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The Bigotry of Inclusion

Finally, mercifully, it’s twenty-hundred and twenty-one, dearest motherfuckers. The year of our lord Satan, 2020, is finally fucking over and all around America there are signs of life. It’s a brand new spanking day for democracy, because 2021 doesn’t just bring an end to 2020, it brings an end to the tyranny of the Trump era. That nasty little quarter decade will magically be no more. Poof! Like waking from a four year nightmare. We’re back to square one. After four long years of dayglo orange madness, four long years of thuggish knuckle-dragging and boorish dick wagging, after four years of petty dog-whistle white supremacy, the nightmare is over and America has been saved. Saved by another thuggish, knuckle-dragging, dick-wagging, petty dog-whistle white supremacist. No! No, that’s negativity. That’s 2020 talking. No more cynicism. It’s a new day in America. It’s a new day in America. It’s a new day in America. Say it with me now.

Besides this whole thing is much bigger than Biden. That old honky gangster is just a transitional president. He’s simply holding open the door for a dynamic and diverse cabinet of revolutionary new thinkers. More women, more Queer people, more people of color, more people like you and me. More minorities than we’ve ever fucking seen before. It’s like a goddamn Barnie and Friends reunion up in this bitch. Everywhere you look, it’s a first. First this. First that. Who can be cynical about a new day in America when you have the first bisexual quadriplegic cabinet member, who worked for Raytheon, or the first blind Sikh cabinet member, who worked for Raytheon, or the first dyslexic Jamaican bobsledder, who worked for Raytheon. Wait a fucking minute? What the fuck? This is just the same goddamn shit. If it’s such a brand new goddamn day in America, then how come everybody still fucking works for Raytheon or Goldman goddamn Sacks? I think we’ve been had here.

Well, what do you fucking expect when you switch one racist old bastard for another? America is submerged in institutional racism. You have to be Tucker Carlson not to realize that. It’s hardwired into our DNA. We spent an entire summer getting our face shoved into this reality by Black kids in the streets, then we go and vote for the motherfucker who ghost wrote the new Jim Crow with Bill Clinton and we’re shocked to get more racist fucking bullshit in a rainbow package? ‘But what about Kamala Harris? Isn’t she inspiring?’ No, dearest motherfuckers, she’s way worse. In almost gleeful spite of her racial heritage, Kamala built a career on sticking it to other, less lucky, minorities. Kamala isn’t the new face of democracy. She’s the new face of racism. A very special brand of bigotry called inclusion.

Donald Trump represented the last gasp of the old brand of American racism. The blunt, white-is-might-and-might-is-right brand of white supremacy that openly bathes itself in it’s own self-assured superiority. The racism of Muslim bans and flaming border moats. The racism of bombing the shit out of “them” and taking their oil. The kind of racism you encounter on a walker with two tennis balls at the gift shop of your local Cracker Barrel. That “Hey faggot, get out of my way!” brand of bigotry loudly splayed by crude nightmare men like Strom Thurmond and LBJ. The kind of motherfuckers Joe Biden use to golf with between war crimes. But that era is over. The Trump Administration was more than likely its last fart. Old Joe plays a new game of golf now, with a whole new brand of bigots.

The best display we’ve seen so far of this new school of inclusive bigotry was the much vaunted but barely understood presidency of Barack Obama. Barry was an eloquent, inspiring, trailblazer. The first Black president. But if you scratched just beneath the surface, you found a machine every bit as committed to the tenants of systemic American bigotry as Donald Trump. Barry built the camps on the borders. Barry deported more peace-loving undocumented laborers and their families then any president in modern history, including Trump. Barry brought the American war machine, the greatest device of white supremacy in the history of mankind, into the 21rst Century with “humanitarian” interventions and drone warfare. Over 70 years after Operation Barbarossa, he put Nazi’s back in power in Ukraine. And the very fact that Barry is a person of color only made this whole machine more powerful.

It doesn’t fucking matter what color or gender our masters are, as long as they remain committed to Manifest Destiny. Every single cabinet position could be filled by a Black transwoman, it wouldn’t change the fact that that government they’re being included into still disproportionally violates the rights of poor people of color worldwide. The prisons would still be full of young Black men and Queer women of color. The Fortune 500 would still be stacked with with straight white cis-men who can trace their lineage directly back to the Mayflower. The wars that give our nation meaning would still be waged against brown people who didn’t know their place, and that is precisely what inclusion is all about- Knowing your place. America loved Saddam Hussein when he knew his place. He was an inspiring Third World revolutionary, an Arab Nationalist, just as long as kicked up to Uncle Sam and killed the right neighbors. His place in power was no less symbolic and culturally empty than Obama’s or Kamala’s.

Inclusion becomes an act of betrayal when the very system you are being included in is the source of the bigotry we face. My first response to learning that Pete Buttigieg would become the first openly Queer cabinet member, as Secretary of Transportation, was thank god they didn’t put him in a position to kill more poor people. As an amateur historian and an agoraphobic autodidact, I’ve seen this story before. My other tribe, my original tribe, the Irish, came to this country like Salvadorans, to escape an English genocide called the Potato Famine. We weren’t considered white. The WASPs actually worried about the bad influence our hard drinking, freewheeling ways would have on our favorite drinking buddies, the freed slaves. But the Irish proved themselves worthy by killing more Mexicans than any WASP could and forming the first police forces to protect their property. And so the Irish became white. The Irish were included.

The system itself is the problem. The killing doesn’t stop unless we destroy it. The bigotry simply shifts shape. Muslims become the new Jews. Trans people become the new faggots. And dark skinned killers become the new tokens of superiority, proof of the benevolence of the bloodbath. The only way to end this massacre, one that began with Indian genocide and chattel slavery, is to overthrow the system itself and start over with something that isn’t built on a foundation of state tyranny. I know this may come across as a bummer. This isn’t the shining new day America wants out of 2021. But if we don’t get real about the real problem here, the only thing 2021 will be a new day for is a brand new genre of bigotry. I have to believe that we can do better than that. It’s our only real hope for anything even resembling change we can believe in.

Nicky Reid is an agoraphobic anarcho-genderqueer gonzo blogger from Central Pennsylvania and assistant editor for Attack the System. You can find her online at Exile in Happy Valley.

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