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A Scapegoat Named Trump


These are my thoughts, yo.

A Scapegoat Named Trump

jasmine banks

We are looking down the barrel of 4 years of Trump. So maybe we should talk about what he is and what he isn't. Throwing our hands up and declaring #NotMyPresident is a tempting approach. Isn't that how we got here in the first place? Donald J.esus-be-a-clue Trump is not an anomaly. He is a product of a collective ethical amnesia that leads us to believe we've made progress while we maintain the status quo, simply because we've re-branded forms of oppression.  We are so distracted by the shiny things, the progressive cookies, and the debates that political mindfulness drifts off and we are hijacked into ineffectiveness. We are responsible for the Donald Trumps of this world. 

We've glutted ourselves on systems of capitalism and anti-Black racism to keep keep white supremacy alive and well.

We've refused to stretch ourselves and wrestle down our egos in order to imagine a better world together. 

We've settled for the cheap and counterfeit intimacy that is offered in order to avoid an honest understanding of ourselves.

We've ignored the full stories of those whose lives are impacted most by systems of domination. We decided for them that what they have is good enough, they should be grateful to have something, anything, at all.

We've not trusted each other. 

We've not allowed one another the space to grow, evolve, and transform.

We've valued things over the dignity of people.

We have not been our best possible selves. So now we want to scapegoat good ole Donald Trump. "HE is the problem. HE is ludicrous. We must resist HIM." And yeah... those things aren't all wrong. Donald Trump is a trashcan fire of a human who exemplifies what happens when we forego ethical decency and guzzle down egocentric materialism (he also might be hella mentally ill). While we are resisting Trump's focus on the almighty dollar, shouldn't we also resist the ways in which we've internalized harmful systems ourselves? Doesn't the act of resistance start from a place of clarity within us? Or do we just feel better blaming Donald Trump without taking stock of the ways in which we've behaved exactly like him? 

We are not fighting people or a single person, we are fighting harmful systems that enslave us and rob us of our humanity. Donald Trump is only one person in that system. Sure sure. He is a fucking important person (I hear presidents are real important or whatever).  But are we waking up to our complicit actions? We are taking responsibility and making amends to one another.  Are we educating ourselves and dismantling the harmful systems we keep alive and in our hearts and minds? We are responsible for the Donald Trumps of this world, because we are or have been the Donald Trumps of this world.