ANTIFA?

no, wait…

ANTIFA!   ANTIFA ANTIFA ANTIFA!!!

Is it more scary if I shout it over and over again? Try to make it sound intimidating?

In case you haven’t gotten the memo, ANTIFA is the new right-wing boogeyman…the new dog whistle that’s supposed to give them an easy label to slap on everyone who disagrees with them. It’s all over social media…I even had some nutjob try to tell me last night that Rachel Maddow was “Anti FA” (sic).

If you’re “of a certain age”, you’ve seen this movie before.

“ANTIFA” is the new “SOCIALIST”, which was the new “LIBERAL” – brought to you by that political genius Lee Atwater, who made Willie Horton famous almost thirty years ago.

The thing that ends up being lost on the folks for whom these false flag labels are such delicious fodder is that – well, yeah…the irony is almost comical.

“ANTIFA” is a chopped label for “Anti-Fascist”…I’ll leave it to you and Google to determine whether that’s a label someone should be ashamed of. As for me – I’m not gonna lose any sleep over being labelled “Antifa” by a social media troll.
Before that – remember how “Socialist” used to be the slur of choice? That one was especially delicious coming from folks who were on Medical Assistance, Food Stamps, Welfare or some other form of Government-provided aid…using the word “Socialist” as a term of derision for those with whom they had some form of political disagreement with, while benefitting from the very definition of the word.
And of course, there was “Liberal” – which came into fashion as a derogatory term for us softies on the left during the Bush-Dukakis race in 1988 and eventually subsided in the shadow of newer, less rationally explainable terms in its wake.

To wear the label of Liberalism as some form of shame was handed off to the media in the backfield at that point in time, and some of them are still running with that ball, all these years later. Somehow, a few suits in front of news cameras managed to spread the notion that “Liberals” were somehow inferior, and in the wake of the Reagan Fever that swept America in the eighties, a lot of basic notions were forgotten.

Somewhere along the way, folks managed to conflate “Liberal and Conservative” with “Democrat and Republican” – they forgot all about the tectonic shifts that took place during the Civil Rights era and Nixon’s subsequent Southern Strategy – and how Republicans inherited the Conservative mantle as the Dixiecrats of old died off or were replaced in Congress.

But “Liberal” and “Conservative”? Those have always been pretty accurate labels.

Now, I’m not ranting with the direct purpose of slandering Conservatives, because – where traditional Conservatism is concerned, anyway – on the surface, the two terms are nothing more than labels for differing political viewpoints. Blonde and Brunette. City Slicker and Country Boy. Punks and Mods. Jocks and Nerds. Liberals and Conservatives.

And it likely would’ve remained within that echelon until someone decided to try to weaponize the word “Liberal” and make it derogatory…and the world played along.

But, y’know – I’m sorry, but I ain’t playin’ that shit.

Call me a Liberal all day, every day. I’m happy to wear that label.

It’s tempting to rehash the laundry list of instances where Liberals fought for, bled for, and – in some cases, DIED for many of the things we take for granted nowadays…from voting and civil rights to the 40 hour work week. But if you care about that at all, you know that already – and if you don’t, you won’t care now, either.

So call me Liberal. Or “Socialist”. Or “Antifa” if you want.

Because all you’re doing is publicly telling the world that you’re declaring yourself to be on the wrong side of history.

Again.

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cosmopolitan bias

I fully expect to wake up in the morning with 27 folks left on my friends list, but I’ve made peace with that.

And I’m warning you now…this might be hard to read, so you might wanna keep scrolling, because I’m done playin’.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve arrived at the point where I’m dead tired of humoring this “flyover state” inferiority complex that’s been endlessly peddled for as long as I can remember at this point.

I’m tired of being told that there’s this vast, slumbering mass of good-hearted, hard working Forgotten Americans out there who struggle beneath the weight of the Great Urban Boot upon their neck.

This is a demographic that perpetually beats the drum of rugged individualism, of lifting ones’ self up by the bootstraps, always bemoaning the “victim mentality” (in others, of course) and calling those they disdain “snowflakes”. And for years now, they’ve been a whiney mass of broken records, crying about the “elites”…the “hollywood liberals”…those of us who dared to leave the farm and move to the city are blashphemers, doomed to be the eternal prodigal Jesus-hatin’, commie pinko fags who hate America.

Well, I hate to be the one to tell you, Jethro…but You’ve Been Had.

You’ve been had, buddy. You’ve plugged into the Redneck Matrix Mainframe that’s been feeding you bullshit for half a century about how those folks in big cities are lazy, worthless lib’ruls who don’t know anything about hard work, who hate Jesus and Christmas and who want to hand the keys of this great nation over to the Brown Folks who all want to kill us.

