You know when you’ve said something like that, that’s it! It’s out in the world now, it’s part of your life, ain’t it? It’s with you, that’s it: you’ve said that thing. Humiliating, I’ve got to live with that knowledge. It’s not like I think about it all the time, I weren’t thinking about it when I was walking about earlier, or just now, or anything, but it’s sorta with me. And, mostly there is some part of me, some malevolent, cruel thing within me that won’t let me forget that. Some dark sprite of malevolence won’t never let me be free. Normally it strikes right when I am about to get to sleep- when I am all rested and peaceful. This cruel thing within me gets off on telling me stuff I’ve done that makes me look bad. – Russell Brand
That quote is the reason why I can claim with absolute certainty that Russell Brand is my soul mate. He gets me.
Donald Trump. Really, there isn’t much point in reading this post if you are a supporter of Trump. Or if you deny things like facts.
A Canadian friend of mine, a black dude who is making a name for himself in sports (let’s call him Sporty Spice) shared on Facebook this video of Trump’s latest Raleigh, NC rally, where 2 black Vloggers made a ludicrous speech supporting Trump. Sporty Spice wrote that these girls were modern day Uncle Toms: an opinion you may, or may not disagree with. Fine. I was going to move on with my life until my fingers decided to click on the comments: mistake #1. Reading those comments: mistake #2.
Bozo: Ok. Did you know? Fact: The Republican Party was founded primarily to oppose slavery, and Republicans eventually abolished slavery. The Democratic Party fought them and tried to maintain and expand slavery. The 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, passed in 1865 with 100% Republican support but only 23% Democrat support in Congress.
You know when you are drunk, and you think somethings gonna be a great idea, and of course it turns out to be a terrible idea? This was exactly like that except that I wasn’t drunk. Not being drunk: mistake #3.
Vanilla: Yes, and Lincoln was a Republican. So? Both parties have significantly changed platforms since then. The history of the party has nothing to do with Trump and his racist platform. Just because Republicans back in the day had some pretty solid ideas has NO correlation to the merit of the current candidates.
Some wise part of me tried to get me to move on with my life. Dignity – always worth striving for. The other part of me knew that a trainwreck was about to unfold, and forced me to stay glued to my phone, waiting for the inevitable response from Bozo. Willingly engaging with an unworthy opponent: mistake #4.
Bozo: Fact: in the 1950s, President Eisenhower, a Republican, integrated the US military and promoted civil rights for minorities. Eisenhower pushed through the Civil Rights Act of 1957. One of Eisenhower’s primary political opponents on civil rights prior to 1957 was non other than Lyndon Johnson, then the Democratic Senate Majority Leader. LBJ had voted the straight segregationist line until he changed his position and supported the 1957 Act.
Vanilla: Still nothing to do with Trump and his platform.
Bozo: Fact: Contrary to popular misconception, the parties never “switched” on racism. The Democrats just switched from overt racism to a subversive strategy of getting blacks as depending as possible on government to secure their votes. At the same time, they began a cynical smear campaign to label anyone who opposes their devious strategy as greedy racists.
Vanilla: STILL nothing to do with Trump and his platform.
At this point, I almost was enjoying myself. Thinking I was being clever when engaging in stupid non-debate: mistake #5. Bozo then shared this link: Herschel Walker says Donald Trump ‘is not a racist!’. The link includes a total of 101 words, including 34 used to explain who Herschel Walker is (a former football star who played for a team formerly owned by Trump) + 1 tweet from Walker: “I have personally known @realDonaldTrump for over 30 years and can confirm he is not a racist!!”. Compelling evidence right there. Thinking that such a thing as persuasive evidence would be relevant in this Fbk disaster: mistake #6.
Vanilla: Why don’t you define racism to make sure any discussion is not at cross purposes.
Pretending this interaction was a discussion: mistake #7. Pretending it wasn’t already at cross purposes: mistake #8.
Vanilla: Also, I don’t particularly find ONE tweet by an athlete to be convincing evidence. Not enough to outweigh the statements made by Trump itself.
Bozo: lol, on Sporty Spice’s Fbk page no less. So all he’s posting is, in your words, “I don’t particularly find ONE tweet by an athlete to be convincing evidence.”
I’ll be honest. I LOST MY SHIT when I read that. Mistake #9. I could NOT believe he would try pit Sporty Spice against me, for the sake of scoring a few points in the STUPIDEST CONVERSATION EVER. I could NOT believe that he actually thought he was outsmarting me – I was insulted. Then I felt shame, because it was my fault Bozo thought he even had a chance at outsmarting me: I had engaged this stupid debate with HIM. ME. I DID THIS. Mistake #10.
Vanilla: Bozo, you make it hard to remain civil and not sink to your level of willful misunderstanding.
Barring the obvious fact that Sporty Spice actually supports his opinions and world views with videos/articles/other – some of which I deem legit sources, some of which I find subpar – vs a tweet, which by definition is 140 characters long and therefore typically has less content, the main difference between Sporty Spice’s page and that ONE tweet you provided to prove Trump ain’t a racist is that Sporty Spice isn’t asking ppl to simply trust his word, he is attempting to bring supporting evidence to the discussion.
Nice try though.
Re-reading that comment, it doesn’t even make much sense. Responding to a passive aggressive troll on Facebook while enraged: mistake #11.
Bozo: Nice try. In Québec, the verb “to skate” can mean avoiding questions, to find excuses and use diversion tactics. Most politicians know how to skate very well, but that doesn’t mean that they are any good on an ice rink.
That one had me genuinely confused. Was he trying to describe his own conversation tactics? Spending time trying to figure out Bozo’s thought process or lack thereof: mistake #12.
Vanilla: You sure showed me.
Bozo: You kinda made it easy.
Bozo: Listen, I’m sure you’re a nice person and even fun to hang around with. But here we’ll never get anywhere. I’m going to bow out. Cheers, no hard feelings.
WHADDYA MEAN YOU WILL BOW OUT?! HOW DID YOU END UP ON THE MORAL HIGH GROUND WITH DIGNITY?!?!?! Losing a Fbk meltdown to a twerp: mistake #13.
Ladies and gents, I have to live with the knowledge that I dedicated 45 minutes of MY LIFE to this. Sober. Willingly. It’s out there. The Universe knows that this was part of my life-story.
Cue: Russell Brand’s monologue.
As a parting gift, I leave y’all with a step-by-step guide on how to avoid such scenarios. The glorious Only Bad Chi’s “How to Talk To Republicans“. Read it, chuckle, and then study it attentively. May you avoid repeating the same mistakes I did.