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We're Still Going To Call You A Racist Piece Of Shit If You Are A Racist Piece Of Shit, Hooray!

2016 Presidential Election

I have not been able to watch it yet (self care!), but Tomi Lahren -- darling of the alt-right -- has released a new video declaring that no one can say that Trump voters are "racists, the Islamophobes, the sexists, the homophobes, the bigots, the deplorable" etc. anymore, because they are WINNERS. So we have to call them WINNERS.


That is not, actually, how things work. For probably most of this country's history the "winners" have been racists, sexists and homophobes. Being "winners" did not absolve them of that then, and it doesn't absolve them of that now. If they hadn't ever been "winners," we would never have had to fight them in the first place. Duh.

And it occurred to me that one of the things that Trump supporters have said they want most fervently, most desperately, is something they are absolutely not going to get so long as we refuse to give it to them. He promised them something that he will never be able to deliver on without our consent -- and that is the ability to say and do racist, homophobic, bigoted, sexist, deplorable things without fear of being judged.

Donald Trump being elected doesn't mean Tomi Lahren isn't an asshole. It doesn't mean we have to accept anything he or his supporters dole out, simply because they "won." It doesn't mean we stop standing up for marginalized people. It doesn't mean you can go spray paint a swastika on someone's house, that you can attack Muslim women in hijabs, that you can freely scream homophobic or racial slurs out of your car and expect to have people call you America's Sweetheart. We will come for you.

The uptick in these sorts of activities in the past few days is heartbreaking and frightening, but unfortunately not surprising. Of course they're going to give it a go. That doesn't mean we let them. Yes, Donald Trump has "empowered" these people -- but I think they're in for a rude awakening when they discover that who the president is doesn't really count for much in their daily lives where they have to interact with people who are not Donald Trump.

Emma Goldman once said "If voting changed anything, it would be illegal." And that phrase -- though I'm not sure how much I agree with it -- is giving me some comfort right now. Because now we need to look to things we can do outside of filling out a ballot -- for the next two years, at least -- to keep changing the world in a good way, and to not allow them to change it in a bad way. To ensure safety for women and POC and LGBTQ citizens in our own communities, to take our fight for fair wages out of the halls of government and back to union halls, to get bad police officers off of our streets, to boycott and strike, to volunteer and donate and keep speaking up.

I keep looking at this list of people who died during the labor movement. I keep thinking of women who fought for and won the vote when men had all the power in government, black people who fought for civil rights and won when white people had all the power in government, LBBTQ people who won when straight people had all the power in government, and I think we will continue to fight and win with these assholes having all the power in government. We need to stop noting that we or other people "lived" through these times, because a lot of people didn't -- but we should remember that people fought through them and were still able to make progress without having anyone in power backing them. We can still fight -- and, sometimes, we can still win.

I'm a white lady. My people are responsible for Donald Trump being elected. That means I need to fight 10 times as hard so that people who are being even more legitimately hurt by this administration than I am don't have to. I need to make this up to them. We all do. And as soon as I'm done sobbing in bed and watching Harry Potter movies for a few days and drowning my sorrows in half-eaten blueberry muffins and box wine, and thinking of all the ways a Trump presidency is going to screw the everloving fuck out of the people who voted for him, that is what I will do.

We don't need the government to change things, and we never have. We don't need the president to agree with us in order to call a bigot a bigot. Every battle fought in the interest of equality and fairness has been fought without the approval or interest of the government and those in charge. Sure, it's easier with that seal of approval -- and yes, a lot of the hurt and pain we are feeling right now is made so much worse because we started to think we were close to not having to fight quite as hard -- but they need that more than we do. They need societal approval more than we do, because they are weak.

Take this into consideration -- the absolute worst thing conservatives have ever had to go through, as a movement, was the last eight years of Barack Obama being president. Behold, how rattled they were after merely a few years of having to deal with the abject trauma of sometimes being told they were racist or sexist on Facebook! How it hurt them to have to see people say “Black Lives Matter!” How it broke their little hearts to see women as Ghostbusters! The poor dears! They could barely stand it.