You’re guilty of the same smug, arrogant condescension that you like to believe that you’re a victim of, all the while thinking that you know everything about what it’s like to exist in an urban environment because you happen to watch a shitload of Law and Order in reruns.

The real kicker…the REAL kicker…is that this narrative is being shoved up your ass by rich assholes like Stephen Miller, a soulless, dead-eyed Duke graduate from Santa Monica who worked his way from Michelle Bachmann to Jeff Sessions to CheetoJesus’ transition team, and has been taking a long, wet shit on the principles this country was founded on ever since.

But he’s just this month’s pinup photo on the Redneck Inferiority Complex Calendar.

He’s the latest star in a galaxy of hateful assholes who pour the lighter fluid of rhetoric onto the racist bonfire that’s burned at varying degrees of intensity for the entire arc of our existence as a nation.

So today, he has a sparring match with a reporter and tries to defend his bullshit talking points with a softball retort – Cosmopolitan Bias.

Cosmopolitan Bias.

Again, Jethro – he knows it’s bullshit. He’s a California native, a college graduate who went straight from school to politics on a wave of fear-based rhetoric. HE’S PLAYING YOU.

He’s saying what you want to hear from people in power, and he knows that you’ll ignore the messenger in favor of the message, just like you ignored the fact that you voted for a fucking BILLIONAIRE who’s never worked an actual day in his life because he fed you a bunch of hateful slogans custom designed to stir up the absolute worst of your nature.

And you fell for it, because – well, because you wanted to.

See, you wear this small town mythology like a badge. And that’s fine, to an extent. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with forging your identity on the spot where you were born, with being proud of where you’re from, who you are…but because you’ve been sucking at the teet of the Great Conservative Misinformation Empire, you’ve been conditioned to believe that there’s a “them” out there…just beyond the outskirts of the hometown you never left…a vague, ominous “them” who wants what you have. They want what you’ve worked for, and they’re coming for it, and they’re out to get you and they’ll take every cent they can from you so they can continue to live on welfare and smoke crack and Burn Down The Heartland.

So you go out and buy a shitload of guns and hunker down in the double-wide and wait for the Apocalypse.

What you’d know if you ever bothered to leave the farm is that Shit Ain’t That Way Out Here.

Yeah, life is hard where you are. I grew up in West Tennessee, picking cotton and throwing bales of hay that weighed more than i did onto the back of a fucking flatbed truck and not being able to shower afterward because the house I lived in didn’t have running water and scratching every inch of my body until I finally fell asleep at night.

I’ve lived that life. And I turned my back on it.

I got the fuck out, because I could. And it wasn’t as hard as you might want to believe.

It didn’t take ingenuity, or wealth, or some kind of secret plan…I joined the Navy and never went back. When I got out, I settled outside Philadelphia and was quite content to have escaped.

Maybe that’s not for you. And that’s fine. Maybe you’re perfectly happy where you are, and I’m not here to tell you what to do, where to live, or what’s best for you.

But don’t sit in judgement of those of us who chose to be elsewhere, to live elsewhere, to find a life that we considered a BETTER life because we chose not to settle for working at the convenience store when the shoe factory closed down.
We’re not forcing our choices on you, whether you choose to see it that way or not.

You think we don’t know you…and in many cases, you’re right.

But if you’re sitting on the sofa less than ten miles from where you graduated high school, cheering on some asshole on TV talking shit about “Cosmopolitan Bias”, then I can promise you…

…you don’t know us, either.

We live and work among people of numerous races, religions, and cultures because we can’t avoid or hide from them…and once they become part of our community, most of us learn that we have nothing to fear from them. Our mental image of what it means to be a Muslim isn’t a construct of the media, it’s borne of conversations and interactions with actual, real life, honest to God human beings that we deal with face to face.

There’s a reason that all those viral videos of some pissed-off woman screaming at a Somali in a Wal-Mart parking lot come from where they do, y’all.

No, we’re not perfect. We’ve got crooked cops shooting down black folks for the crime of being black in Chicago, Baltimore, Minneapolis, and of course…New York City. We’ve got drugs and violence, and living in some of these cities probably seems insane to an outside observer.

There’s a thread of courage and self-assurance that’s an absolute necessity to survive and flourish in an urban environment. It’s expensive, it’s often dangerous, and it’s often stressful as hell. It requires a degree of adaptability, of tolerance, of resourcefulness – and it’s not for everyone.

But we’re not your enemy, here.

And if you take a minute to take a good, hard look at the assholes selling you this “Cosmopolitan Bias” bullshit…this eternal “Hollywood Elite” crap that you gobble up because it somehow keeps you warm at night, you’d maybe see that.

But in the meantime, I’m done suffering your bullshit with a smile and trying to “understand” you. Because by engaging in this demonization crap, you’re absolutely no better than the people you think you have a problem with.