Gee: This is beyond politics, this is Donald Trump
President Trump told four congresswomen to go back to their countries. All are women of color. And now crowds at his rallies are chanting “Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!”
Human decency says that’s not OK. Common sense tells us that they are talking about a citizen of the United States, who also happens to be a congresswoman. How are we even here?
I have had difficulty trying to make sense of a tweet from a President of the United States telling four US congresswomen that they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” (three of which were born in the United States, the fourth has lived in the US for 27 years).
On Monday, after President Trump tweeted his remarks, I had to think hard about where I was at in life, the blessings I have been afforded over the last few years. I thought about the legacy I will leave for my boys. There was a moment when I said to myself, “Nope, not going to work this week. As a matter of fact, I don’t know if I can continue doing this.”
How was I going to put a live microphone in front of my face and guarantee to myself, my boys, and others who support me that I would not say something irresponsible and threaten the successes I have worked so hard for?
That’s when my co-host saved me from myself. Mase — which is what I call Aaron Mason — is my reminder of so many people, good people. And yes, I am going to go there — so many white people who don’t like what is going on and have no problem speaking up about it. On Monday, when I struggled to find a way to come to work, Mase was the reason I did.
Imagine going to work and feeling like nobody at your job understands how you feel? Let’s be honest, there aren’t a lot of people of color in “Corporate America” and folks, there are even fewer in corporate media. I was afraid that I would be all worked up about something and nobody would be able to relate on my level.
There are a lot of us black folks who won’t speak up, or say much at all, in corporate America because we don’t want to be seen as a threat. We don’t want to be labeled as “disruptive.” We often say nothing so that we don’t jeopardize being able to provide for our families.
On Monday, I envied those of you who have jobs where you don’t have to interact with people or watch what you say. Because with my job, when the ON AIR light goes on, whatever I say is broadcast to hundreds of square miles around me and streamed online across the globe. It is then recorded and available to playback forever. I really questioned my own professionalism and the ability to not say how I felt about the President of the United States of America.
I was afraid that I was going to be the topic of one of those viral news stories with a race baiting tagline like, “BLACK Radio Host Loses it On Air – WATCH this EPIC Meltdown!” or “Seattle Talk Host BLASTS Trump on LIVE Radio – Loses Job and House!” or perhaps “WATCH This radio host LOSE IT with Epic anti-Trump Rant!”
This is not political. It’s Trump.
In my lifetime I have seen several presidents — Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, another Bush, Obama, and now Trump. I don’t remember any of the previous presidents being mean to people. I don’t remember any of them continually degrading women and people of color, and then backing up what they said. I remember a few times when George W. Bush made a gaffe or said something on accident because, let’s face it, at times he wasn’t the best public speaker. But he wasn’t mean. In hindsight, I kinda miss George W. Bush. No, I really miss W.
This isn’t political. This isn’t about Hillary Clinton, emails, Democrats, Republicans, Russians, the electoral college, or Barack Obama. This is about Donald J. Trump.
I am shocked, saddened, disappointed, and frankly mad as hell at how many people I know who are OK with this behavior. I am no longer able to brush off when you make excuses for a man who is saying things that even the Klan wouldn’t say. At least, the Klansmen put a sheet over their faces and try to hide who they are. If you don’t think that what the president said was racist — that’s fine. But I recommend not going to work and telling a black or brown person that. If you can’t say it, then maybe the president shouldn’t.
But our president does say these things and scoffs at us after he says it. Some people find that to be awesome. I don’t. And I’m not going to sit quiet about it. I mentioned my sons and my legacy earlier. I think both of my sons will be proud that their dad didn’t sit quiet on this. I think that 20 years from now they will want to know what I said during this time, and what some of you said, too.
I love my country. I love it so much that I have no problem pointing out that what our president is saying and doing right now is wrong. There is no other definition.
An example: Look at this sign. Go ahead. Click on the link and check out this billboard from 1972.
That billboard stood on the side of U.S. 70 in Johnston County, North Carolina nearly 50 years ago. It is a reminder of the past. It’s not suppose to reflect our current day. But our president is telling American citizens to leave. Kind of like this sign, right?
I went to work Monday because I had a great coworker who is also my friend. He told me, “Whatever you need, man. I’ll take care of you. Anything you need from me, you let me know.”
That was everything to me.
He’s not alone. There are so many good people I get to work with each day, like Matt Pitman and Michael Simeona, who reached out to me and had some kind words. I can’t stress enough how great it is to have folks like them.
Now, this is no longer political. This is a crisis we all face together as a nation and it will take all of us to stop it. And to all of you out there who are hurt and angry about what you see and hear in the world, and feel like you have nobody to talk to, listen to KIRO Nights from 7-10 p.m. weeknights. We can talk there.
I’m grateful to know that I have people at work who have my back. Because even strong people have a weak moment. I love you all.
Listen to KIRO Nights with Gee Scott and Aaron Mason weekdays from 7-10 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.