Shira Ingram (B.S. Film/TV, M.A. Media Studies, Freelance TV Assistant Offline Editor)
What if Donald Trump was Jesus returned? Don’t throw stones…yet. I’ve never been a fan. I’ve never really known much about him. I even worked on “The Apprentice.” He never really impressed me. Right up there with Leona Helmsley, Trump didn’t matter to me. Seeing him, hearing his name makes me think of yuppie 80s New York, when the creatives were starting to translate their weird into money and Wall Street morphed into a younger, hungry beast. Some overgrown baby of a man with a fortunate business acumen, ‘cause if there were any other reason for his success besides…well his looks have nothing to do with anything.
America has a savior complex. It’s why our imaginations are drawn to superheroes with wonder powers who eradicate injustice. We’ve set ourselves up to believe that us regular people have no power, we can’t do anything to help, but that someone greater than ourselves does, and whenever they come…well, when never they come. We want so badly for someone to come and save us. We were told it would be Jesus again. My personal theory is that Jesus has come and come again; hell, even more than one at a time – King, X, The Kennedys, Evers, Biko, other change-makers who were murdered, etc. etc. And each and every time, we the ungrateful find a way to fuck it up and get them killed. Not long afterward, we lament about what a great person we lost and how we should’ve and could’ve been better…the well runneth dry. So, what if Jesus decided to do something different this time? What if Jesus said, “Hey! This time, I’ll play it backwards? I can only get their attention if they hate me.”
I am a firm believer in no religion and no deity, but I do believe someone like Jesus likely existed, and he was just a man who got it; he was a special relic of a time already long gone; a time when everyone was consciously connected in ways that make human touch seem like child’s play. He was ahead of his time, yet beyond his time. He’s always portrayed as this suffering, serious, somber soul (never mind white). I believe that he had a sense of humor and was likely, quite a prankster. He supposedly gave his life for our sins, so we could live. What if Trump was Jesus doing it different this time? What if he was just trying to find his way, America’s way, back to the manger – that comfy safeness of shared experience and community wellbeing?
It is quite comical, the things Trump is doing and saying: not because they’re actually funny, but because they are incredulous. Who says that kind of shit? Who says it and gets away with it? Who says it and people stand up and say “Hey! That guy is speaking my mind and I want him to lead us!” Entirely unbelievable, like, people make up stories about this kind of stuff, right? Logical, sane people can’t comprehend the sense — we’re waiting for the punch line. We aren’t gonna get one, and if we do, it won’t be for a very, very long time. I’m not giving The Don the benefit of the doubt by any means. If this is indeed all a big ruse, the method acting is on point (slow clap). It can’t be anything but hard to stay in character while watching Black students, Muslims, and even journalists being escorted out of your rallies, ridiculed and assaulted along the way. It must be hard not to say anything more than, “Get them outta here” as you watch it happen, just to prove a point. That’s quite a triumphant game face, Mr. Trump. But let’s refocus: What if Trump was Jesus returned?
Not only has the new Jesus returned with his sense of humor intact, but he has also returned with the thickest skin, impervious to crucifixion. He will not die on this cross. He will build his own cross, and nail himself to it, but he will not die.
In order to get anything done, we must look at what needs doing. First, we must confront some serious truths about America’s people. We can’t do that from the perspective of a bleeding heart liberal anymore. It doesn’t work, it keeps things the way they are and it keeps people dangerously quiet. We can’t appeal to people’s emotions from the stand point of, “This isn’t right” or “fair” or “equal” or “just,” because so far, it’s only led to a lot of lip service, (Thanks, Hillary: I, at the very least, see your mouth moving). Not only has the new Jesus returned with his sense of humor intact, but he has also returned with the thickest skin, impervious to crucifixion. He will not die on this cross. He will build his own cross, and nail himself to it, but he will not die. And you can’t kill him cause he’s already dead inside, or so it appears. It’s all too funny to him. Is it funny because he and the Clintons have been friends for years? Hillary denies this, but they seem pretty chummy in a picture of the Clintons at Trump’s 2005 wedding. Now true enough, a picture of some high profile person at another high profile person’s wedding is no big deal. But wait, back in 2007, in an interview on CNN, with Wolf Blitzer, Trump semi-endorsed Hilary and indicated that he knew her and Bill very well. In an interview with Greta Van Susteren, Trump says he’s known the Clintons for years, and likes them both a lot. In another interview from October, 2008 Trump tells Blitzer that Hillary and Bill were “great friends” of his… But back to addressing what needs doing.
