I keep seeing this meme going around that’s like, “I’ll still be your friend if you voted for Trump, I’ll still be your friend if you voted for Biden…” and it’s making me ragey.
So writes Sa’iyda Shabazz in the pages of Scary Mommy, where progressive parents display their piety to each other, and where rage and tears, even feigned or delusional rage and tears, are a currency of sorts, markers of woke status. Part of the game.
If you still support [Trump] after the last four years of his bullshit, then guess what? I don’t want to be your friend. Because if you support that monster, you can’t possibly also care about me.
A monster. Specifically, a “racist, misogynist, xenophobic monster.” I suppose we were destined to start in high gear, something approaching opera. It does seem to be the custom among Scary Mommy contributors. Having dutifully denounced Mr Trump as the Demon King, the cause of all human sorrow, Ms Shabazz then goes on to reveal, albeit inadvertently, the extent to which the wider world should in fact care about her, being as she is so lovely and not at all demented.
I know that I have friends who voted for Trump in 2016. And I know I probably have friends who did this year, too. One of them is one of my oldest and dearest friends. To say that I was horrified is an understatement.
In terms of progressive outpourings, understatement is a rare treat. Let’s take a moment to savour it.
The friend that I knew for sure voted for him? We didn’t talk for three years. I couldn’t reconcile the person I knew with the person who’d do something so awful… As a Black woman who is queer and poor, I know this administration wants to make me a second-class citizen. I cannot associate with someone who even hints at feeling the same.
I think I see the problem. The questionable premise.
My college degree isn’t going to stop [the police] from shooting me dead in the street if they feel inclined.
Of which, it turns out, there may be more than one.
Having revealed the somewhat rickety footing of her umbrage, Ms Shabazz resumes her efforts to win us over with a mix of natural charm and mental stability:
As far as I know, none of my friends are actively racist. But I also know that I’m not around them all the time.
We must have round-the-clock monitoring. Some kind of electronic tag. It’s the only way to be sure.
Just because they don’t crack a “Black” joke or mock the stereotype around me doesn’t mean they don’t when I’m not around.
Relentless suspicion being the basis of every solid friendship. And indeed, a happy life.
I can assume they’re not using our friendship to stop other white people from making racist comments.
This she can assume, you see. There then follows a tangle of other assumptions that I’ll attempt to summarise. You see, as a black woman – specifically a black lesbian, someone “Queer AF” – Ms Shabazz knows that some of her white friends may in turn know Trump supporters, who, being Trump supporters, must be making racist comments to all and sundry – there being no other conceivable possibility. And so, Ms Shabazz is certain that her white friends are not only hearing these racist comments but are also not objecting, thereby betraying her.
What my friends may not realise is that silence equals compliance. You may not agree when someone makes a racist statement, but if you’re not vehemently railing against them for that statement, you are complicit.
Vehement railing is demanded as a condition of being a friend, albeit a friend forever under suspicion. However, as with much else in the pages of Scary Mommy, actual evidence of this presumed betrayal, and thereby presumed complicity in Mr Trump’s Age Of Darkness, is not forthcoming. No crumbs at all. And not only is this assumed racism - and assumed silence, and assumed complicity, and assumed failure to be vehement - betraying Ms Shabazz, it is, we’re told, actually endangering her:
I’m not a practising Muslim, but I have an Arabic name. So how do I know that I’d be safe if he ever started rounding Muslims up?
So. Again. Totally even-keeled.
None of my friends know about the anxiety I’ve had this whole election. Seeing them sharing pictures of themselves voting and not saying anything else. “Did they vote for Trump?” is a question swirling around in my brain every time I see it… Without an overt indication, I have no choice but to think the worst.
She has no choice, you see.
The hard truth is that white people often vote in their personal best interest.
Because you just can’t be progressive, and therefore better than other people, without at least a whiff of racial bigotry. And so,
If you know the fear of the marginalised and still voted for that monster, you’re no friend of mine. Fool me once, shame on you. Do it again? GTFO.
Given what we’ve seen of Scary Mommy articles, one can’t help but entertain the possibility that its supposedly “empowered” contributors, our self-styled moral betters, the ones wracked with anxiety and fits of mental twitching, are very often authors of their own unhappy dramas. Having dispensed with the expectation of evidence, and with it, a sense of proportion and the constraints of realism, these titans of tomorrow are truly liberated and can hallucinate wildly all the long day. While disdaining friends for being unwitting props in the author’s own fever dream.
Readers may wish to ponder a mental world in which you essentially can’t interact with people – even “dearest friends” – who may have voted differently, and in which any friends who happen to be white are forever suspected of betrayal, and of endangering your wellbeing, on grounds that they may not have been sufficiently vehement in their scolding of other people – say, their colleagues, neighbours or acquaintances - who may also have voted differently. Or indeed, done less than that. It’s a worldview that doesn’t exactly scream good times ahead.
[ Expanded via the comments. ]
Via Lady Cutekitten.
Heavens, a button. I wonder what it does.