45 to 0

Dear President Trump,

Has covid-19 got you spooked? Seems so. You’ve been tossing out baseless, rosy hunches all morning (who in their right mind would trust a hunch of yours?), including that the fatality rate is only 1%. You’re also pushing the name “covid-flu” and telling people to go ahead and go to work as usual, which patently conflicts what many local public health officials are advising. I’ve learned of these bullshit statements from a combination of WP reporting and Laura’s recounting of Twitter content since I’m not someone who would ever catch you live on Fox News.

Do you not see that you’re ratcheting up the risk for your base? They almost certainly want to be reassured by their Commander in Chief and many of them still trust you, so this is a recipe for disaster for you all. As far as I can tell, most the rest of us are taking this thing seriously and following the advice of our public health officials, which, while offering no guarantee of personal safety, will likely help us individually quite a lot and will limit the risk to those around us. You, on the other hand, seem hell bent on wringing whatever you can out of the economy by falsely pacifying people desperate for reassurance in order to keep your political (power grab) aspirations on track. This, of course, directly endangers your supporters and it also means the virus is going to be harder to contain overall. Is the gamble that the shit won’t hit your fans until after November? That’s a long ways off, dude – you might want to rethink your strategy.

I want to come back to something I said in yesterday’s letter. I realized this morning that it probably seems like I was ignoring President Obama when I said: “Maybe for most Americans it offered some diversion from the same-old, same-old white men on the stage to have an openly gay man, a few people of color, including some women, and some white women up there, but did any of these folks ever have more than impossibly long odds ascribed to them?”

To be honest, I wasn’t actually ignoring him, it was way worse – I forgot about him. I feel badly that this is the case, but knowing and trusting myself and knowing that it wasn’t out of any disrespect for him or because I am not supportive of people of color, I decided not to take myself to task and instead to step back and consider the bigger picture factors that might have led to this oversight.

First, he is still a he and we’ve now had 45 of you all to 0 women. Second, as a Black man he represents just 2.2% of the presidents we’ve ever had, all the rest of you all have been white men so considering the numbers, we really are in a same old, same old white man situation. Third, the backlash against him and his presidency has been so profound and your efforts to all but erase his legacy so frenzied, that I was too focused on you, you, you and whichever of the elderly white male Democrat wins the nomination to give him his due. This is the part I feel badly about.

However, to borrow Stacey Abram’s goal post analogy, President Barack Obama moved the goal post out miles from where they were and you all are not going to erase that progress even if you do manage to temporarily distract and exhaust many of us with your evil shit. We have light years to go before we achieve parity for women and people of color in our society so yes, even though I could see it coming from a long, long ways away, I am bereft that Elizabeth Warren is out of the race and won’t be facing you in November. Had she been able to get that far (and then win), it would have shaved one of those light years off the journey.

I’ve been on the verge of tears off and on all day. I’ve also been on the verge of primal scream off and on all day. And still, I do believe that Senator Elizabeth Warren also moved the goal post out miles and I’m going to follow her lead and persist in this fight against corruption and against the white patriarchy because it is a righteous fight and it is a fight we can and will win. So watch the f*ck out – because as Lindy West said – “the witches are coming.”

May we be safe to keen and gnash as long as we need to.
May we (eventually) be willing to channel our grief and anger constructively.
May we take care of ourselves and of one another in the face of so much loss and stress.
May we find peace in whatever ways we can.

Tracy Simpson

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