Daddy, why won’t people wear their mask so the virus can be over?
That was the question my five year old son asked after my wife and I inquired about how he was feeling during this pandemic.
I’ve never fully explained to him why every time we leave the house we must wear a mask. All I ever told him and his brother is we have to now wear masks to protect ourselves and people we care about, which is everyone, just like how many of our favorite superheroes do.
Still with acute observation, a child, barley out of toddler age, can associate that the virus will not stop because people refuse to wear a mask.
Yet, the perceived most powerful man in the free world lacks this basic understanding.
While thousands continue to become infected and so many people are dying from this invisible enemy — America continues to suffer from a not so novel disease causing virus, one in which many Americans have also died and suffered from.
This virus is called racism and the disease it causes is social injustice.
After watching the foolishness and lack of care demonstrated by our nations Commander-in-chief, I began to realize Trump’s total disregard in doing his part to prevent the further spread of COVID by not wearing a mask is symbolic.
This symbolism aligns with his Presidency and the legacy he is honoring of America’s past.
Or rather it is also her present.
For years, as a nation, we have hid behind a mask of tolerance, progress, and change. We passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, implemented Affirmative Action practices, and slowly took steps toward restructuring the social and cultural norms of America.
While this is seen as progress, the reality is this nation and its leaders of the past simply placed a band-aid over a bullet wound. America is great at tending to symptoms, but fails miserably at addressing the underlying cause.
Unlike the youthful days of my grandfather, who happens to be the same age as Trump, presently it is taboo and crass for a white person to spit at me, refer to me as boy, or other derogatory word. Listening to my grandfather reflect on the similarities of todays social climate and how things were back then, it is obvious the remnants of racism and oppression remain fully engrained throughout our culture.
How can two men born only months apart have such a different perspective of America? My grandfather acknowledges some of the progress made, however, he can’t help but to see how far we have to go. Trump on the other hand wants to keep America great by reverting all the progress made back to the days of his youth.
Trump has removed the mask, reminding us how sick and ugly this country is. He has peeled back the false protective layer, revealing the scars of the past and how as a nation of people we still have much healing to do. He has shown, in some cases verified, to the world how un-united we are.
Through his choice of not wearing a mask, he is spreading bigotry. Those most susceptible, the people who hang on his every word, are no longer wearing their mask either. Just like Coronavirus, their disregard to others is hurting us all.
You have to give it to him, 45 has always shown us who he is. Much like the super villain in the comics, Trump has been mostly forthright with his disposition of the world — the ultra rich at the top, white superiority, and no one else matters. Even prior to his presidency he has not hid or protected himself with a mask. Trump has never wavered from his perverted version of truth, ideals, and beliefs.
But like every character in a comic book, he too has a origin story. Trumps origin comes from a world wear white privilege prevails, Black and Brown people are perceived as less than, and the most wealthy dictate everything.
Our unwillingness to address the real issues of America, specifically the issues of racism and social injustice, has created this sinister monster who forcibly, with the help of his villain allies, took the Presidency.
With the constant pandering of congress, Trump has become virtually above the law — which is reflective of the privilege afforded to many white people, but specifically white men. The system put in to place to protect the republic has shown weakness to this particular president. With a stroke of his pen and the abuse of executive orders, he has spat in the face of democracy. However, he has continued to uphold the time honored tradition of protecting the system(s) of oppression by fanning the flames of hate with his rhetoric and vitriol.
When we protest, again raising the awareness and sounding the reminder alarm to the world that Black Lives Matter, he demanded governors and mayors put an end to the “thugs” — which we all know is the modern politically correct variant of n!&&er. He has attempted to misconstrue the message of Black Lives Matter by declaring it to be a low symbol of hate. Yet, he celebrates his minion supporters who proudly hold aloft white power.
With the civil unrest occurring throughout the nation in wake of police brutality, he has done nothing to ease tension and rather watch cities burn from a secret lair, twiddling his fingers like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons.
For the past three years Trump has torn apart families seeking asylum at the boarder for no other reason then his disdain for people of color — and America no longer talks about the Brown people living in modern time internment camps. I cannot imagine the horrific conditions they are in during this pandemic under this administration.
In every way he has shown nothing but disrespect toward all people of color.
Many people think of Trump as nothing more than a spoiled, rich, entitled imbecile of a white man who has made a mockery of the United States. That is furthest from the truth. In fact, I believe Donald is calculated and a master of manipulation. He is the ultimate distractor, showing what appears to be his hand at face value and in the shadows wreaking havoc — just like a well organized super villain.
Maybe I am giving Trump too much credit. In actuality Trump is nothing more than a byproduct of his forefathers. He is simply a man with deep inferiority complex based on a social construct of false superiority. Then again, maybe, Trump is America — a nation built by conquering, contradiction, falsehoods, and hate, all wrapped in its DNA.
Racism and social injustice are just as much of a part of the American legacy as the stars and stripes flown high above on the flag pole. Why hide who he is with a mask when this nation gave birth to him?