Kevin Recommends: “Man in Black” by Johnny Cash

Today is Tuesday.

That means I’m wearing all black.

You might be wondering why I wear all black on Tuesdays.

Well, it has to do with the oath I swore on November 8, 2016 to wear black every Tuesday until Trump is out of office.

The day of the election, I wore black in anticipation of what I figured was probably coming. I held a shred of hope that things wouldn’t go the way they did, but I was almost expecting it. The rise of the Tea Party, the never-ending racist personal attacks on Obama, the fact that Trump managed to secure the Republican nomination in spite of his frequent demonstrations of moral bankruptcy (mocking disabled people, racist rhetoric, constant sexist statements) — the signs were all there; our legacy of vile, selfish, fear-based hatred was alive and well.

When the results came in and he had won, I was angry, but not surprised. And I wasn’t alone — many women, PoCs, and members of the LGBTQ community surely weren’t surprised. This is the way things have always been for them. We’ve built a country based on a legacy of failing them in the pursuit of profit. What hope they might have had that things could be different after Obama was snatched away by privileged, selfish, white fear.

If you, like me, are appalled by what you’re seeing happening right now, don’t just sit there going “but this isn’t who we are.” Because it is who we are, and it’s who we’ve always been. To insist otherwise is to shit on the suffering of those generations of Africans and African Americans who toiled and died under the brutality of slavery; of the Native Americans whose land was stolen from them while they were shipped to “Indian Territory” (if they were lucky enough to not just be slaughtered); of those Japanese Americans uprooted from their homes and shipped off to internment camps. This is who we are, and it needs to change.

We’ve now backslid as a country precisely because of this sentiment of “we’re better than that.” That idea comes from privilege: the white (mostly male) privilege of not having to worry about fighting for respect — or even basic fucking decency — from your fellow countrymen every day of your life. I get it, what with being a white male and all, but it’s irresponsible to continue in that way. It’s exactly that privileged, inactive, blind insistence that we’re “better than that” which led to the unchecked racist fascism tearing through America right now.

If you think the state of the country is awful, and you want to be an ally, don’t just shake your head at it; take action. Contact your reps to let them know that this shit will not stand. Even if your reps are already doing the right thing, let them know anyway so they know they’re not fighting without reason. Donate, if you can, to organizations trying to fix things. For the love of fuck, VOTE. Just do something. 

Like Johnny said: try to make a move to make a few things right.

(Song recommendation by Kevin D. Woodall)

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