Ta-Nehisi Coates has published a new article at The Atlantic called “Donald Trump Is The First White President“, and everyone needs to read it now. Right now. And then everyone needs to share it on their social media, their blogs, everything. It is incredibly powerful and it is incredibly important.
Not Real America
It pisses me off when I hear people talking about New York City as if it’s not part of Real America. Hell, lots of people actually use the name as shorthand for “Not Real America”: “Maybe they do things that way in New York City, but not around here.”
Here’s the thing: as of 2015, New York City had a population of 8,550,405 people. As of 2016, the United States has a population of 323,127,513. Do a quick calculation, and that gives you 2.65% of the total population of the United States. In just that one city. Nearly three out of every hundred Americans live in New York City, and those Americans are a true cross-section of this country. Every race, creed, color, country of origin, gender and sexuality that calls America home lives in this City. We are Real America.
Two Surprise Attacks
I have in mind two surprise attacks: Pearl Harbor and D-Day.
D-Day was just the first step in a larger plan. On D-Day itself, many units had objectives to capture roads, bridges and towns that were instrumental to the overall invasion. By the next day, the beachheads had become supply depots, moving troops, vehicles, fuel and materiel into the breach in Fortress Europe.
Pearl Harbor caused terrible damage (though less than it could have, by purest luck), but it had no plan for follow-up, and in the end it only enraged and mobilized the enemy: awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.
Trump and his cronies wanted their first few weeks in the White House to be D-Day. But when you kick out the only guy who knows anything about actually running a government (however corrupt he might have been), refuse to attend briefings, issue proclamations as if the judicial and legislative branches (or even the affected departments) have no input as to whether or not your will be done, and generally fly by the seat of your Nazi Chief Adviser’s pants, you don’t get D-Day. You get Pearl Harbor.
A little over two weeks ago, I wore this pin to the Women’s March on New York.
It wasn’t just a fancier variation on the iconic safety pin, though it was also that.
When I went to the Women’s March, I was worried there might be trouble: police crackdowns, counter protesters, provocateurs…who knows? So I wore this pin for…luck isn’t the right word. Not nearly strong enough. This pin is the closest thing I’ve ever experienced to magic.
I bought this pin back in college when my then-girlfriend passed out for no reason we could discover while we were walking across one of the lawns. I gave it to her to watch over her in my stead while she was in the hospital being examined. Nothing was found, and she never had the problem again.
Some time later, we loaned the angel to a girl in our dorm whose brother back in Romania had been in a car accident, and all she could do was worry and weep. We gave her the angel and told her that it was good luck. A few days later, she gave it back, no longer worried and weeping. Her brother would be all right.
Some time after that, a girl from our dorm was raped at a frat party. We loaned her the pin, and…she slept a little better. She said it felt like we were watching over her and it kept some of the nightmares away. Sometimes even magic can only do so much.
There have been others. And it always seemed to work. So when I say that pin is magic, I mean that it’s a ward. It’s protection. And if this angel is a guardian angel, as it seems to be, then it seems to watch over women.
It worked again on the day of the March, though of course we were never in actual danger that I know of. There are logical explanations for all of the other good things that happened, too. I’m still going to wear this pin to every future protest I attend. May the angel protect the women around me; their enemy is in power.