Friday, October 14, 2016

We won't be able to simply 'move on' from Frump - we'll have to re-educate our boys & girls - they've been listening

I just watched Michelle Obama's speech at a New Hampshire rally. My reaction? Damn, it's good to feel moral again, to hear decency praised, to know someone has their eye on our children.

As Frump has been uglifying America, I've worried about women's lives being under constant threat of verbal and physical assault. That's always a worry but my fears were situated front and center as Frump ranted and raved. What I appreciate about Michelle Obama's speech is its reminder -- women and girls - girls - are at risk. Michelle Obama reminds me is that girls and boys - boys - are at risk. They are watching us watching Frump as he brags about sexually assaulting women.

I grew up hearing pops of rage from my father and a strange hysteria from my mother. Some of the troubles and defects of my life reflect childhood fear. I'm not complaining. I'm just saying (as they just say).

But I never heard one generic insult hurled at women or men or girls or boys. I don't remember hearing one racial insult. My mother once expressed her worries about the Pope. She was raised by Swedish Lutherans who were die-hard Protestants, nationally trained during their late-1800 childhoods to fear Catholics. And as I write this I realize that my mother's bit of prejudice effected me and was something I had to work through. Mom expressed her prejudice once, maybe twice. That's it. And yet if affected me.

The only country or nationality I heard demeaned in my family household was Poland. "The Poles were worse than the Germans," my parents said, referring to Polish treatment of Jews during WW II. My Christian mother was more virulent on the topic than my father.

Those minor generalized assaults (I'm not talking about the general discord and rage in our household) had an impact on me. That being the case, WHAT is the impact of Donald Frump's horrid and incessant racism and sexism. He's not going to be President but we STILL have to undue his damage to the American psyche.

We won't be able to simply 'move on' when Hillary is in the White House. We will have to address the New Ugliness. Racism and sexism weren't Frump's creation but gave those ugly attitudes a platform, a microphone, a frenzied audience.

We are faced with a huge catch-up of American morality and American decency. The past few years have also highlighted our racism and our dangerous addiction to guns. And they have also made it seem - seem - acceptable to make ugly horrifying comments about women and girls. Boys have been listening. They need to be told Frump was wrong. Girls need to be told Frump is wrong. Start speaking out.

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