The Republican National Convention dragged on into day three and pulled America into an alternate universe in which Chick-fil-A is open on Sunday, some 177,000 people have not died from COVID-19 and the world didn’t watch an unarmed Black man get shot seven times at point-blank range in front of his children.
That can be the only reason that not one of the 100,000 speakers whose pre-recorded messages weren’t rerecorded to make mention on Wednesday that Black America was in the middle of a national uprising, including powerful statements being made across the country by the NBA, WNBA, MLB, NBA guard-turned-TNT announcer Kenny Smith and tennis star Naomi Osaka, whose protests included walking away from live television and nationally televised games.
You can’t tell me that if unemployment numbers decreased or Safeway ran a sale on mayonnaise-infused corn beef hash that any of these messages wouldn’t have been altered to take note.
But this is what it’s like to be white. To simply ignore Black death, Black tragedy, Black violence, Black protests and Black pain. On a night in which the only thing speakers of the Republican National Convention had to do was throw in an empty line of empathy, they couldn’t even do that, and maybe it’s better this way. This administration has made it clear from day one that it was speaking to one type of audience and that audience is made up of people who will justify a 17-year-old armed antagonist who attended a nonviolent protest with a weapon of war before they will spare words for a man who was shot in the back by police.
Fuck this president. And this convention. Fuck Vice President Mike Pence. Fuck second lady Karen Pence. Fuck Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota. Fuck Scott Dane, whoever the fuck Scott Dane is. Fuck Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). Fuck Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas). Fuck Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to the vice president. Fuck Rep. Lee Zeldin, (R-N.Y.) Fuck Tera Myers and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Fuck Lil Half Dead Kellyanne Conway. Forgive me Jesus, but fuck Sister Dr. Deirdre Byrne, a member of Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Fuck former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz. Fuck National Association of Police Organizations President Michael McHale. Fuck Rep. Elise Stefanik, (R-N.Y.). Fuck Republican congressional nominee Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina. Fuck Chen Guangcheng, and what the fuck were you even doing there anyway? Fuck Lara Trump, Burgess Owens, Clarence Henderson, Sen. Joni Ernst, (R-Iowa) and Richard Grenell.
There is a line. Maybe it’s always been there. Maybe it wasn’t this pronounced. Maybe Trump just made it more visible. Maybe we didn’t want to see it. Maybe this convention was never going to be about anything we care about. Maybe it’s time we stop giving them space. Maybe it’s time that we stop playing nice. Maybe we stop acting like there is an agreeable middle.
So if you are looking for a roundup of what happened at the RNC, I can say nothing happened. Everything happened. Something changed. Nothing was different. A group of people who believe that Black skin is a problem got online and said something to their people. And a line became even more pronounced. That show will get no run on this Black site today. Not now. Not when the movement is growing. But just know that what was said on Wednesday has been said before and what was ignored on Wednesday has always been ignored. And you didn’t need me to tell you that.
Join the discussion! The Root is hosting its first-ever, virtual Root Institute, presented by Target, featuring several of the leading minds in our community talking about politics, culture, health, community building and social impact. Subscribe for updates today!