Normalizing abnormal political discourse on Twitter is now a thing. What the fuck? How did we get here?
“President Trump said that he would not talk to or meet with the German Chancellor unless she promises not to bring up the fact that 3 million more people voted for Hillary Clinton than him.”
“Earlier, White House Chief Strategist, Senior Advisor, Neo-Nazi dickbag, Steve Bannon advised President Trump that if he didn’t make a move to build the wall, the natives would get antsy. Channel 43 News has reached out the White House to confirm Bannon’s words, but the White House Press Secretary was detained at an Alt-Right function downtown and could not be reached for comment.”
Our lives have become Onion headlines.
As I write this blog post we are 26 days away from the 2016 Presidential Election. The NY Times just printed an “I wish a motherfucker would” response to Donald Trump’s lawyers insisting the paper print a retraction to its latest story on the candidate. Per the Donald’s team, the NY Times interviewing and reporting on women who say Trump touched them inappropriately is “libelous.” I have a love/hate relationship with the NYTimes, but their clapback was amazing. This election has turned into one of the most disastrous in modern history. We have a candidate who admits to tax evasion during a live TV debate and uses his celebrity status to do whatever he wants to women. “Grab em by the pussy!” For clarification purposes, if consent isn’t present, that sort of contact is considered sexual assault. Using your star power (or the way a woman dressed or danced or level of sobriety…) to justify improper behavior implies you were not seeking consent. That’s rape culture at play, folks.
Those words are going to haunt Trump for the remainder of his life.
He’s also racist as hell. Mexicans are rapists? He’s xenophobic. Ban all Muslims.
YET HE WAS THE #1 CONTENDER FOR THE GOP NOMINATION. I still can’t wrap my brain around any of it. Note to the GOP: You guys seriously need to reevaluate your goals if Donald Trump is what you consider to be the cream of the crop within your ilk. That’s disturbing. Especially with so many within the party now wanting to disavow Trump after his recently released remarks about women said over a hot mic during an interview with Billy Bush. It only took about 50,000 times of him saying something disgusting before people finally took notice. Amazing.
Hillary Clinton is no peach, either. I have a boatload of issues with both her and her husband, but with an election on the line, I’m SO with her. If I could go through a revolving door and vote for her ten times on November 8th, I would. I’m a black woman living in America. Between the two candidates, who likely has my best interests in mind? Hillary or Donald? Definitely not Donald. Who will best represent the majority of Americans? Definitely not Donald. Who will best represent us in international matters? Definitely not Donald.
Granted, the superpredator comments HRC has made in the past and President Clinton’s 1994 Crime Bill didn’t endear me to either of them. She didn’t directly call black youth superpredators, but the allusion was there. Clinton’s crime bill contributed heavily to the mass incarceration of African Americans. If you’re interested, check out 13th on Netflix. It explores the U.S. school-to-prison pipeline in greater detail.
A few months ago, I wouldn’t have cared much how people voted. Even if one candidate sucked, I at least felt like the country wouldn’t implode. With Trump at the helm, implosion is imminent. The acceptance of his hate speech has blown my mind. I’ve had to purge the hell out of my Facebook account. I’m usually for people speaking their minds and supporting whatever causes they choose, but to see memes on my timeline that openly promote misogyny and racism … I had to take a step back and reassess. Why would I subject myself to such hateful rhetoric? My frame of mind is: don’t stay where you’re not welcome, and never beg for a seat at the table. If people want you, they will let it be known. If they support you, they will let it be known. I guess my patience has just worn thin, and the last couple of months has enlightened me to a lot of ways people think. Facebook is good for that.
Spotting intolerance has become so much easier. Especially when authors make posts public, which brings me to homophobia and Facebook etiquette. A few weeks back Covergirl appointed their very first male ambassador, James Charles. Fabulous doesn’t even begin to describe this kid. James is doing pretty damn well for a seventeen-year old. He’s amazingly talented. So where does this story go wrong?
An author publicly posted the following commentary: “America is being transformed through acceptance of this kind of garbage” with a link to a Yahoo article featuring James. So many WTF moments here.