Trump is applauded by his supporters for speaking what they believe is the truth and saying what’s on the collective mind of Americans. The people who do believe he speaks the truth, those we refer to as ignorant or stupid, are only telling a half-truth. Trump isn’t telling any truths — he isn’t saying anything of value at all. He doesn’t need to. He’s drawing the truth out of America’s darkest-hearted people. I think he’s doing it on purpose. I think he has positioned himself to be ridiculed and he has reconciled himself with that. He is laughing all the way to the bank and laughing in all our faces. He is holding up a mirror to America and showing us what we really look like. Oh, don’t get self-righteous yet. This mirror is up for all of us, not just the bigots who show up to these rallies to greet Trump and lick his proverbial boots. The mirror is also up for us righteous liberals to see our own flaws. We spend so much time ridiculing this man, making memes, rushing to write the next diss article, tweet, social media post, whatever. We call him names. We make fun. We. Hate. Him. We have a savior complex in as much as we have a need to have a villain to hunt down. We need a demon to blame and a savior to save us. We herd ourselves like sheep to stay on the side of right if only in theory. Less of us actually act upon the feelings of fairness we entertain theoretically.
Do I sound crazy? Probably. Is someone going to misread this? Totally. If your knee-jerk reaction is to get angry with me for this…re-read it. Look in the mirror and see what Trump is showing us. He is showing us how racist we are, how divided we are; how little we understand about how the small percentage of wealthy have pitted poor against poor, middle class against the poor; how gullible we are, how we don’t pay attention, how we pay attention to the wrong things, how we allow ourselves to be led, how blind we choose to be, how we fan the flames of propaganda fires; how dangerously close we are as a society to a setup like Nazi Germany. What happened to “Never forget?” The phrase was coined so that no situation like this could garner support again, and so that no society would entertain the notion of galvanizing its people to commit atrocities like this ever again, anywhere in the world. Except it has happened again – Palestine, Rwanda, Darfur, Syria, Iraq, Bosnia, and more, and now people here in our own country are in support of a wall? Not in support of Black Lives Matter? Not in support of the Native American sacred lands in the Dakotas?
Trump is showing us ourselves. How angry we are that the American dream has slipped through our fingers while so many of us are doing twice the work and seeing no tangible reward. How this anger is affecting us. How unforgiving we can be, how unkind we can be. How badly we wanted permission to say all the prejudiced things we’ve kept bottled up inside. The bigger villain Trump plays, the more we eat it up; either we love it, or we are eager to see him look foolish and call him every variety of asshole. We are all participants in this shameful circus even when we can’t turn our eyes away. We are quite possibly missing a great opportunity to shift the paradigm and start getting it right. A friend from high school chose to get it right. He put a stop to his son ridiculing Trump. I loved his approach with his son, because I think we can’t afford to be hypocrites. I was further impressed that my friend’s son is quite smart and could indeed articulate why Trump is not a good guy aside from just mockery. His lesson to his son was in effect: we can’t stand on a moral high ground while enacting rude tactics to shut someone down.
Sure some of the shit is absolutely hilarious on a superficial level but if we are to be the better people, better than “them,” then we should probably try being better all around, despite how bad we love kicking this guy in the face. We are kicking in vain, cause he ain’t goin’ down. We have to remember, he’s already on his self-made cross, and he doesn’t care how much we make fun of him. He has money. He needs none of us. We are doing exactly what he expected and planned for. We are dancing to his jam and he’s cracking up as he steers us in a direction. When we hear him say dumb things like Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. or Mexicans are bringing drugs, crime, and rape to our country, or sexually volatile things like “grab her by the pussy,” he is steering us in a direction. Every foul behavior he enacts justifies a need for change. Too many people seem to think that change is “with her.”
