Thursday, February 9, 2017

We really don’t agree on anything; so where do we as a society go now?

I do some work these days for a newspaper over in Indiana and encountered a sight this week that it seems a significant number of people in our society would consider to be downright subversive.
Gary, Ind., has an 84 percent black population, so this sight really shouldn't be surprising. Photograph by Gregory Tejeda
For in Gary, Ind., their Common Council has decorated their council chambers with banners in kente cloth patterns, along with a sign paying tribute to Black History Month – with pictures of Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks and none other than Barack Obama himself.

PERSONALLY, I’D SAY it’s not much of a tribute (you should see the way they garishly decorated the chamber back during the Christmas holiday). It’s not something that anybody with sense would get worked up over.

Yet then again, sense isn’t something that prevails these days – where partisan political rants and rhetoric have been risen to a new level in this Age of Trump!

It is why I took particular notice of a poll done by the Morning Consult group for the D.C.-based publication Politico – whose point was to show that the people who voted for Trump are satisfied with the raging loon the rest of America sees and is embarrassed by.

Specifically, people were asked about the concept of February being Black History Month (or African-American History Month, or whatever other label you choose to use).

IT SEEMS THAT 39 percent of people who voted for Trump to be president think the government does too much to acknowledge the concept of recognizing that black people have made significant accomplishments to our society.

Only 10 percent of Trump backers think there is too little done.

For what it’s worth, those figures compare to 24 percent of people at large who think too much is being done.
TRUMP: Mr. 43 percent?

Then again, the same poll shows that 90 percent of people who voted for Trump are pleased with his government behavior thus far, with only 5 percent feeling any voter’s remorse for the way they cast their ballot.

THIS COMES AT the same time when Trump’s approval rating amongst the general public is dropping significantly (46 percent, according to this particular poll, while the Gallup Organization had Trump on Wednesday gave him a 43 percent approval rating).

Not that any of this ought to be a surprise – the kind of people who voted for Trump back in November did so because they wanted someone who would pay exclusive attention to themselves and ignore the segments of our society who aren’t like them. Except when coming up with policies meant to hold those segments in check!

So the idea that a large share of people would have hang-ups about some ceremonial measures (which often wind up trivializing black people more than anything else) ought not to be surprising. Since their ideals of society often include the notion that black people just don’t exist in their neighborhoods.

It’s the same attitude that allowed presidential spokesman Kevin Spicer to say with a straight face that the reason no Latinos were part of Trump’s presidential cabinet was because Trump only wanted the “best and brightest” of people.

IN THAT LIGHT, perhaps it is significant that first daughter Ivanka it seems used her influence to get her father to downplay the potential hostility towards gay people that the ideologues wanted Trump to sign. Of course, it really is Trump doing what the true majority of our society sees as the incredibly obvious.

It is all evidence of the divisions we face now in our society, and ones that don’t have easy answers (because there are those who merely want the have-nots to accept their “negative” position and shut up about it). It is why it is understandable that the same Morning Consult poll says 56 percent of people identifying as Democrats want obstructionism to Trump to prevail, while 34 percent want to work with him on policies – hoping perhaps to reduce their hostility.

The only problem is that, as seen during the Obama presidency, many of those ideologues have no interest in working with anyone else. It could be a majority of Dems are merely facing political reality.

And as for that “Black History Month” decorated council chambers in Gary? Perhaps it is a sight that the ideologues amongst us can choke on in having to further acknowledge not everybody agrees with their nonsense.


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