In Courts and Palaces

In courts and palaces he also reigns,  and in luxurious cities,

where the noise of riot ascends above their loftiest towers,

and injury and outrage,  and when night darkens the street,

then wander forth the Sons of Belial,  flown with insolence and wine.  

~ Milton.  Paradise Lost.


A month ago I wandered past this lofty tower:


This weekend I was treated to this.

And thus the Sons of Belial lurch forth, full of injury and outrage.

At work, a middle school, so far this month we have had students suspended for harassing a Muslim girl about her head scarf, and another student come up to me to tell me he didn’t like black people, and a third tell me about an old man in her neighborhood that yells at her family every time he sees them because they are Asian.

Multiply this by every school and neighborhood in the country.

I fear Mr. Trump’s words have loosed a genie that cannot be put back in the bottle. We now have a neo-Nazi advising the highest office in the land, a president elect that feigns surprise at reports of increasing hate crimes, and a press that is slowly normalizing a situation that is not normal.

I’ve learned two things from this election. The first is that my assumption that good and decent people would be intelligent enough to see through lies and artifice.  That they would weigh an email scandal on one hand, compare it with bigotry, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, sexism, sexual harassment, sexual assault, fraud, and a temperament of an out of control 3-year-old on the other hand, and think to themselves “one of these things outweighs the other.”

The second lesson I learned is that I have been naive. Bigotry and racism will not die with my generation.

I fear for our country.

4 thoughts on “In Courts and Palaces

  1. BIG (and apparently unexpected) problems in the local school district here, too. They actually called a parents’ meeting to discuss it. (And I thought: who do you think taught those kids to say those things?). It’s terrifying.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s what scare me the most. These kids learned it at home, and Trump has made it acceptable for it to come out of the shadows and march down the street.


  3. Yesterday the murderer of a UK MP, a week before the EU referendum, was given a whole life term in prison (very unusual in the UK even for murder). He offered no evidence in his defence. His house was full of neo-Nazi material. And in the meantime we all wring our hands as the last hospital in Aleppo is destroyed and premature babies are removed from incubators because there’s no power. It’s all terrifying. I love many individuals but I really don’t like people in general. On the other hand, there is always hope and this story is quite wonderful. Hope it cheers you as it did me.


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