On the New York Times opinion page, a pundit explains that her anti-white rage at the receptionist at the vet is Trump’s fault:
My Piece of the American Id
Does equality in the age of Trump mean I can be irrationally angry, too?
By Erin Aubry Kaplan
Contributing Opinion Writer
Erin Aubry Kaplan, a contributing opinion writer, teaches writing at Antioch University, Los Angeles, and is the author of “Black Talk, Blue Thoughts, and Walking the Color Line” and “I Heart Obama.”
She was the Los Angeles Times’ long-time black woman columnist.
Jan. 24, 2020, 8:00 p.m. ET
The president’s freewheeling racism, emanating year after year from the top of the American political order, has made me more hostile toward white folks and whiteness than I’ve ever been in my life. Despite the fact that I’ve written provocatively (so I’m told) about racial matters for years, this hostility is new — and I’m increasingly unafraid to express it.
Like all people of color, I’ve been on the receiving end of racial microaggressions for as long as I can remember, but being the perpetrator of this sort of macroaggression is a new and alarming phenomenon. It’s unsettling mostly because it is addictive, like a drug that unlocks a kind of emotional freedom I’ve never been allowed to explore before.
A couple of weeks ago, my dog woke up with a nasty ear infection, and I found myself at the reception desk of a specialty vet practice’s emergency room, filling out forms to check her in. As usual, I was the only black person there. As I completed the forms, the receptionist — a young white woman — turned to me and said, pointing a finger, “Go sit down.” Her voice was flat, with none of the cheer or empathy she’d just shown a white pet owner.
Say what? Instantly, I was indignant. “I’m sorry? Sit down?”
She didn’t respond, which made me more indignant — oh, now she was ignoring me? “Why should I sit down? Am I bothering you? Is there a problem?” My voice was louder than it needed to be, and scornful. I wasn’t having it. I was not going to sit down.
Over the top? Maybe. But the new, alarming truth is that I didn’t care. At all.
I suppose this was inevitable in the age of Donald Trump.
… I feel — again — that Malcolm X was right, black people are wasting their time trying to win over white people when they so clearly have no interest in being won over.
The fact that our fates are intertwined — something even Malcolm eventually realized — makes me not hopeful, as it once did, but angrier. I feel stuck in a terrible, lopsided marriage. The least I should be able to do in this dysfunctional relationship is to vent my anger, not on paper or newsprint, but in the real world, in real time. …
But she didn’t accept my apology. She looked away from me with a kind of wince, as if my contrition pained her. Or it made her angry. In any case, she didn’t respond, just as she hadn’t responded to my salvo a half-hour earlier. I don’t know if it was because I’d been a jerk, or because I’m black, or because I was more of a jerk in her eyes for being black. I walked off deeply unsatisfied for not having an answer. I’d had my say — twice — and things were no clearer. They were certainly no more equal.
The future of public discourse is just women taking things personally.