Put yourself in Mara Gay's shoes. She's possibly never seen a pickup truck in real life.
Perhaps she always thought they were mythical creations that existed only in beer commercials and episodes of Duck Dynasty.
Maybe she feared they represented an advanced race of alien beings traveling the galaxy subjugating the local populations with their dizzying array of tools and otherworldly ability to repair HVAC systems.
Nevertheless, I suspect she won't be traveling to the vast forbidden lands of Nassau and Suffolk counties again any time soon.
Her comments came while on the obscure cable news program, "Morning Joe," in which she noted how concerning it was that Democrats hadn't already launched their own truth and reconciliation commission into the January 6th "insurrection."
The reality here is that we have a large percentage of the American population, I don't know how big it is but we have tens of millions of Trump voters who continue to believe that their rights as citizens is under threat by simple virtue of having to share democracy with others.
"The reality here..." she states with the kind of certainty that can only be born of complete ignorance about the people she's critiquing, is that "we have tens of millions of Trump voters" who don't want to "share democracy with others."
After a year of being lectured that widespread rioting and looting and attacks on federal courthouses and local police stations were not in any way representative of the protesters overall who were routinely portrayed as being "largely peaceful," Gay feels it's perfectly okay to slander tens of millions of Trump supporters for the actions of a disorganized band of unarmed perpetrators most of whom were more interested in taking selfies than they were sedition.
Unlike Gay, who was huddled in her apartment nervously scanning the empty streets of New York for Silverados, I was actually at the rally on January 6 among tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of Trump supporters. If the sentiment to not "share democracy with others," were as truly widespread as she contends, there were enough people assembled there that day to dismantle that building brick by brick.
That didn't happen, of course because that is not, regardless of what Gay wants us to believe, "the reality here."
I think as long as they see Americanness as the same as one with whiteness this is going to continue.
It's starting to sound like this member of The New York Times Editorial Board who is opining on the motivations of Trump supporters on a national news program has never actually had a conversation with one.
Maybe she should try that some day. I understand that's kind of a thing among journalist types.
We have to figure out how to get every American a place at the table in this Democracy. But how to separate, Americanness, America from whiteness. Until we can confront that, and talk about that this is really going to continue.
This "reality" of Gay's has been fabricated in the halls of academia and other elite institutions based on absurd one-dimensional caricatures of people with whom they have political disagreements.
While people like Gay might think about race 24/7, most people don't. I know a lot of Trump supporters, a lot of conservatives, and a lot of Republicans and I've never once heard them even say the word "whiteness" never mind talk about it.
I don't even know what it means, other than a slur to attack bedrock principles of America which are both timeless and wholly independent of race.
And then there was her fateful trip to Long Island, land of work trucks and national symbols.
We are lectured to about context all the time, so I want you to read it as she said it (or simply listen to the video) to get the full context. (Spoiler warning, it's just as bad as the excerpts if not worse.)
I was on Long Island this weekend visiting a really dear friend, and I was really disturbed. I saw dozens and dozens of pickup trucks with explicatives [sic] against Joe Biden on the back of them, Trump flags, and in some cases just dozens of American flags which is also just disturbing because essentially the message was clear it was this is my country this is not your country I own this and so until we're ready to have this conversation this will continue.
Before I get into the details, I believe this is so much more telling than she could have possibly imagined. This is the kind of thing you say when you literally don't know anybody who owns a pickup or drives one for work. She may see the occasional work truck, but to witness "dozens and dozens" is truly exotic to her.
Once she's warned readers about the disturbing pickup trucks, she notes that Trump supporters had stickers with "explicatives" about Biden. I found that curious because "explicative" is defined as:
So, she is disturbed that Trump supporters had stickers that explained or interpreted Biden? Sounds pretty high brow to me. Maybe she meant expletives?
Also disturbing to her were the "dozens of American flags."
American flags. The national symbol. To put it in full context: people with a political opinion different from hers patriotically flying the American flag was disturbing.
Michael Tracey had a good take on this:
If you go around interpreting the display of American flags in America as some kind of personal/political affront to you, consider that the problem may be your own neuroses
She then goes on to note, again with no proof or apparently believing any is needed, that "the message was clear. It was this is my country, this is not your country. I own this."
The only message that is clear is that Gay has no idea what she's talking about.
What is really concerning to me, it's not just Dems in congress. I think there is a large percentage of Americans, even some of my colleagues in journalism, who are invested in some way in pretending that this isn't the fact that it is.
What is really concerning is that large swaths of her natural allies choose not to accept her absurd and unsupported contentions.
Maybe, I don't know, consider the remote possibility that you are wrong?
That is the real concern, because the Trump voters who are not going to get on board with democracy, they are a minority. You can marginalize them long term, but if we don't take the threat seriously we are in big trouble.
She is the one who does not want to "share democracy."
Oh, she's willing to share it with people of different races, as long as they agree with her (which of course she assumes they will because that's what people who think in terms of race all day believe). But she has no interest in sharing democracy with people who have different political opinions, which is the only reason to have a democracy in the first place.
She wants the country to accept the "reality," her reality, that Trump supporters are essentially beyond the pale and should be marginalized, investigated, and cast from the public square.
It's not their whiteness she has a problem with. It's their Americanness.
Make no mistake about it. That's the real target. That is what they‘re really afraid of.