“The best revenge is not to be like that.” – Marcus Aurelius
In the face of the despicable, disgusting current events in the country that I live in, it’s hard for me to write about anything else. There can no longer be any ambiguity about the fact that we have a Nazi-sympathizer as our president, and he’s not alone. He’s appointed plenty of like-minded advisors in his cabinet, even if Steve Bannon is no longer among them. And while many Republican representatives and senators have come out to condemn the violence in Charlottesville, I’m nauseated at how few of them are willing to call the President out directly for his unfathomably irresponsible actions and rhetoric. What the hell are they waiting for?
It’s a disturbing time we’re living in. And yet, despite all the madness that’s going on in the government, daily life in NYC is not noticeably different. When you walk down the street you wouldn’t yet know that the leader of our country is a total lunatic. But it is starting to be felt elsewhere in the country, as evidenced by the events in Charlottesville. I’m pretty confident in saying that what happened there wouldn’t have happened if Trump hadn’t been elected president. White supremacists have been noticeably emboldened by Trump being in power, and I doubt that they would’ve dared to show up in such numbers, brandishing Nazi-symbols, tiki torches, and heavy weaponry were it not for the governing regime being what it is. This sort of display of hatred and bigotry would simply not be tolerated by any other administration. And it’s clear that more of this mayhem is to come in the days and weeks ahead.
While all of this is going on I’m determined to continue living my life as normally as possible, working towards the goals that are important to me. My emotions fluctuate as I watch what’s going on in the world, but I do understand that it’s important that I don’t get dragged down by fear and anger myself. I refuse to be bullied that way. Yes, Trump is the ultimate bully––with his bully-cronies in tow––but I have faith that this country will in the end be stronger than their hatred. What we’re seeing is the pus that’s being squeezed out from an old wound at the center of a nation. The ugliness was lodged in there all this time anyway––there’s no way to clean it until it’s out in the open. Perhaps a simplistic view of things, and I’m not trying to ignore the painful nature of the process. Nope. Not at all. It’s probably going to get worse before it gets better. But I do trust that it will get better.
I’m watching these events as an immigrant who didn’t know what the hell I was getting into when I became a citizen of the United States. I now have a much expanded understanding of it. The outsider part of me sometimes wants to throw in the towel and tell everyone to go fuck themselves. “This ain’t my frickin’ problem. This ain’t my frickin’ mess.” But I’m also now an American citizen and therefore feel compelled to fight against this deeply rooted ignorance, oppression and injustice, well…because it is my frickin’ problem. This is my home now, and has been for quite a while. We the people are all responsible for our own parts in all of this, and I accept that I’m responsible for mine. The pus is out, and we all have to help clean it up. Like my man Marcus Aurelius said: the best revenge is not to be like that.