Daryl Grigsby: I’m not gloating I’m celebrating because humanity has won
The commentary “Claiming the high ground” does everything but that. Don Rogers begins by chiding those who “profess peace and tolerance to practice some.” Never has there been such a one-sided admonition. If you don’t preach peace and tolerance, don’t worry, continue along your way and wait for those your president taunted and degraded the past four years to reach out to you.
As an African-American over 60, I can tell you without equivocation that I, my family and friends have done far more listening, reaching out, forgiving, and “practicing peace” to white Republicans than those who follow Trump have practiced toward us. I would ask Don Rogers if in fact shouldn’t we all be under the same obligation to practice peace?
The Broad Street marchers on Aug. 9 were practicing peace before being assaulted by Trump supporters, so forgive us if we are a little hesitant. My read of this alleged “high ground” is don’t preach peace. That way you never have to practice it. Rogers asks absolutely nothing of the Trump supporters.
He also seems to indicate that Trump’s refusal to concede, and all his post election actions are no different than the 2016 “Not My President” protests. He ignores fundamental differences. Most significant, in 2016 Trump lost the popular vote, so without the Electoral College and its legacy from slavery’s compromises, he would NOT have been president. So he was not president of choice by the majority of voters.
More important, however, the “Not My President” marches in 2016 were because Trump himself said he was not the president of all Americans. African-Americans, women, immigrants, gays and lesbians, Muslims, and Mexican-Americans and many others were excluded from his “America first.” That exclusion was verified when he appointed unapologetic white nationalists and supremacists like Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon to his inner circle.
My celebration is not gloating — it is a sincere relief and joy that four years of hate, narcissism, lying, and division has ended. Children separated forever from parents, athletes ridiculed for kneeling in protest, white nationalists told on television to “stand back and stand by.” I am celebrating not because Trump supporters lost. I am celebrating because humanity has won.
Rogers also ridicules the “funny pink hats” and the “distinct drop in public decorum” during the women’s marches. In case Rogers has forgotten, the “funny pink hats” arose as women protested the vile Access Hollywood recording of a grown man in his 50s bragging he could grab women by the ____ and get away with it because of his fame. Pink hats didn’t drop public decorum. That decorum died when when a future president giggled about grabbing women whenever he felt like it.
Rogers also excuses Trump’s right to recount voted and litigate the election. Our willingness to undermine the democratic process to sooth a person’s ego is shocking to me. By all accounts observers and practitioners say this was a clean and fair election. Rogers seeks to enable the town bully to cling to a fantasy that “if I win by 70,000 votes it’s a landslide, but if I lose they must be cheating.”
I find it fascinating that Rogers — like Trump — does not even mention the pandemic. I would argue that even without Trump’s incessant lying and racist commentary, his response to the pandemic is enough to warrant rejection at the polls. I was in emergency management in local government for 30 years. I am familiar with the risk-taking, leadership and communication required to protect public health and safety in an emergency. I have seen no evidence of those basic principles from the White House.
There is no reason, unless our health care system is the worst in the world, or our collective pre-existing conditions are the worst in the world, for the United States with 6% of the world’s population to have 20% of the coronavirus fatalities. It is a failure of national leadership. Trump has made even that most basic of interventions, wearing a mask in public a sign of weakness or a political statement. A total of 250,000 Americans have died while he ridicules medical experts and blames Obama, China, governors, doctors and everyone but himself. Rather than lead us with courage through these winter months, he instead whines and broods while hundreds die alone and isolated.
Rogers asks that we stop gloating, back-biting and smug superiority. I’m not gloating, I’m not backbiting and I’m not smug. I am, however, elated that the majority of Americans, both individual voters and the Electoral College, confirm that sexism, white supremacy, denial of science, bullying by tweet, and lying is unacceptable behavior for the president of the United States.
Daryl Grigsby lives in Nevada City.
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