The last week has been hard for all of us, but it’s been hard in a particularly weird way for my family. We have been getting an “up close and personal” glance at the huge divide in this country between Trump supporters and the resistance.
My husband and I are your classic old white liberals. We have a “Black Lives Matter” sign in front of the house, we’ve been marching despite our fear of Covid-19, and we’ve been signing petitions and writing letters. It’s not much, but we do what we can in support of our African-American brothers and sisters who are still hurting so deeply.
Our autistic daughter, who generally shares our political views, recently moved in with her boyfriend. He has a house in a tiny rural village, mostly occupied by members of his extended family. And that family is about as far from liberal as you can get. They all get their news not even from Fox News, but from Facebook. This led them to conclude last week that a caravan of “black looters” was on its way to their village to pillage and plunder. Beyond the fact that there is no black community nearby to provide the looters, it doesn’t seem to have occurred to them that they have nothing worth looting. But they imagine that people who are racially and ethnically not like them are always on the verge of doing something awful.
As my husband and I worry about police brutality and attacks on civil liberties, our daughter is listening to hateful remarks about African Americans, and about how President Trump needs to declare martial law and use the army to restore law and order.
In the end, I suppose it is useful for us to be aware of such a different world view. But in this moment it sure is weird and disorienting.