Author’s Note: A version of this piece was originally written and published on The Political Garbage Chute (before its sole focus became political satire) in April of 2014, well before Donald Trump announced his candidacy. It was written before Trump garnered the endorsements of actual, honest-to-God white supremacists. It was before he helped inspire the rise of the
alt-Reichalt-Right. So just, you know, keep that in mind, that I was noticing how disgustingly open and proud racists had become in this country more than two years ago. Hope you enjoy this one.
Sometimes I like to torture myself. This form of self-flagellation can take any number of forms, but most often it takes the form of my endeavor to figure out just what is broken in America, and if that doesn’t drive me crazy, trying to figure out how to fix it sure does.
I’ve come to conclusion through this sadistic self-exploration that bigots are probably the number one reason why life sucks in America for so many people. Bigots kept slavery alive for nearly a hundred years after our nation’s birth. Discriminatory, unevolved men kept women from voting until almost a quarter of the way through the last century. Bigots kept Jim Crow alive and well in the South, and it is modern day bigots who are trying to keep their feet on the necks of the LGBT and immigrant populations today.
It’s the bigots in every generation that those who fight for social justice and a truly equal disbursement of the benefits of the American Dream, and the sad part is they still very much so walk among us today, both as average citizens and most sadly as elected officials.
We, The Bigoted, Discriminatory Dumb-Shit Americans
In 2013 the Roberts Supreme Court — the same court that gave corporations “personhood” — gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The majority’s opinion was that racism is so diminished in America today that there’s no need for the federal government to oversee certain historical hot spots of bigotry anymore. The biting irony of that decision was made all the more bitter by the fact that year also saw the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case prove as long as you’re “feeling threatened” by him, it’s open season on young black males in certain states.
Martin was confronted by Zimmerman — who was armed with a gun — and the ensuing altercation left a 17-year old boy dead, while the trial let his killer get away Scot free thanks to “stand your ground” laws. Those laws, by the way, favor white folks versus African-Americans by a staggering margin when invoked as self-defense. But don’t worry, remember, racism is over now.
Then of course we have all the “defense of religious liberty” laws that are crop up in red states. The religiously conservtive lawmakers who draft these bills may say they’re about protecting someone’s right to practice their spirituality, but when your bill gives law enforcement bathroom inspection duties, or is meant to keep LGBTQ people otherwise second class citizens, we know that’s just a load of bullshit.
Congressman/Senator Bigoted, Discriminatory Dumb-Shit American
What do you call someone who describes all poor people as if they were black? What do you call someone who tells the masses that Mexican immigrants just want to come here and live off our tax payments without contributing anything to society, or worse yet calls them all rapists, murderers and drug dealers? What do you call someone who says that women should just pay for their own contraceptives if their fundie employer has some weird, scientifically-illiterate view that they cause abortions because you should stop being a mooching slut with boobs and a vagina? What do you call someone who insists that gay people are just living a chosen lifestyle and that somehow means they aren’t entitled to civil liberties, even though Christianity is every bit the chosen lifestyle that homosexuality is absolutely not?
The answer to all those questions is: A bigot. And what do you call a bigot who also writes laws that codify their bigotries? A Republican. Seriously; a Republican.
Phil Jensen is a Republican State Senator in South Dakota. He has some very “interesting” ideas about our Constitution, and he believes businesses should be allowed to discriminate on any basis they want to, including race. Because as we all know, racism is dead in America, so why not let people be racist? If that isn’t solid logic enough for you, here’s what State Sen. Jensen said about why he feels it’s totally fine by the Constitution to discriminate against black people, “If someone was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and they were running a little bakery for instance, the majority of us would find it detestable that they refuse to serve blacks, and guess what? In a matter of weeks or so that business would shut down because no one is going to patronize them.”
What’s really hilarious about Jensen’s statements is that the right-wing groups in this country freak the fuck out when you boycott or criticize businesses who practice discrimination. Remember the “We Support Chik-Fil-A” day where all the conservatives braved long lines for deep-fried chicken parts in solidarity with the company’s CEO’s stance on the uppity gays’ insistence on equal and fair treatment? The nuts and bolts of discrimination and bigotry for Republican politicians are basically summed up thus: As long as conservatives are the ones practicing the bigotry or discrimination it’s a God-given, Constitutionally-protected right for them to do so, and they will go to whatever lengths they have to in order to keep that right to hurt others in place. This includes simply telling their voters that discrimination doesn’t really exist.
The equation works like this: Racism doesn’t exist and so we don’t need any special programs or laws to protect you, but should you encounter racism or another form of bigotry and discrimination you should just “find another baker” or “find another florist” as conservative pundit Rich Lowry once famously said.
Because they’re so damned compassionate, those conservatives, aren’t they?
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.