What does anyone do when a loved one reveals themselves as a #45 fanboy or fangirl? This sounds like a question only White people have to answer, or one in which only a handful of Black folks must deal. Otherwise, the short answer is to kick them to the curb. “These people aren’t your friends,” after all, at least, that’s what your friends will tell you if and when this situation occurs. But one cannot simply drag family and cut them off when they do the American equivalent of “Sieg Heil!” in support of Donald J. Trump.
I discovered that one family member has done exactly that. They didn’t vote in 2016, because they could not bring themselves to vote for Hillary. They supported the Muslim Ban in 2017, saw nothing wrong with another round of tax cuts for the wealthy and for trillion-dollar corporations, and favored closing the southern border to keep out “them Spanish people.” Of course, this loved one also calls those who are LGBTQIA+ “faggots,” “dykes,” and “things” like they’re the Cylons from Battlestar Galactica (2003-2009 edition).
Of the last seven times we’ve talked on the phone, six times we have argued. The arguments have varied from disagreements over the meaning of a particular piece of scripture to rifts over televangelists and their misogynistic, homophobic, and Apocalyptic messages. Recently, this person has gone after Gov. Andrew Cuomo and others for their uneven responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, but has refused to lay any blame Trump’s way. Another relative confirmed that this person had planned to vote for 45 in November. What a shame and a pitiful!
I honestly do not understand how anyone American Black in 2020 could think well enough of Trump to defend his three years’ worth of wannabe autocratic rule and mini-calamities. It makes no sense for any Black man, Black woman, or transgender Black person to spend time and effort voting for this disaster of a human being. Except if one is committed fully to patriarchy, to vanity, and to seeing the end of the world Revelations-style. Wanting the Rapture to come so badly as to ignore blatant systemic racism, misogynoir, and rampant discrimination against anyone not rich, hetero-, White, and male. As much as I love this family member, I do not like their politics and their worldview. By comparison, I might as well be Pollyanna.
In the post-Western world to come, millennialism should be among the first things its leaders should ban from public debate and discussion. Too many people believing in and attempting to bring on the Apocalypse because they think their God or gods will usher in a more perfect world with a more perfect humanity. As a Christian myself, it was always weird to see people so desirous of a new world order that they were willing to see billions of others die in order to see it through. Now, with a family member who has committed themselves ever increasingly to this future, I could stop talking with them. But what good would that do? This is more than a hearts-and-minds issue. This is about hearts and minds pushing policies that will bring the world the self-fulfilling prophecy of Revelations.
So, hell yeah, banning millennialism and end-of-the-world prophecies meant to spur others to push humanity and all life on the planet into actual doom would be a good thing. Because so many of us are the descendants of people who had to live through the Apocalypse, their version anyway. Indigenous people in the Western Hemisphere, in the Arctic, in Oceania, and in Australia who died at rates up to 90 percent upon first contact with disease-carrying Europeans between 1492 and 1900. The 12 million Africans kidnapped into Western-Hemispheric-slavery between 1503 and 1888. The European Jews the Nazis murdered between 1933 and 1945. For these groups and in those times, this was the end of the world, the world that they knew, the lives they hoped to have. If one has already survived an Apocalypse (small “a” or big “A”), or has known so many who haven’t, why would a prediction of a larger Apocalypse coming from people who couldn’t care less about your ass ever matter?
For those who are in the Apocalypse-as-self-fulfilling-prophecy business, their goal is to reshape the world in their own fascist, patriarchal, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, nationalistic, and capitalistic image. It’s certainly not about God’s image or the vision of anyone’s gods.
As for this family member, all I can do now is limit my already limited conversations with them. They’ve had their bags packed for the Rapture since the 1980s. I love them, but I definitely do not like them. I can only hope that they recognize that the Apocalypse in any form is never something someone should wish for themselves, or something to wish upon the world. In what remains of their time in this life, or perhaps, in their next life.