Y’all, I feel for you, for this dumpster fire of an election year y’all are having, I really do. But I’m sort of laughing too.
Mexico and the U.S. are inexplicably linked. We will always be bound together, in one way or another; land stolen in the name of Manifest Destiny, the land you “bought” from courtesy of Santa Ana, the Mexican American war, the NAFTA agreement, and so on, decades and centuries and ever.
I grew up hearing white people benevolently telling me that my country was a mess because we weren’t smart, or we weren’t good at gaining God’s favor, or we were unlucky, and for a time I believed that. I didn’t get to vote until after I was deported, my 28 year old ass optimistic as ever, because in the States I had learned that voting was important and made a difference and because even though I could not stand Manuel Lopez Obrador, he was better than Enrique Peña Nieto, the buffon who could not even name three books he had read that he loved, who could not tell you the reason why his wife had died under suspicion circumstances, the man who had proved he was an idiot, a misogynist, and unfit for office.
I cast my vote with all the hope in the world, a person fully formed in two countries, and woke up to find that this buffon was now my head of state. In the years that followed, feminicide has increased- Mexico state (notcountry, there is a difference) boasts one of the highest rates in the country with 6 women murdered every day. We have 43 missing students, the peso continues to lose value, inflation has gone up, gas prices have increased, and recently, Peña Nieto -a man I did not vote for, and who #NoEsMiPresidente- invited Donald Trump, and did not challenge him for shit, did not allow the press to ask any questions and spoke of a misunderstanding, inciting the rage of Mexicans everywhere and the lowest approval rate in the history of a Mexican presidency (between 17%-22% depending on the outlet).
The Mexican people have weathered enormous tragedy, tyranny, and opposition, much at the hands of foreigners (the U.S. for the most part), and much at the hands of our leaders, and we overcome. They try to kill us, but like seeds, we grow.
I don’t know how grabbing someone by the pussy works. I can deduce so much from that sentence- poor grammar for starters, lack of general knowledge of genitalia (pussies are not mugs, afterall), hideous bedside manners, shoddy skills. In the context of a 60 year old, rich, straight white dude who is running for president and bantering along with a guy he sees himself reflected in (Billy Bush is, afterall, a rich white dude who is famous, straight, blonde, blue eyed) there is a lot to pick apart.
We know that Donald Trump only deems a small percentage of women worthy- white women, under 35, thin, able bodied, straight, European or of European descent, who can add to his wealth in some perceived fashion. Women who can be trophies for men like him. This narrows down who gets to be a woman.
There is now a long list of Republicans who are now denouncing him, Republicans who, for the most part, towed the party line and decided that supporting Trump was better than supporting Hillary, because, their humanity wasn’t questioned, and they were, for the most part, people who fell either under the Billy bush category of humans or the people-Trump-considers-women humans. And so, the chest beating, and lines in the sand, and distance came from people who mostly wanted to talk about their wives, and daughters and children. Let’s pick a little at this.
Donald Trump went after the last line of defense for a lot of these folks- the people in their own family. In a few short words, this large group of people saw the verbal manifestation of the waters flooding their own home, because now it was personal. Yes, people were outraged and have been outraged by Trump since the beginning. But now, the large contingency of white folks who have the luxury of vacillating between a Trump and Clinton presidency have had their fence removed; if Trump comes for their family, they realize they may very well be next.
Trump is your mirror. These new outspoken folks only see women who are their wives and daughters and mothers as women- all other women are conditional apparently.
Trump started his candidacy by being violent towards Mexican women, declaring them all a problem. See, you thought it was just men, because he said rapists, and forgot that he didn’t even see Mexican women as existing, their bodies invisible, their deaths nothing more than a shrug for him. His Wall and his mass deportations would undoubtedly include millions of Latinas and Hispanic women.
He’s continued being violent towards Muslim women by deeming the Muslim community as terrorists, by saying they cheered during 9/11, by saying they are not allowed a voice and denying them autonomy in their grief. He continued to fire the flames of the Ground Zero Mosque bullshittery, and asked for a ban on all Muslims entering, which would consist of large numbers of women.
He’s been violent towards black women, describing black folks as living in inner cities. Trump apparently doesn’t know that they live outside of that very racist stereotype. He’s been violent in denying black tenants and violating the Fair Housing Act, in asking all black employees off the floor in his casino, in continuing to criminalize black bodies even after they have been proven innocent (Central Park 5), and telling black voters- huge amounts of these being black women- that they were living in poverty, had bad schools, no jobs and had youth that was 58% unemployed (facts, who needs them?).
He has been violent towards Native women, calling Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas for her Cherokee ancestors, and saying that some tribes had a “record of criminal activity [that] is well documented”.
He has been violent towards disabled women, mocking disabled people, and asking terminally ill folks to “hold on until November” and vote for him.
He has been slow to denounce the leaders of the KKK and white supremacy groups who support him.
All of these communities are composed, in large, by women. He has been violent towards women all along. We just haven’t been considered women. You don’t see us.
I am troubled by this perception of the lesser of two evils, for a lot of reasons, but the main one is this: Trump is only one of the heads of this particular hydra. There are still large numbers of people voting for him- his retweets and likes on Twitter and Facebook number in the thousands, his followers, in the millions. The only conversations I see are pushing just until November, like somehow, a Hillary vote will just be better, ignoring the fact that 1)The Clintons were fine with Trump, until he tried to crush them for getting in his way and 2) these millions of Trump supporters will go home and be angry, and will go back to jobs where they serve black and brown and Asian and Native and disabled folks and Muslims. The big picture here is that this problem goes past November, and you need to fix it. White Americans know very little about fixing shit among themselves.
They can fix it when it comes to taking things away from other people, like land, or autonomy or personhood because they can’t even see things in context (i.e. Trump has been violent towards women since he started his candidacy, but somehow Mexican and woman don’t go together to a large contingency of folks, etc.), but what happens when it creeps up on them? This is a white man who cares for no other white folks, except a very few number. He has made this clear. That is the outrage. That his priority is not on whiteness, but rather on the Billy Bush´s of the world. The Nancy O’Dell’s felt themselves included, until he declared their body his plaything, and this disrespect for a significant portion whiteness suddenly was crossing a line.
This is new territory- whiteness destroying itself. Centuries of oppression and violence have made resilience an almost genetic thing for our communities. I see the corruption of my country and the growing pains in the complicated histories of my people and find hope: We have over come this. We have got this.
But you, white U.S. voters- I don’t know that you do. Because while one tiny handed man treats genitals like coffee cups, you think this all ends in November. This is a castle to be taken apart, brick by brick. It’s not just Trump, afterall, most people have not been seeing women where they have been all along.
Pride may come before the fall- but blindness is right behind it.