Nuts for Nuts
Peanuts for snacking, walnuts in pasta and baked goods, pignolis in pasta and cookies, hazelnuts in salads and cookies, cashews in asian noodle and rice dishes, nut butters–you get the idea. I love the other kind of nuts too, those that are excellent for laughing with and sharing a beer. You know where I don’t love nuts? My government; making unconstitutional decisions, ignoring courts and laws, stripping rights of citizens, stirring up aggressions and posturing against other nations. Also not fond of the nuttiness that punctuates those who are supporting our current government, certain despite all facts, evidence, and history, that subtracting from Them will add to You.
In the face of the embarrassing ugliness that posed as Executive Orders this week, many, many Americans have stood up and said no. We’ve spoken, marched, written, tweeted, boycotted, donated money, donated legal services, stood in solidarity. Beautiful. The cry: “this isn’t us.” It makes my intestines twist in unpleasant ways to say it but yes, it is. Not all of us, and I don’t believe (though I’m not sure) it’s the majority, but it’s a considerable number of us. It’s part of our history, alongside those who fought against women’s right to vote, for slavery, Japanese Internment camps, and Jim Crow laws. It’s part of our present, alongside the school to prison pipeline, draconian drug sentencing laws, rampant gun violence, police brutality, racial profiling, marches and bills written to decimate women’s health care. It’s what allows some people–too many people–to claim they’re following God’s laws and are pro-life yet turn their backs on starving, brutalized refugees–adults, children, and babies–shut out people from other nations who helped keep us safe while we were bombing their nations of origin, and continue to wail about unborn babies while voting to take away health care from the babies and children already born. It’s what enabled and continues to enable so many to ally themselves with white supremacists and the KKK, opening the door for one to have an official seat on the National Security Council.
Yeah. It’s ugly, irrational, illogical, rips my fucking heart out, but it is part of U.S. Saying it isn’t is what allowed the results of the 2016 election in the first place, “oh, he’ll never be elected, you shouldn’t take him seriously, good always wins.” Saying it isn’t us is the first cousin of the cognitive dissonance that allows too many to say there were no racial problems and tensions in between our nation’s come-to-Jesus with Martin Luther King Jr (after, of course, his arrests, beatings, and assassination) and the election of Barack Obama.
The other morning I stood on the terrace and looked out into the fog thinking this is it. Not new, not shocking, but always hazy, proceed with caution. Not anymore. These last few days have felt like one of those southern storms, where the rain is so hot and hard and heavy you can’t see a foot in front of you, and all the cars on the highway have to pull over. Those generally only last a few minutes. This? We’ve entered monsoon season, but instead of rain, we’re being pelted by fear, hatred, and tyranny. What else to call it when the current administration decides it is above the law?
I’ve seen several memes and tweets from those on the right, saying Obama did the same thing to Iraqi immigrants in 2011 and no one marched then. In fact, “45” even referenced this in a statement. Umm, no, not the same thing at all. This policy has no roots in an actual threat against America, was implemented without proper legal forethought and counsel, no warning, no preparation, is literally tearing families apart, increases the likelihood of terrorist aggression, and is in fact putting our soldiers at risk. Let’s not forget that not successful terrorist attack in the US is from one of those seven countries–and yet, oddly enough, countries that have been the source of terrorist attacks here aren’t on the list. But shhh, no conflict of interest here, none at all. I’m sure the fact that 45 has business interests in those nations has absolutely nothing to do with it. Trust him, he says so. I saw a meme saying those on the left want extensive background checks for gun ownership, but no vetting of immigrants. Untrue, there is an exhaustive vetting process in place. Another meme says something to the effect of “I wish those who cared about illegal immigrants cared as much about homeless veterans.” I wish people who shared that meme understood that our current administration’s policies are actually harming veterans. Here and here. I certainly hope those liking and sharing that meme are offering assistance like money, food, or socks to the homeless vets we see on the street every day.
45 supporters, don’t be fooled. 45 doesn’t care about Muslims; whether they’re pious, lapsed, or extremist, he doesn’t believe he’s protecting us. He’s feeding your fears, giving you an enemy so you don’t notice your own freedoms disappearing. You’re right, this administration does have a plan, and that plan involves war. War is profitable. Not for you or me, but for those in power, that 1 %, fraction of 1%, that do just fine regardless of who holds the power. And this administration differs from past Republican administrations because it wants a war on the American people, America itself. This is what you’re supporting.
I hope every person who supports our current administration understands “slippery slope” isn’t always a logical fallacy. If we’re ok with giving away the rights of one, or two, or three groups of citizens and legal permanent residents, we’re opening the door for more rights to be given away. You may believe your gender, race, or religion is safe, but as the saying goes, we’ve seen this before.
This certainly, thankfully, isn’t all of us, but it doesn’t help any of us to pretend these beliefs, the people who support these evil and thoughtless politicians and policies, aren’t any of us. Good doesn’t magically triumph; it takes work, dedication, and education. This, right here and now, is when we have to declare a nut-free zone, to keep us all alive and healthy.