There are a lot of people celebrating disgraced former president Donald Trump’s arrest, complete with mug shot.
That mug shot. Man. It’s something. The look on his face. I wonder how many times he practiced, what facial expressions he considered. I mean, I doubt mug shot photographers offer multiple angles and outfit changes like a senior portrait package, even though we are literally talking about a senior portrait.
Trump is, of course, selling a multitude of mug shot emblazoned merchandise on his website. Once a grifter, always a grifter. It’s deeply ironic that the shirts, bumper stickers and mugs read “Never Surrender” under a photo of him literally surrendering.
Honestly, though, selling a mug shot on a mug is very fitting, I have to give them that.
Many entrepreneurs are selling their own “Free Trump” mug shot merch. He’s not in prison, folks. Calm down.
And I mean that: Everybody calm down. I mean, there are people ready and willing to have a civil war over this man.
Then there are those who are gleeful about the prospect of Trump in prison, awaiting this moment like one might await a new baby. Well, guess what? A new baby completely changes your life in ways you never even considered, even though it’s something you really, really wanted.
Don’t get me wrong, the man is a criminal and as much as I hate our carceral system (and it’s not because there are too many rich white men locked up), he deserves to be behind bars.
But this whole thing is awful. For everybody. It’s awful that the U.S. ever elected this completely unfit man and obvious crook. It’s awful that threats of violence boom every time this man is held accountable in any way. Violence that he encourages and wants. The very idea of an armed mob strokes his ego. Remember January 6? He loved that. And that was really just a dress rehearsal for his supporters. They’ve shown us they are willing to go as far as it takes to protect a man who truly wouldn’t care if they were dying in the street.
It’s disingenuous to say that Trump wrecked the county. His election was a symptom, not a disease. The U.S. is a deeply flawed country with a sordid past where absolutely terrible things happen, mostly to our most vulnerable people.
Racism runs deep as ever. Which is something BIPOC people already knew but most white people, even ones who consider themselves progressives, really didn’t.
Unless we confront our past and our present (rather than making it illegal to teach it), we’re fucked.
But you know who really has it hard? School janitors. I mean, they must have a hell of a mess to clean with all of these students who identify as cats and use school-provided litter boxes across the country. Which is something no rational or intelligent person believes because it isn’t true.
Yet the far right keeps perpetuating this bizarre narrative.
Recently on Fox News, commentator Shannon Bream, claimed it was true (it isn’t). “Where I live in the Washington area, I have a lot of Northern Virginia moms who have kids in school who have told me that there are schools who are now having to put litter boxes in for kids who identify as cats,” Bream said. “And I think most parents at home are like, ‘We’ve lost the storyline here.’ Some legitimate conversations to have, but when you spin off this far, you are going to lose most Americans, and there will be backlash from people who think you have lost it.”
Again, this isn’t happening. If she really has a lot of Northern Virginia moms telling her this they are either fucking with her or they also hate trans kids.
Because this whole “litter boxes for cat kids” lie is intended to further marginalize and shame trans kids. The goal is to equate the two as equally bizarre and objectionable. But they aren’t the same thing. One is a sick fantasy living in extremist brains, the other is a daily reality for real human beings who have to deal with extremists trying to police every aspect of their lives down to where they can pee.
But Bream is right. There will be backlash from people who think that this is actually happening. Because those people are mean and ignorant.
I mean, if people can believe that Donald Trump is a brave and honest man, that he was the greatest president ever, that he cares about them and this country, that he wouldn’t ever sexually assault a woman (I mean, why would he have to? He’s rich!), that he handled the pandemic just fine, that the election was stolen from him, is it really a huge leap to believe that a kid in a cat costume is taking a dump in a litter box at school?
The answer, sadly, is no.
D’Anne Witkowski is a writer living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBTQ+ politics for nearly two decades. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.