There is a new trend in politics that’s a hit with all the kids. It’s been around for a while, but was never really as popular as it is right now. So, in the interest of science, I’ve decided to hop on “The Squad” train and try thinking like a progressive member of Congress. How hard could it be?
I was driving to the grocery store the other day and the person in the left turn lane ahead of me did not turn when there was clearly enough room for him to go. I sat there, angry, and then I asked myself, “What would Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez do?” Then it all came together.
Whoever this concentration camp guard in front of me was, he was clearly a racist. I was driving, so I couldn’t tweet about my oppression; I had to settle for yelling, “C’mon, man, stop being RACIST!” out the window. This only seemed to confuse the guy. Then I it occurred to me that the person driving that gave the appearance of a balding middle-aged man might not identify as a man. The government, I thought, should require people to put their preferred pronouns on bumper stickers so no one mis-genders them while cursing them out.
Once inside the store, things did not improve.
I couldn’t help but notice a white woman buying avocados. Cultural appropriation much? I shot her the evil eye. It didn’t deter her from buying four, but I think my point was made.
Well, I thought my point was made. Later, I saw her with tortilla chips and salsa in her basket too. I hate crime, right there in the chip aisle. Did I mention she was white? She should stick to potato chips!
No one else seemed bothered, which made it all the more difficult to take. I felt like a stranger in my own Safeway. Then I channeled by inner-Ilhan Omar to solve the problem. No, I didn’t marry my brother (allegedly) or blame the Jews, I thought of her strength in being able to move that wonderful Utopia that is Somalia to the horrible, awful, no good, cesspool of the United States. The years of oppression as she was educated in a land that was seemingly founded to keep her down. Still, she rose. The racist state of Minnesota that was so cruel it elected her to its state Senate. The country, so Islamophobic that it elected her to the United States House of Representatives. Her surviving those horrors, gave me the courage to endure.
But that courage was soon tested in the meat section.
While browsing through various cuts of beef, pork, lamb, chicken, etc., I came across bags of sauerkraut. I’m part German, so you could imagine my horror over finding one of the foods of Germany, of “my people,” tossed indifferently among packages of meat. I nearly dropped to the floor, ready to go fetal and yearn for some Playdoh and a safe space.
It was then I remembered the words of Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts who, bravely, demanded conformity from people, especially people of color, when she said, “We don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice. We don’t need any more black faces that don’t want to be a black voice.” As a part German, I would be a part German voice. I was ready.
Of course, it was just sauerkraut, so there wasn’t anything to do about it. But I came away stronger. I came away ready to confront other affronts to my people, should they occur. I now feel prepared to deal with any corned beef or, God forbid, Haggis I may encounter. I will be a voice for those of us with no color, or the “clear,” as I identify.
Or at least I thought.
I was confused by an endcap display of mayonnaise (typical, am I right?) and suddenly discovered myself in a section of the store I generally avoid – the greeting card section. There were cards for every occasion, and worse, cards for genders…exactly two genders. How exclusive.
Then I remembered the example of Rashida Tlaib. How would she handle this injustice, I wondered? With the grace and dignity for which she is known – she would have cursed out everyone in the aisle and likely the cards themselves. How else would everyone else, and even the cards, learn how racist they were, even though this had nothing to do with race? Only a Nazi would ask such a question.
While I didn’t yell the prospect of it brought me back from the edge.
All of this racism was almost too much to handle. Thoughts of the Squad got me through. I owe them a debt I’ll never be able to repay, a reparation I’ll owe in perpetuity, if you will.
Then I realized this was a horrible way to go through a trip to the store, let alone life. I turned my brain back on, paid for my groceries, and thanked the Good Lord that I don’t live on the planet liberals have created in their minds. All we have to do now is work tirelessly to ensure left-wing guttersnipes like the Gang of Four are never in a position to make their fantasy our reality.