If you are going to express your opinion, do not make a post public if you do not want responses that go against your beliefs.If you use your author platform to call a seventeen-year-old kid garbage, do not be surprised when people come for you.If you think being a conservative Christian gives you the right to express bigotry, do not be surprised when people come for you. Jesus loved everyone, remember?If you specifically target someone with no other intention than to alienate while not expecting backlash is insane. Readers vary when it comes to race, sexuality, gender, religion, ableness, etc. You may think you know your reader demographic, but anyone can purchase a book. Who you meet at conventions, or who friends/follows you on various social media platforms doesn’t always match those who may have purchased your book.
At the end of the day folks, use social media responsibly. Too many authors ruin their careers because they allow their intolerance to take hold and embolden them behind the “safety” of the Internet. Learn to view the world from a scope that isn’t your own. It may open your heart. I hope it at least definitely prevents you from sticking your foot in your mouth.
Some people don’t understand my obsession with Prince. If you follow on me Instagram or Twitter, you’ll have likely come across more than a few posts referencing The Purple One. He’s been a part of my life since I was a wee tot. My older sister snuck me into the movie theater to see Purple Rain the year it came out. She covered my eyes during the kissing scenes and, of course, when Apollonia stripped naked and dunked herself in the pristine waters of what she thought was Lake Minnetonka.
I was in awe of the tiny man who wore a ruffled shirt, tight pants, and high-heeled boots. I mean who wouldn’t be? Prince was a force.
The day he died went something like this…
That April afternoon, I was sitting at my desk, nursing my morning cup of coffee, going through Excel spreadsheets in my office when I get at text from my bestie — an article from the NY Daily News declaring Prince is dead.
I text her back: THIS SHIT IS NOT FUNNY!
Bestie: I know, I’m not joking.
Despite it being a little after noon, it’s too early for this, and this coffee ain’t doing nothing but making my heart race even more. Google usually never lets me down, but today they are on some bullshit. The top search result is a blurb from the Associated Press, supposedly quoting Prince’s publicist. He’s dead.
Fuck this. These people are ridiculous. Why are people spreading such horrible lies?
But that little voice in the back of my mind says, “His publicist confirmed it, so it must be true.” It can’t be.
On my non-author Facebook account I post: This has to be some kind of hoax, right? Right?
I go to lunch, walking like a zombie through the crowded cafeteria and wanting to scream at every smiling face, “HOW CAN YOU SMILE WHEN PEOPLE ARE SAYING PRINCE IS DEAD?”
A friend calls to check in on me, and I start bawling on the phone, unable to compose a sentence.
My heart aches.
My head hurts.
Confirmation comes in a slew of articles. But the only one I truly care about is from TMZ. I mean the AP is good, but TMZ? They don’t post anything about celebrity deaths unless it’s true.
I am numb.
I leave work early.
I am still in denial.
I receive a few texts and don’t respond to any.
At home I dig through my CD’s because, yes, I’m one of those people who has a massive CD collection—cases and all. I’M OLD SCHOOL. So, I take out all my Prince CD’s and pour myself a glass of wine, and have a dance party in my living room. I get drunk and bawl my eyes out. I cry for hours while dancing. It is like I lost a treasured family member.
There is a hole in my heart that will never fully mend.
It’s been a few months since Prince’s passing and I’m still not completely okay. I don’t think life will ever be the same. The Earth lost a little bit of lovesexy badassery the day Prince died. In 2016 we experienced an uncanny amount of celebrity deaths, but no other death hit me like runaway freight train. I felt lost, alone, lonely… numb. Bowie was great, but not and icon for me. He wasn’t a part of my childhood, of my teen years, my adult life. Prince was always a constant.
I will always miss you Prince Rogers Nelson. You’ll forever be a sexy motherfucker.
Top Five Fave Prince Songs:
KissErotic CityThe entire Purple Rain Soundtrack (BECAUSE WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE JUST ONE SONG?!)Venus De Milo Pink Cashmere/Pop Life/ I Wanna Be Your Lover (BECAUSE WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE JUST ONE SONG?!)