There’s been a lot of talk about “civility” lately, which was triggered by the owner of a restaurant asking a woman who is known worldwide for lying on the behalf of a white-supremacist administration headed by a man who is trying to, and succeeding in, turning America into a dictatorship.
So, if the story about Sarah Huckabee Sanders being refused service at the Red Hen in Virginia has you more worried about Sanders getting her feelings hurt than about the fact that the government Sanders works for is putting babies in cages, then you don’t deserve civility. In other words, fuck you.
Now, I know that some people will read my “fuck you” as “sinking to their level,” but fuck that. Americans have normalized this descent into fascism from day one, and I’m not having it.
And when I say “Americans,” I’m talking about white people, primarily cisgender heterosexual men. And, wouldn’t you know it, this particular demographic happens to also be the one that is either: 1) OK with Trump and that they are not worried or 2) Tells the rest of us that we need to fight fascism with civility.
That is not how it works, folks. Being nice doesn’t save lives. It doesn’t change hearts and minds. And it sure as hell isn’t going to save our democracy.
According to an interview with the restaurant owner in the Washington Post, some of the employees at the Red Hen were gay. I’ve heard the argument that throwing Sanders out of a restaurant was a missed opportunity for gays to show Sanders, and the world I guess, how they “are capable and people worthy of respect.”
Um, no. It is not the job of the oppressed to prove their humanity to the oppressors.
Racists aren’t racist just because they haven’t encountered enough nice black and brown people. Homophobes don’t hate gays because they just haven’t had the right one wait on them in a restaurant. Misogynists don’t hate women just because they haven’t met the right one yet.
This stuff comes from deeply rooted hate and fear. Ain’t no amount of nice gonna cure that.
I’ve heard white people saying that Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her father Mike Huckabee used to be good Christian people with values and whatever happened to them?
Not surprisingly, the people I’ve heard say this are straight white guys. Of course they can look back on Mike Huckabee’s long career in the public eye and see a nice guy who plays bass guitar and tells corny jokes but who maybe is a little too conservative for their tastes.
As a woman married to a woman, I have no fond memories of Mike Huckabee. His entire career, he has sought to deny me the right to be married and the right to make the most basic decisions about my reproductive health. Now he’s posting openly racist stuff on Twitter in defense of Trump’s take-your-baby-at-the-border policy and people are surprised? It’s all part of the same package, folks.
So, yeah, I don’t owe him or his daughter any kindness. They have shown none to the most vulnerable populations in this country. They have used their power to perpetuate hate.
So yeah, fuck them.
Of course, incivility is not the answer. We can’t “go-fuck-yourselves” out of this mess. Yes, we must keep speaking out against the hate and evil we are seeing. We must never stop that. But words only go so far.
Two of the most powerful words are “I voted.” The people leading our country are evil. They have no moral compass. And, yes, there are valid complaints to make about the Democrats putting them in cages. Let’s make this blue wave happen. And then hold them Democrats fucking accountable like our lives depend on it, because they do.
D’Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer and comedian living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.