I have several thousand followers of all ideological persuasions. I watch the pulse of these FB friends for trends, direction, and sometimes an indication of the narrative I need to put out to get the truth through the clutter of misinformation.
I recently wrote the following Facebook post below. The intent was to softly jar but empower by reminding how Progressives moved this country forward.
Americans have gone soft and gullible. I hope it is temporary and just in need of a jolt. I am an immigrant from Panamá. We always viewed America, even with its original sin, as a people who always fought back and who got what they wanted. Hell, as wrong as it was, they wanted a canal built and extracted Panamá out of Colombia with its gunboat diplomacy to do it.
Americans stopped tolerating crap from within and without on the streets and generally won. Republican politicians and some Establishment Democrats are currently a clear and present danger to the economic wellbeing of every poor, middle-class, working-class American. Yet we just take it?
Please folks, let’s refortify our spines. This is not the time to accept politicians whose policies are dictated by their plutocratic masters to continue taking from us.
Do you feel so impotent that you are simply willing to accept a continual slide? I don’t, and you shouldn’t. And you should not allow others to feel impotent. There are more of us than the pilferers. Check out my latest article https://egbertowillies.com/2017/12/03/wake-people-streets-tax-cut-scam/. And please share. That is the only way independent media gets seen or heard, well assuming we also fight to maintain Net Neutrality.
Most of the responses were decidedly positive. But one response from a long time Progressive follower surprised me. She wrote the following.
So sick of being lumped with and criticized for being "American" especially by recent immigrant. I have lost respect for you. I am disgusted with the current political climate and as an old woman have done and are doing what I can for a change. I don't need to listen to you and support you at KPFT at least for a while. Maybe I'll get over it and maybe I won't. Goodbye. No reply will be read.
There is more to that message than meets the eye. I tried to address it in the response I left for her copied below. But her reaction is a canary in the mine I hope many Progressives see.
Mary W., your response surprised me. Firstly, I am an immigrant and an American. My post's intent was to empower by reminding what American's have been able to accomplish collectively. And can again if we get out of our comfort zone we've stayed in because many thought the job was accomplished.
Your tone and analysis are indicative of something I speak about. Good people being infected by a certain narrative that gets triggered when those considered the other, make a less than placating statement or provide advice that implies some are not necessarily living up to who we should be.
Trump's infectious narrative has been effective to sub-sects in every ideology. To those reading, this response, Progressives who believe that 2018 is a slam dunk, rest assured that many allies will get triggered at times of stress and disappoint with commentaries and possibly their vote. The virus has been planted in the psyche of many whose renascent or nascent prejudices break the surface.
I wrote a piece several weeks ago I urge friends, allies, and foes alike to read titled "White Progressives: Are you our friends? Are you our allies? Really? Then …" that I think is very important. Another one titled "It makes sense for Progressives to go after the Trump voter also" has the following message I hope is heeded. It may not seem to fit this post, but it does in many ways.
In short, we should go after the Trump voter as hard as we go after the non-voters. Believing that in a country where race plays a significant role, that somehow people of color won't have to worry about mitigating white racism, is flawed thinking. You see, racism is contagious. And today's white allies under ideal conditions could succumb to the contagion. Progressives must go after every voter with a passion irrespective of race and not fall into the trap of what the electorate in states like Virginia look like or behave today.
I think I needed to explore Mary's response because, for every reaction like that, many reacted with the same emotion who just did not post their ire. We must read the tea leaves.
Also published on Medium.