All of this, to them, was so positively unbearable that they completely fell the fuck apart. Their very first test of being slightly uncomfortable, and they decided to burn it all down. They went in for the Alex Jones shit, they wore tricorner hats and cried about how they wanted their country back. Electing Trump was not a show of their collective strength but of their collective weakness in the face of adversity. We don't fall apart, they do.

They need societal and governmental validation of their belief systems in a way we never have, and that is what makes us strong enough to still take them down without the government having our backs. They lost their minds, we're not going to do the same. We're going to keep working, keep being funny -- because it's what keeps us sane enough to do the work that needs to get done, keep taking care of each other as needed, and we're going to take these people on.

[Raw Story]

Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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Ever since Ruth Bader Ginsburg successfully underwent surgery for lung cancer, conservative sites and message boards have been trafficking in a ridiculous theory that she is actually dead and that there is some kind of Weekend at Bernie's-esque conspiracy to pretend she is still alive.

Now, one would think that her recent public appearance at a concert held in her honor would have put this to rest. Alas, it did not. Rather, the "researchers" (as they hilariously call themselves) determined that the concert was actually her funeral.

No. Really. That was a thing.

I admit that I gave this a lot more thought than I should have. Like, how did they think this would go? How long did they imagine this would go on for? Why would they risk having a full on funeral concert, open to the press? Wouldn't they just have not bothered to have a funeral at all? And what did these people think was going to happen when it was announced that she died for real? Or did they think that we were going to pretend that she is immortal and thus never announce her death? It's so confusing!

Being very up to date on the "RBG is secretly dead!" nonsense, I was very curious about which way the "anons" would go with this when they announced her return to work on Friday. They did not disappoint!

Keep reading... Show less
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Yesterday afternoon, 45-year-old Gary Martin of Aurora, Illinois was let go from his job at the Henry Pratt Company, a factory that manufactures water valves. In response, he took out a pistol with a laser scope and began shooting at random. He killed five people and injured six others who were just trying to make it through the day at the water valve factory, and then the police killed him.

His mother said he was "stressed out." He "seemed fine" according to the clerk at the Circle K where he bought his cigars that morning. His neighbor thought he was a nice guy. Some people were surprised, others were not.

This kind of thing used to be shocking, but it's a story we're used to now. It gets repeated at least once a month. It's just what happens now, and we can't do anything about it because we can't do anything about gun control. This is, the Right has decided, just the price we all have to pay so they can stockpile guns for funsies, and take sexy pictures of guns shoved in their pants. This is the blood that waters their special tree of liberty.

It's fucking exhausting. And stupid. We shouldn't have to live this way. No one should have to live this way. But we do. Why? Because some day some yahoos might want to overthrow the government, which is (of course) a completely legal thing to do, and their "right" to do that must be protected. So it's literally just never, ever going to stop.

Gary Martin, like most other mass shooters, also had a history of violence against women. In 1994, in Mississippi, he was convicted for stabbing one. He should not have been able to get a gun after that. I would like to know how and why he was able to get that pistol with the laser scope that he killed five people with yesterday afternoon. Maybe someone gave it to him. Maybe he bought it somehow. Maybe someone forgot to do a background check. Maybe he bought it from someone who didn't have to do a background check.

I am so goddamned tired of writing this article. I am out of things to say.

UPDATE:

Martin apparently bought the gun after successfully applying for an Illinois state Firearms ID. That license was revoked after he applied for a concealed carry license and was rejected due to his prior felony conviction in Mississippi, but no one bothered to see if he still had a gun.

Via USA Today:

"During the fingerprinting and background process it was discovered that he had a felony conviction for aggravated assault out of Mississippi," [Police Chief Kristen] Ziman said. "It should be noted that this conviction would not have shown up on a criminal background check conducted for an FOID card."

That seems like it might be a problem, no?

It has also since been revealed that Martin had a domestic battery arrest in 2008 in Aurora.

[Sun-Times]

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