Sure some of the shit is absolutely hilarious on a superficial level but if we are to be the better people, better than “them,” then we should probably try being better all around, despite how bad we love kicking this guy in the face.
I get it, Mr. Trump. I see you. I see you making a fool of yourself, and what a risk that is. What a strong character you have to allow this charade to go on, to have such thick skin that you can endure all this ridicule and shaming without breaking character (my tongue is so far in my cheek right now). I see you pushing votes Hillary’s way. What a loyal friend you’ve proven to be, making such a lofty sacrifice of your reputation. Hey, maybe Hillary deleted all those emails because they were between you two and how you would conspire to take over the world! I hear you ringing the cowbell and waking America up. I’m scared though, because how far will you allow this shit to go? I think it’s gone too far already. I began to really look at you and write this, just this past spring. It’s nearly November now. It’s spun out of control. It’s gone too far. A lot of people think it has. So Jesus, if that’s you, I think you should know by now, front door or back door, no matter which way you come into the world, you’re in for it – it’s just your karma. People subconsciously want a devil to blame but a savior to hang.
Fellow people, I implore you, stop giving your time attention and energy to Trump and the media circus in general. The jig is up. I am all for the exposé of America’s ugly, but the problem is that Trump is not going to be the president come 2017. He created a problem that he isn’t going to be around to fix. He opened a can of worms that is going to be about as impossible to contain as putting hemorrhoids back in your ass. What is going to happen now that the ugly has reared its head? Stop watching and contributing to the circus, and start figuring out how we clean up the trash, ‘cause we can’t just put it back in the bag. It is out and people are proud of themselves for it!
It isn’t easy, it isn’t up to one person, and there are no saviors in case we haven’t figured that out yet. The savior has a spot in the same annals as Santa, Cupid, and the Easter bunny. It really is up to all of us.
We gotta start saving each other and ourselves. Try daily, or at least once a week, take a minute around noon or midnight, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, take a moment. If you’re out, go to the bathroom, or step outside. If you’re in the middle of something, just stop for a minute and focus on a peaceful thought that coincides with the mantra, “Please heal this world and stop the crazy.” Know that this is going to help get us all in one accord as a conscious mind. In that accordance, we are setting an intention that will manifest as action when we are ready. Know that this is not going to send us rainbows and kittens. It’s going to open up the floodgates so that we can run this crazy crap out of our world like diarrhea. Things usually get worse before they get better. I am hoping this is as bad as it gets, but my intuition tells me our buttons haven’t quit been mashed hard enough yet. It isn’t easy, it isn’t up to one person, and there are no saviors in case we haven’t figured that out yet. The savior has a spot in the same annals as Santa, Cupid, and the Easter bunny. It really is up to all of us.
I’m so proud to see people having the conversations that are necessary. We don’t all agree, but I think we all can get that our divisiveness is being banked on right now, literally. It’s profitable to so few in so many ways, and so detrimental to the rest of us. Make sure you vote for your local legislators and hold them accountable. They are the powerful ones on the local level because they speak for us to the president. Make sure you demand your voices be heard. That means that we really are the ones who make things happen. If we can’t get it together nationally, the show we make abroad means nothing. Make sure you are good to people, all people. Think before you speak; It’s not politically correct, it’s human consideration. People are afraid because we are in needless competition for resources. Try to remember there really is more than enough for everyone. Stop letting faceless, out-of-touch people tell you there isn’t and that you should beware of those who would take from you. They are the ones doing the serious taking and throwing our attention in the opposite direction. People are afraid, and especially of confrontation. I get that. Don’t get yourself into a life-threatening situation, but don’t be afraid to speak out and inform others when there is injustice happening.
Remember we all want virtually the same things: Safety, job and/or business security, housing, food, water, and human connection. Remember that the status quo will not get you these things. Change doesn’t come because it’s easy, it comes because ugly has tumbled out and now we see it invading our space. Please choose to see where America has some wrongs to right. Please be okay with the hard work it will require of all of us to get it right. Please brace yourself for the pain and heartache of realizing that people who look a certain way may not always be good, and that the opposite is also true.