The Great and Grand Dismantling

Humans line up to watch large demolitions

Loudspeakers play Battle Hymn of the Republic

Fireworks go off when the explosives are detonated

Structures fall

People cheer

Those far away from the rubble

Safe from the dust cloud

Claim progress

Something new and better will come

No one sticks around to cheer on the poor bastards

with the push brooms

who tend to the clearing

No one watches as the remnants of lives are trucked away

No one looks back to the void to wonder what will come

Of us

Different Grandpa. Same Family.

Recounts. Treason. Faithless electors. Appeals to conscience. Berating. Mudslinging. Anything is better than accepting that your America is as responsible for that guy as theirs. You barred the front door, but your spouse opened the back door, let him in, and told you to leave if you didn’t like it. Go outside with all those other people. No matter how he misbehaves, how out of step with your values he may be, he’s staying.

For it to remain your house, or for you to remain in the house, you gotta deal with him, so you are trying to push him out through the same back door. The answer—the way to get him out—lies in opening the front door, that same door of which you already hold the key, and ask folks different from him—AND YOU—to come in. Instead, y’all look for tricks. Y’all openly speculate about the extent of his evil and hope it trips him up. You pray he’ll be somehow bound by his own spell. Y’all ask the ghosts of dead men to help you, yet those dead men with the powdered wigs who scrawled signatures on all that parchment preserved behind annealed glass—those who set all this up for you back in the day—gave you all the problems you have now. They just didn’t see it at the time. Hindsight. Insight. Foresight.

So many of us told you to get y’alls man. Do sum’n with him. He was just on your team pre-2008. He was just taking photos at his wedding with your best and brightest in 2005. Just got off the golf course with him when he was invalidating the BROTUS as an hourly activity. Stood there with him at the back-nine when he tweeted demands for birth certificates before teeing off. He couldn’t have changed his stripes so quickly. He’s too old for that. His phone number is still the same.

Now he’s someone no one recognizes?

Claiming him is the path to change. Seeing yourselves in him may now protect you from the outcome of your nightmare. You think those folks who let him in the backdoor are your opponents. Nah. They’re just your opposites. The man you fear is your old, tone deaf, recalcitrant grandpa on your spouse’s side. Some of the family can’t stand him. Some of the family love him. Same family. And family always matters. That’s why he’s in the big chair ruining everything for you. He belongs there.

Why else is he sitting there?

It isn’t enough to point out what’s right. You gotta walk away from what’s wrong. When you remain rooted in what’s wrong while pointing at the other side and shouting what’s right, you produce your nightmare. Now’s the time to learn from this.

Don’t resist the truth, which is obvious to those of us in the blacker America: what you deny, you receive. It’s how our innocent wind up just as dead as our guilty. It’s why our dinner tables seat the exceptional alongside the broken. On our streets live the affluent next door to the desperate. We point one finger, we feel the three stabbing back at us, so we try not to point at all because it fuckin’ hurts. We try not to condemn one other, because, if nowhere else, and at no time else, it’ll be really awkward at the graduation. The courthouse. The wedding. The mortuary. Better to just shrug it off. Better to just walk away. From what’s wrong. Hope the folks who remain find inspiration to do the same. Be there to help bury them when they didn’t. Couldn’t. We try again. We try harder. We try with our bodies. With our minds and souls. And we don’t point at those of our kind who live unlike us and say ‘those people.’

Not like y’all.

See, we of the black understand how what you embrace and accept, you own, and what you own falls under your control. That’s why our condition isn’t one thousand times worse. So embrace Trump. Accept him, for he is yours, no matter what you call yourselves. What made you also made him, no matter how you think of yourselves. And binding yourselves to the marginalized may give you moral authority for a time, but only amongst your own. You only sell safety pins to each other. You wear them only for each other because you don’t want to think of yourself as that. You don’t want to think of yourselves as related to him. You want everyone to know that your rich and mean ol’ grandpa isn’t from your side of the family. I feel that.

But dawg, it’s still your family.

A better way would be to invite us to enter the front door. Give your darker and more resilient cousins the floor. That’ll get him out your house. Give us the big chair for a while. Lord knows we’re worthy. Listen as we speak on it. Heed what you hear. Come to terms with yourselves and you may be able to deal with your grandpa. But you gotta come to terms with yourselves. Is that a tall order? Maybe.

It ain’t as tall as getting rid of your grandpa. Your spouse really wants him in the house.