On Tuesday, a minority of American voters (see: popular vote) elected Donald Trump as our next president. “Surprise” doesn’t adequately describe the mood of the nation.
When people ask me how I’m doing, I tell them that, obviously, I’m shocked by the outcome, but that personally I feel OK. But that’s because, as a good-looking straight, white guy, I was never a target during this campaign. Sure, individually, we white dudes go through tough times like anyone, but as a whole, we’re not an oppressed group.
In the last two days, people (some acting under the Trump banner) have intimidated and/or assaulted members of the Muslim, African-American, LGBTQ and Latino communities, for no other reason than to unleash some Neanderthal-level aggression on groups they clearly don’t know much about. It’s unclear what the scale of this trend is, but it is undoubtedly happening.
Immediately jumping back into the rhythm of writing comedy as usual felt wrong this week.
That’s what really worries me. When friends, family, coworkers and, hell, complete strangers are in danger of being assaulted or worse because people feel Donald Trump’s win has authorized the hate in their heart ― that’s fucking scary.
So immediately jumping back into the rhythm of writing comedy as usual felt wrong this week.
Some might be quick to point out, “Andy, what comedy?” Ahhhh, you! … Please don’t interrupt.
In all seriousness, adding levity to a situation that is a direct cause of this intense and sickening discrimination would be wrong.
Making a “funny” Trump inauguration playlist would be completely tone-deaf. His hair, hands and tan are joke wells that dried up a long time ago ― and weren’t that funny to begin with ― but now they seem especially empty. “OMG, in what outlandish, gaudy ways will he redecorate the White House? LOL!”
As someone in the media, I participated in the hair jokes and made fun of his tiny hands. Then I would hit “publish” and walk around the newsroom high-fiving people with my giant hands, yelling, “Yeah, we did it, guys!”
But this is different.
This is not one of those be-all-end-all, mic-drop “hot takes.” Quite frankly, I don’t know exactly what my take is just yet. And judging from the confusion of Facebook posts out there, I’m guessing you don’t have it totally figured it out either.
And that’s OK. Opinions are messy. But just like our views on social equality, the more information we have, the stronger and more evolved they become.
Anyway, thanks for listening to me. We’ll start again next week and try to laugh at … I don’t know, something. It can even be me. Or … yeah, it’ll probably be me.
Until then, stay safe and, most importantly, look out for each other.
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