I tend not to travel with handmade shields, so I’m an admitted novice when it comes to handmade-shield-culture, but I feel like I would only carry1 my handmade shield when I was heading to Ren Fair or wanted to start a fight.

So it’s a learning experience for me to realize that what Real Men do is plan a getaway weekend with their buddies for shield-crafting (seriously, I bet every Hobby Lobby south of Charlottesville saw a huge spike in sales this weekend) and then wave tiki torches on an empty college campus like some reverse-Spring-Break.

Pro tip to start-up-Nazis and Klansmen young and old:

Y’all come across as crazy insecure and like y’all

SPRING BREAKKK

are overly aware of juuuuuuuuuuust how small your manhood really is when you . . . well, when y’all basically do anything. But especially when you show up to rallies in order to support a statue for the dude who lost2 a war dressed as a combination of Mad Max soldiers of fortune and a Brooks Brothers catalogue armed with assault rifles and coifed hair.

* * *

Cowards. Small, whiney men who are the blight and ugliness they paint onto the images of those born or brave enough to be different from their white likeness.

I mean, where do we even
start with this how
do we start a conversation
about something that has always been
the not-so-hidden
pulse of our nation?

God, this is just so stupid. Things have deteriorated to the point where being on the brink of nuclear war with North Korea and David Duke becoming genuinely relevant in the fabric of American dialogue happen within the same calendar week.

One of the things I’ve struggled with the most while watching the Trump ‘presidency’ unfold has been a chicken-or-egg conundrum; have people this filled with hate always existed in such high numbers and are simply stoked by the word and actions of then-candidate-now-president Trump, or has the Trump/Bannon/Cosmopolitan Miller3 movement pushed these extreme and ugly views into the mainstream?

And, really, does it matter? It’s happening either way, the normalization of hatred and the courage of cowards.

All I could think, seeing footage of people – human beings, human people who can think and have fine motor skills and the ability to reason and to love and build things like houses and bookshelves and who can create beauty like song and art and so so so many things – sorry, seeing footage of people attack each other, incite each other, drive a car at full speed into a crowd of innocent living human people with families and attics full of photo albums and baby shoes they kept and that coffee table they keep meaning to sell on craigslist is,

My daughter lives in this world.

My daughter is almost four.

She is Joy and Love and Courage and

God, she’s just so good. 

When a song plays over loudspeakers
anywhere like at the pool, Pullen Park,
She dances
and she’s good

She has blue eyes, a tiny lisp, and she lives in the same world where grown-ass-men think they are persecuted and threatened by the shadows of those whom they themselves hold in contempt.

Ruby Bridges is 62 years old. When she was six, she was tasked with being the first black child to desegregate William Frantz Elementary in New Orleans in 1960. She was escorted to school by federal marshals.

Baller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you look closely, you’ll notice Ruby isn’t carrying a torch, nor does she have a rifle slung over her shoulder. You know who never needed a federal escort to school? Yeah – it’s the white dudes complaining about how hard life is for white dudes.

Ok, so here’s the thing – there is no current leadership in our nation. It’s been plainly obvious for approximately six months, but today’s false equivalency and lukewarm comments (given in a pre-scheduled press conference where the president, yet again, couldn’t remain remotely coherent) were the final thundering echo in the empty tomb of this presidency.

When leadership enables evil, is passive towards extremists who recruit angry insecure young men who then drive cars into crowds of people (wait Joel do you mean ISIS or oh right the white dudes) and is incapable of even basic human reflection, there is no leadership. I swear I’m gonna pass out from eye-rolls the next time I hear anyone say something to the effect of ‘I just hope the president will take this opportunity to [insert action].’ He’s never gonna do it, folks. He was elected by hate, indifference and the (clearly incorrect) assumption that there just aren’t enough people short-sighted or selfish enough to vote for Donald Trump.

I love my daughter.
I think being kind to people and honest with them is brave and lovely.
I hate racist jerks.4
My girlfriend can play guitar.
We do not have to be afraid, because we aren’t the ones who need torches and hooded robes and rifles and spray-painted shields in order to feel safe hanging out with our friends.

Today was an awful day

and

what is Good will prevail. I have heard my daughter whisper sing to me in the dark ‘I love you, daddy, and i need a cuddle.’

Good will prevail.

Hugs,

Joel

  1. Or take the time to design, shop for, and assemble to my liking and the liking of my fellow klansmen
  2. SO MUCH WINNING1111?
  3.  damn impressive seeing a dude mansplain and denigrate the Statue of Liberty in one swift movement
  4. Also, I hate all jerks