middle brow | citizen how \ 15 sep 17 /

real, adult love. 

i heard someone slap their tongue somethin' stupid this week. saying that the hypocrisy of the left is on full display with the kaepernick (taking a knee during the national anthem) and confederate statue issues. liberals will defend free speech, they argued, when it's critical of america. but seek to destroy any "non-speech" expression that promotes or honors or glorifies america. 

but even ignoring that confederate statues *do not* honor america and instead promote, honor and glorify racism and oppression, there's no hypocrisy here. certain folks show love for their country by questioning it. by asking whether it's actually a great country. and who it's great for. and when those same certain folks notice that it's not a great place to live if you're a young black man, some of them ask people in the black community how to best improve the lot of young black men. in an attempt to make their country a little better. and when a member of the young-black-man community expresses to those same certain folks his discontent with his country, they listen. they try to empathize. and when that member decides that he views the flag. that symbol of powerful, wealthy, comfortable americans. as a symbol of marginalization. and hardship. and death-in-the-streets. and therefore refuses to honor it. those same certain people are reminded of the ways in which their country has been wrong before. and the ways they worked to try to improve it. and eventually did improve it. and so they listen to that man and respond with hope. hope that their country can still be greater. for more of its people. 

certain other folks. well. when they're precious eyes are put upon to behold such disrespect for their *the american flag*: how daaaaaaaaare you disrespect that symbol! we don't care how well it represents your interests, you must show it respect because you were born here! and if you want to complain about how you're treated, please find another way. something other than kneeling during the national anthem. it's just. i don't know. it's just. it's just the wrong way. ... ... ... oooooh. no no. wait. wait but. no. but also not that way! those certain other folks say. no no no. DO NOT attend a protest and speak eloquently (or ineloquently, even) about how this country has wronged your community. about how the powers that be give you reason to fear for your physical integrity. every waking hour. ... ... ... and halt! stop where you are! DO NOT MOVE ANOTHER INCH. those certain other folks plead. marching in the streets is completely inappropriate when all these comfortable people are trying to get to their dinner dates. please find another way to protest your ill treatment. please find another way to remind us that your great grandfather may have been a slave. and that your father may have been kicked in the teeth by a white cop. all for looking too long at that young white woman at the five-and-dime with the pretty poems and shapely thighs. we don't want to think about that. we only want to think about our symbols our founding fathers and world war ii. ... and DON'T YOU DARE go on cable news and explain how your child was shot in the street by a cop because he was black. how pitiful! those certain other folks shout. how dare you play politics with your child's death. your own child! ugh. the shame. and on my news station. somebody please switch it to pat sajak. ... please?!

and so it seems that both the certain folks and the certain other folks are being entirely consistent--i.e. non-hypocritical--on the kaepernick/confederate issue. the certain folks who defend one's right not to honor the flag while simultaneously supporting the destruction of symbols of *slavery* simply aim to make america better for more and more americans. the certain other folks simply aim to ignore any flaws in the things they love. they're like little boys and girls. unable to understand or acknowledge the complexity and sore-elbow work of real, adult love.

but that's not the only point to make on the kaepernick issue. 

consider the democrats "hamburger problem". which goes like this: if democrats want to start winning elections again, they have to stop making fun of people in rural areas for eating hamburgers and driving american made cars and shooting clay pigeons. aside from guns and abortion, rural america by and large agrees with liberal policies: they're pro-union and pro-universal healthcare. they're pro-gay marriage. they favor legalizing marijuana. they're vastly more pro-immigrant than the republican party is. but they vote for republicans because republicans don't make fun of their way of life.

but this strikes me as totally ass backwards. republicans as usual are projecting onto democrats. nobody told any white, republican football player or fan that they should kneel during the national anthem. and most definitely nobody made fun of any republican for standing during it. a young black man just decided that he didn't feel right standing for that flag-and-song. and so he didn't. and then REPUBLICANS turned around and ripped him to shreds for it. republicans made fun of him for it. skewered him in the media for it. called him a bad person. wished ill upon him. laughed as his career ended.

likewise, just because someone is eating a fucking salad for lunch doesn't mean they look down at you for eating chicken cordon bleu (two "meats" in one meal-sit!). or, you know, maybe they do! but so fucking what! they aren't actually harassing you for eating meat. or, at worst, one in every 400 vegetarians actually harangues you about the way your pig meat was got. but sheesh... get over it. ain't you supposed to be "real" americans? ain't you supposed to be tough? thick-necked-and-skinned? and devastatingly passive-aggressive? why are you so in need of protection from a bunch of shit-stick republican politicians? can't you defend your choices and your way of life?

we did a beer tasting last week in trump country. and most of the people we met were lovely. and "real" men and women in that some of them looked us in the eye and told us they loved our beer, and others of them looked us in the eye and told us they didn't, and still others looked us in the eye and said, "no thanks, buddy" and walked directly over to the tower of "not your mothers rhubarb pie" beer. but one guy stuck out as rather non-lovely. when his friend suggested he try our beer because he likes belgian beers, he scoffed, looked away, and said as loud as he could: "i already know i won't like that shit based on that fuckin' label". and stormed off without making eye contact with me. total coward. 

it reminds me of this whole "cuck" thing we heard a lot about during election season. the word "cuck" stands for "cuckold", which is a guy whose wife is cheating on him. by calling liberals cucks, republicans were calling them weak fools. but those very same people are afraid of what a pink can of beer might say about them. and so they begged and pleaded for someone like trump to come save them from all the scary mexicans and women with hairy armpits. cucks, indeed.

anyway. how about we comfortable folks stop complaining about the manner in which some very uncomfortable folks are expressing their discomfort with the general unfairness of the system we're all living under and contributing to. and how about instead we honor the work that was done before us to make our communities better. by finding problems to fix and working together to fix them. seems easy... and it is! if you check your persecution complex at the door.