It’s always the old racist white men.
One of my besties, who is black, took her son to the DMV recently. She’s a single mom, and her phone rang: her son’s preschool calling about an evaluation she really needed to get going, and she had to take the call. A sweet guy behind her played some kind of hide and seek with her son, barely five, while she talked. Suddenly, she heard a nasty voice yelling, “Hey kid, SHUT UP!” Of course: old white man. Luckily a guy sitting nearby gave him what for on behalf of my friend and her innocent preschooler, but the damage was done.
Her son crawled in her lap, scared and near tears. He’s still upset about it two weeks later. All because some old white guy felt entitled to shout at a child of color in the DMV.
It’s time old entitled white men in America learned their place. And by “learned their place,” I mean “learn they’re no better than the rest of us, and subject to the same rules of polite society.” This is no longer a country for entitled, asshole old men who think the world owes them something by virtue of their age and skin color.
Women, people of color, those who are differently abled, the LBGTQ community are joining together to revoke your special privilege. It’s intersectionality at its finest, that word you love to hate because it’s so threatening to your position of power.
This doesn’t mean we’re kicking you to the curb. We don’t do that to people. We’re instead demanding equality. And when you demand equality from the people who’ve ruled everything for several hundred years, to them, it looks a lot like a demotion. Fuck it. They can call it what they want. We call it freedom.
Because you are no longer free, old white men of the world, to spout your racist and anti-LBGTQ bullshit. You think we have to put up with it because we’re the women, children, people of color, or queer. You believe because you’re grandpa, your evil words get some kind of twisted respect at the Thanksgiving dinner table. You think that this year, like every year, we’ll stare down at our plates while you use racial slurs. No more. Our government is throwing kids in concentration camps in the name of making America Great Again, and you think we’ll take it with a side of mashed potatoes? Those days are over. Our respect for you is finished.
You, old racist white men, no longer have the right to side with Nazis. You see, you once fought Nazis. Tom Brokaw decided to call you The Greatest Generation for that one, and we all got behind it because of the Indiana Jones Principle: It’s always okay to punch a Nazi. Except here in America these days.
You don’t have the right to gripe about keeping Confederate statues up in the first place, because they glorify the slavery the black people labored under, suffered under, and died under for hundreds of years. Then you don’t have the right to bitch about left-wing protestors protesting for the removal of said statutes.
Finally, you don’t have the right to defend the actual Nazis who showed up to intimidate, punch, fight, bruise, maim, and mow them down. You don’t have the right to side with the President when, like USA Today says, he suggests a “moral equivalency between fighting for racial equality and championing white supremacy.” Sit down. Shut up. Your time is over.
You don’t have the right to say she was asking for it.
You don’t have the right to say they need to go back to Mexico.
You don’t have the right to say being gay is a lifestyle choice.
You don’t have the right to the n-word and racial slurs. To the coded language of “ghetto,” of “welfare queen,” of “urban,” or “black-on-black crime.” You don’t get to tell us not to take a knee.
You don’t have the right to tell us how to respect a flag you’ve trampled on.
You don’t have the right to slander our transgender brothers and sisters.
You don’t have the right to say that he was too young to be held accountable for his choices, and anyway, he was drunk at the time.
You don’t have the right to melt away into the fabric of your good old boys network. In fact, you don’t have the right to your good old boys network at all.
And you don’t have the right to stand up in front of the US Senate, scream, throw a temper tantrum, say you don’t remember, say you don’t recall, hurl invectives, cry, and generally act like a pissed off toddler and expect to get elected to the Supreme Court. And when you do, you don’t have the right to expect anyone but other old white men to support you.
Because we are coming for you, old racist white men.
Remember this: you’re old. Your time is fading. You racist grandfathers, you angry old men, you graybeards screaming about back in my day: you’re scared. You know your era’s ending. You know we’re coming with our deviant haircuts and our gay marriage and our insectionality. You know we’re coming with our pitchforks and our torches to defend the weak you have trampled on, the poor you take advantage of, the environment you fucked up.
Because, in the end, as Elisa Chavez says in her poem Revenge: the women who fight, the marginalized brown people, the hated LBGTQ, the forgotten American Indian, the maligned Muslim, and the unwanted immigrant: we have always been what makes America great.
Sit down, old entitled white men. It’s our turn now.