It is a new day in America.
That we have chosen to forge a path into the bright, beautiful morning is a testament to this nation. Once again, in our darkest hour, we overcame our penchant for self-destruction and chose to embrace the light. But, in all the exultant triumph, let us not forget one thing:
The white people.
For four years, they have had to stare directly into an unforgiving reflection pool and reckon with their uncloaked handiwork. If ever there was a prosopopoeia for the American mythos and all its malarkey disguised as exceptionalism, perhaps it is the squalid dollop of human bile who will exit the seat of American authority on Jan. 20, 2021. He was a thing of their doing.
There is no reason whatsoever to wax rhapsodic for the outgoing president. But perhaps he deserved at least a small bit of praise, if only for stripping this country down to her bare skin and allowing us to see her naked and unmasked, in all her ingloriously flawed racist majesty.
This incompetent clodhopper (who shall not be called by his name in this rambling tirade) now descends into the realm of the regulars as he once was—a make-believe alchemist snake-oil merchant who somehow wrangled white supremacy and made it into rocket fuel. This white man, this literal manifestation of the indefatigable audacity of whiteness, this festering puss-filled abscess on the face of lady liberty is now gone and America has painted over the pimple with an impeccably matched shade of concealer.
See? We fixed it.
Today, we celebrate a new America that has rid itself of its detestable past by barely electing a mediocre old white man to replace the previous mediocre white man who is still supported by 74 million people so feverishly passionate about white nationalism that they were ready to overthrow the government. This new American government is the exact same as the old American government except for three new senators and a commander-in-chief who served in the old American government 44 of the past 48 years.
If the presidency of Barack Obama is indicative of this new nation that we have created in the exact same image of the old place, then we should brace ourselves for conversations about “post-racial America.” Even though the best available poll in the history of America—a national election in which 159,633,396 people voted—tells us that most white people preferred the imbecilic white supremacist president to a literal average Joe, you will likely hear rhetoric about America casting off the chains of bigotry and becoming a better country.
America ain’t shit but people and lines on a map.
America did not grow in the past 24 hours and, unless I slept through the horn signaling the beginning of the purge, we are the exact same country we were 23 hours and 59 minutes ago—a blunderbuss of stupidity and racism aimed at the faces of anyone who is not white, cisgender or willing to cast aside their privilege for the sake of equality.
This is a day, the same as all the others.
As we clasp our hands in awe of this spectacle, look down a bit further. See the congregation of hand-selected gun-toters from the mightiest army in the world. They are the only thing standing between democracy and a thundering horde of enraged coup mongers eager to install an authoritarian regime. Listen to the wind whistle through the nonexistent crowd, absent in fear of an invisible, murderous virus (racism, coronavirus, domestic terrorism, you choose).
Look past the gleaming new president and his beautiful castmate. See the people behind him, some of whom took part in the attempt to overthrow the government. Some of them are carrying pistols on their hips for no reason other than arrogance and self-aggrandizement. Others are cowards who enabled the outgoing shitbag with appeasing silence.
They are still there.
But white people’s long, racist nightmare is over. For the next four years, they have the option of not staring into the blinding light of the fire that this country has built for people who are not them. They can go back to pretending that the dog whistles are not Nazi siren songs. Even actors stop giving a fuck about the stage play once the spotlight has moved and the curtains have closed and what is this country if not the greatest theatrical production of all?
America is America again—the lines, the dirt, the people. And here we are, still wondering when this country will stop vacillating between barely indistinguishable stages of ain’t-shitness.
Unkillable, inexhaustible and always saving this godforsaken shit-show from turning into a tragedy.