midst of incredible sacrifice – ‘on all sides’.
To come from generations of people who intermarried and tried to be family under the stress and weight of this society’s bigotry has been an unbelievably difficult, painful, searing life experience.
I identified with Amy Barrett as I watched her demeanor, her dress, her way of speaking and recognized them all from my New Orleans upbringing. She certainly does not dress like a New Englander and I was just delighted to see that.
However, as who she is and the choices she has made through her life were exposed during these hearings my New Orleans upbringing at its most painful was also exposed.
New Orleans was and is a place where the most liberal and most conservative can co-exist and that goes through the generations. There were slave markets and free blacks with substantial assets. I grew up in a mixed neighborhood – white, black, rich, poor, mafia, police all lived within a couple blocks of one another. Three white families on my block.
By the time I went off to college, Eisenhower had started his extreme geographical segregation of whites from blacks and turning middle class ‘mixed’ neighborhood into all black, drug infested blocks with the beautiful boulevards with their trees and picnic tables in those mixed neighborhoods into filthy, crime ridden places where expressways – freeways – whatever they are called were built over those boulevards and became areas where you would then find abandoned cars under the freeways and the trees and picnic tables and white and black small businesses on both sides of the freeway gone and bars and other such places even today existing in their place without even a historical reminder of what went before.
Children assume that is how it ever was and ever will be because as they become adults they see what their efforts amount to – nothing except pushing them down and holding up those who are quiet and appear to be satisfied with the status quo.
Amy Coney Barrett comes from a neighborhood which I remember well and I am sure with a little prompting you will also. “Old Metairie” – where those who were ‘wanna-be’ lived in cultural constriction and extreme racism. Turn the pages to the time of Katrina and remember when people in New Orleans trying to escape the fast rising flood waters ran to escape by attempting to cross the bridge from New Orleans to Metairie and were met by those with guns determined that “those people” are not going to threaten and rape our women. And what happened? “Those people” trying to preserve their lives were stranded at the top of the bridge and had to stay there for very long periods of time in the heat, the blazing sun, no food, water, shelter because they couldn’t turn around to go back from whence they had come – the flood waters now prevented that.
That would have been one of many events which shaped Amy Barrett’s life and life choices.
How did she respond? She became, on the one hand someone who adopted Haitian children, which gives her some “street cred”, but on the other, where her identity lives she became an extreme sexist – which by definition is a hatred of women.
Her Catholicism, in which she was raised, gave way to belonging to “People of Praise” – a paraChurch, where those belonging run back to their identity within the Catholic Church when that is more comfortable, but do not leave behind their beliefs as “People of Praise.”
One of their most basic beliefs is in the inferiority of women and that is shown clearly in their structure. Men only on the board of those who governs Women subjected and under the governance of their husbands. Things most of us have not had to deal with for decades.
Women getting the vote; LGBTQ rights; equal pay; and so much more has come from our moving beyond by light years from where Amy Barrett decided to sit and make her life and out of that life her choices and now she is being promoted as someone who can make choices for millions of others for decades and where are we – talking about not criticizing her religion because that wouldn’t be right and so much more nonsense. Nonsense to allow the status quo to exist while we claim to be in another place fighting for equality.
Equality does not come from putting a woman or a man on the Supreme Court as a jurist who does not believe in equality and whose “integrity” will allow her to vote in such a way as to insure that equality does not come and the racist, sexist, structure of this society which we have all fought to change remains in tact. Maybe a few cosmetic changes, but with Ms. Barrett’s beliefs, not even that, especially since those questioning her demurred from the most basic issues – do you believe in the equality of women or do you equivocate on that and are not willing to step out and be counted.
My husband and I pray for this society daily. All we have left is the hope behind those prayers – that the next generation will not have to endure and go through the kind of horribleness we have been put through because some people’s egos and identities were so weak they could only survive believing they were better than and insisting that the society in which they live continues and maintains its structure which allows the bigoted to be sated and not threatened with having to go through the emotional trauma of moving from ‘better than’ to ‘equal to’.
We have so much to atone for and every time we make a start, the fear rises and the future without the identity you were raised to believe was your birthright comes forward and does not look good so we take a side curve and move in a direction where ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same.’
It would be tragic for Amy Barrett to be confirmed as it was tragic for Kavanaugh to have been confirmed. We saw the pattern, but when it happened again we decided to walk the same path because it was easy and those who stood up to say it is time to change this were martyred – and that is normal for us. We do that so well we have even hidden the mechanisms by which that happens and we look the other way.
Sadly, in this society, our excuses come down to money. How much will my doing this cost me – how much will I gain from being silent – how much will I get to rake in from going out on the limb just a short distance making sure I am always safe enough to be able to get back to the trunk in case the branch shows signs of breaking.