This post is in honor of my Trump acolytes, who are now on record saying institutional racism is a figment of my imagination. As a result, I’m doubling down on the Jim Crow revival erupting in Georgia.
Last week the Governor of Georgia signed the new anti-voting bill into existence, surrounded by six white guys…and a painting…wait for it…a painting of…wait for it…a painting of a plantation.
Their dog whistles to white supremacists are getting less and less subtle. They threw their whistles away and are now using bull horns to their base. Trump is smiling in his bunker at Mar-a-Lago, a man who spent four years cultivating and fertilizing and nourishing White Supremacy, granting them legitimacy, transmitting and nurturing their hate that was brought to fruition at the insurrection in the Capital.
A PAINTING OF A PLANTATION!
Since it was Georgia, I assumed the State House would be adorned with those acclaimed black and white photos of people marching for the right to vote. And since Martin Luther King is from Georgia, I thought there would be some photos of him, fighting for voting rights, civil rights, or photographs of John Lewis, a Georgia rep, marching for voting rights at the Pettus bridge, speaking truth to power. I thought the walls would be full of images of people asserting their most fundamental right: the right to vote, the foundation of our Democracy.
But nope, the best they could do was to use a painting of a plantation as a backdrop! A plantation for God’s sake. All that was missing was the white robes and hood, and maybe the Confederate flag. Maybe they could have borrowed the Confederate flag from that guy who paraded it in the Capital during the insurrection. The ceremony of the bill signing presented the Governor’s archaic vision of American, when people of color were expected to know their place, and everyone lived happily ever after on the plantation.
I guess we should be glad it wasn’t a painting of a hangman’s noose, a buried symbol resurrected during the insurrection, where the N word was liberally spewed according to the court filings of Capital Police, and ironically, was meant for an old white guy, Mike Pence. (Don’t worry, Mike is alive and well, having done his penance by forwarding Trump’s, Joseph Goebbels’s, BIG LIE: that Trump won the election. Pence’s racism, misogamy, and mendacity has been restored; credentials required in today’s Republican Party.)
Here’s the question: was this ceremony before the plantation painting just an innocent mistake, that maybe this was perhaps the only accessible room at the time? I mean, should we just give the boy a pass, didn’t mean anything by it? Well, after four months of the Trump’s presidency, I started to realize that his subtle racism, his spreading of chaos, his scapegoating of minorities weren’t innocent slips, but were calculated stratagems to embolden white supremacy. Even at the end, his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, quoted the sign at the entrance to Auschwitz: “Work will set you free”. Yes, to raise money for Trump’s BIG LIE, he’s going all in on an Auschwitz/Nazi slogan.
It ain’t a coincidence.
The first step in setting you free is not to build concentration camps.
We will never be free until we are all free.