What Trump Taught My Daughter Better Than I Ever Could
My Daughter’s Evolution, My Country’s Devolution And The Lesson That Is Best Taught By A Racist President
It was November 4th, 2008. We had a party. It was fun. But it was more than fun.
So much so, we all cried. Obama won. We knew the world had changed. America changed.
My younger daughter didn’t understand. She was nine. I was 40. She didn’t cry. I couldn’t stop. She seemed confused. Our worlds were so very different. I spent a considerable portion of my youth in the Calliope, a housing project of New Orleans. She spent a considerable portion of her youth in Johns Creek, an affluent suburb of Atlanta.
I didn’t have a nonblack friend for the first 20 something years of my life. She once had a birthday party at our home. Among her invited friends: they were Indian; they were Korean; they were Chinese; they were white. They were everything, EXCEPT black. She was the only one. I said to her, “surely you must have ONE black friend you can invite.” She invited Destinee, a half black girl.
I didn’t understand her world. She didn’t understand mine. That’s why on November 4th, 2008, I cried. And she didn’t.
Through my Calliope colored glasses, a black man, half or otherwise, could never be elected president. Obama’s election was monumental. Through her Johns Creek colored glasses, he was just another president. No biggie.
She’d heard of dinosaurs and rotary phones and racism but didn’t really believe any existed any more. My wife and I failed to convince her that one of the three still rang true, still breathing fire. Two of the three were victims of evolution and died and will never resurface. The other, a victim of Shame, merely hid and waited for a safe time to resurface.
Then November 8, 2016 happened.
We had a party. It was fun. Until it wasn’t. So much not so, we all cried. We knew the world had changed. America changed. Not because we elected a Grand Old Party, president, but because we elected a Grand Wizard, president. Shame died.
Slithering freely, spitting fire, racism no longer sought safe shelter? It no longer needed it.
From the White House, black and brown people weren’t very fine. Their nations were shithole and their children were caged. From Iowa, a Congressman wondered, OUT LOUD, what’s so wrong with white supremacy. From North Carolina, a Congressman who campaigned on sending the black president back to Africa, code for sending the monkey back to the jungle, used a black woman as a prop to prove our president who deems black and brown countries as shithole and cages their children, is not racist.
From Charlottesville, angry white men in khakis, carried tiki torches shouting, “Jews will not replace us!” A Nazi rammed his car into a crowd killing Heather Heyer, a young protester. Yet our president who deems black and brown countries as shithole and cages their children who is not racist, said the angry white men in khakis carrying portable crosses shouting, “Jews will not replace us,” and who killed Heather Heyer, are very fine people.
Now my daughter, a student at a Historically Black University, understands why we cried in 2008. Now she understands why we cried in 2016. Now she wishes dinosaurs and rotary phones had prevailed but instead she sees that racism persists.
Now in 2019 when we have a party, our invited guests are Indian and Korean and Chinese and white. They are everything AND black. We all cry together. Now, because of our racist president, my daughter cries too. Now, her world has changed. Now, her America has changed.
Now, she understands.