JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

The (tear mocking) of a clown

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Not sure if you saw this, but the other day Chuck Schumer teared up when speaking about the refugee ban.

It was a pretty emotional moment, and pinpointed the pain associated with banning people from entering a nation that, throughout history, has saved millions of lives. Hell, whether you like Schumer or loathe Schumer, like the ban or hate the ban, you should—as a human—at least be able to understand the stirrings. Especially when you look into the man’s family’s Holocaust background; especially when you know his middle name, “Ellis,” is a nod toward Ellis Island.

And yet …

The president, whose heart is black, didn’t merely not give a shit. He went out his way to mock Schumer’s crying, Tweeting this …

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And I ask—where the fuck has our collective humanity gone? I’m being serious. How is this acceptable behavior for any American, let alone the president of the United States? How has it become kosher to mock, to ridicule, to lampoon? And who are the 93,000 people who LIKED the comment?

There’s a lot I can handle. Trump will appoint a far-right ideologue to the Supreme Court. OK. Trump will fill his cabinet with loathsome figures. OK. Trump’s appointees often fought to eliminate the very body they’re about to lead. OK. I don’t like it, but I can (begrudgingly) digest it. What I can’t handle is the decline in our decency. Trump’s words have made it OK to use those words; his dismissive bitch-slapping of our feelings and pain make it OK to dismissively bitch-slap feelings and pain. He is a callous man with a soul of coal and lard, and so many of us (I’m looking at you, “religious” and “spiritual” people) have knowingly (willfully) gone along.

I keep waiting for us to wake up; to see that we’ve been manipulated by an ugly thug with limited curiosity and power via aggressiveness.

I keep waiting.

And crying.