Photos courtesy of Erin Murphy. Edited by Brian Addison.
Let’s get something in the clear here: this is an advocacy publication, not a site which panders to all sides of every tale. Why? There is no such thing as balance in the public’s eye.
And that is not because balance doesn’t exist; it does but it is slowly being murdered because we live in a post-factual world, a world where it doesn’t matter how much reasonable evidence we can provide you; if it doesn’t cater to your perspective, you will dismiss it through a series of either misguided notions—”Typical leftist liberal media pandering to fundamentalist terrorists”—or through a basically-impossible-to-prove-or-disprove conspiracy theory—”This was written by so-and-so, who works for This Paper, which is owned by This Company, whose largest stockholder funded This Organization, which was the largest donator to This Politician and that is why they are writing this.”
We are in a post-truth reality, if that’s a reality at all.
Given this, we sometimes have to take stances—and this includes the fact that we, on an editorial level (and personal level for me, the author), dissent against any type of registry, as proposed by President-Elect Donald Trump, due to one’s religion, race, sexual orientation, language, nationality, or any other characteristic that is arbitrarily assigned to misleading descriptors like “terrorist” or “thug” or “other” or…
We also believe that Long Beach believes in this. The turn out at today’s event at the Long Beach Islamic Center proved that: hundreds upon hundreds of folks decided to openly state their dissent against Trump’s proposed Muslim Registry, which the Trump Camp frighteningly proclaimed “precedent” for given our country’s illegal and pathetic internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. (Yes, internment camps, after which questioned about this being horrifyingly wrong, Trump PAC committee leader Carl Higbie said, “We need to protect America first.” Philosopher Michel Foucault is sure to be laughing his ass off from heaven and saying, “I told you so.”)
For anyone of color, especially blacks in the United States, there’s always been a hidden registry, a silent but active registry. It’s the one that “randomly” pulls a black man out of a line of otherwise mostly white folks to ask further questions or search before entering a space or boarding a flight. It’s the criminal record that disproportionately targets a group and falsely advertises their proneness to criminality. It’s the systemic disconnection of black families by encouraging fathers to leave their babies’ mothers so the family won’t be penalized as heavily for accepting assistance.
It’s always been hidden—especially from White Eyes—but people of color, particularly our black brothers and sisters, see it on the daily. So when a less strategic, less hidden form emerges—creating an openness of support, an unabashed approach to hatred and social displacement—we enter the height of biopower and contemporary racism: silently eradicating black culture while openly eradicating non-Christian culture, all the while preserving whiteness and keeping it on a pedestal as the Norm of Norms to protect.
I once again warn against the normalization of hatred: the next time a comfortable straight white male tells you or anyone that is marginalized, a person of color, a Muslim, an immigrant, or just outright different that they need to stop “overreacting” and “let Trump do his thing,” just remember that it is when this shit becomes normalized that we think the ash falling onto our lapels is snow.