So I’m in line at the local Salvation Army resale shop, eight disgruntled people ahead of me and three behind–all white–complaining about the wait; more specifically, the harried cashier, who happens to be black.
Black, as in “one of those people.”
I bite my tongue, telling myself the idiots have a right to say what they want to say, free speech and all that. But within a minute, they’re verbally bashing other people they hate. Specifically, “those rag head Arabs.”
“Just wait,” one says. “When Donald Trump’s elected, those people aren’t going to know what hit ’em!”
“Yeah,” another says, “He’s belligerent, but he’s honest. Just wait, when Trump’s president, you watch how fast things change around here. Everybody’s going to have to speak English.”
“I know,” says the third, “You can’t tell what them Arabs are saying and you watch, all those rag head gas stations are going to close. They sell us their oil, then buy it from us, then sell it to us again like we’re morons or something!”
“You watch,” says one. “Dearborn’s gonna shut. They should never have let all them Arabs in there. Just wait–Trump’s gonna make it go back to the way it was when Hubbard was in office. . .”
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the demographic: Dearborn, Michigan is home to over 30,000 Arab-Americans. From 1942 to 1978, Orville Hubbard was mayor of Dearborn.He was also a blatant racist. This, from Orville L. Hubbard – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Dearborn in the Orville Hubbard years became known nationally as a symbol of racial segregation. Hubbard’s longstanding campaign to “Keep Dearborn Clean” was widely understood as a thinly veiled campaign to keep Dearborn white.
Hubbard became the most famous segregationist north of the Mason-Dixon line, and when he left office in 1978, only 20 African-Americans lived in Dearborn—a city with a population of 90,000.
For many years, Hubbard was unabashed in his comments about segregation. He once told a reporter from the Montgomery Advertiser: “They can’t get in here. We watch it. Every time we hear of a Negro moving–for instance, we had one last year–in we respond quicker than you do to a fire. That’s generally known. It’s known among our own people and it’s known among the Negroes here.”
I lean against my cart, thinking to myself: This is Germany. 1934. Hitler preaching hate and fear to the mindless masses: WE deserve to be here, not them; it’s THOSE people who are fucking up this country; THOSE evil, dirty people who are infringing on OUR RIGHTS, taking OUR jobs; we need THOSE EVIL, DIRTY PEOPLE gone; ERADICATE THOSE PEOPLE. . .
I can’t stay silent. I can’t do it. Somebody has to be the voice of reason. Somebody has to stand up to the insanity, burn those bridges before they get crossed because we are treading in dangerous waters here, folks. Keep our minds and mouths shut long enough, listen to Trump’s utter garbage long enough, we’re going to find ourselves drowning in a sea of utter ruin; our country destroyed at the hands of a trash-talking, fear-mongering, megalo-fucking-maniac.
And nobody to blame but ourselves.