There are, apparently, white women who voted for Trump and are not racist. Apparently there are lots of them. People tell you about them, and they tell you that the fact that you can’t imagine what it is like to be a white woman who votes for Trump and is not racist is the reason so many other white women who vote for Trump are actually becoming slightly racist now. So that’s kind of shit, isn’t it, if it’s true. I wouldn’t want that to happen. I wouldn’t want to be the reason that a white woman who voted for Trump and isn’t racist, you know. Went over to the other side.
I feel like I know them, though, these white women who voted for Trump and are not racist. Maybe I don’t, maybe I’m kidding myself, but that’s how pervasive American culture is. I watch a lot of American TV, I’m in a lot of American Facebook parenting pages. I feel like I know them. I feel like I know them a little bit, I feel like I know them more than they know me. I feel like I know these white women who voted for Trump and are not racist, not especially racist, not necessarily racist, maybe, even, not racist at all.
This how much I know about Americans, like every European, I know everything, and understand nothing, and I know: there’s white women who voted for Trump and are not racist who watched ER in the 90s, just like I did, every Wednesday, maybe it wasn’t on on Wednesday in the States, there’s white women who voted for Trump and are not racist who watched Friends, white women who voted for Trump and are not racist, and they cried when Chandler told Monica they were both infertile. There must be white women who voted for Trump and are not racist who watched Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Dawson’s Creek. There’s probably white women who voted for Trump and are not racist who cried when Beth died in Little Women. There’s white women who voted for Trump and are not racist who cry when cats go missing and never get found again, who cry when dogs do missing but then they get found, unexpectedly, who cried when Billy died in Ally McBeal, and when Carrie split up with Aidan in Sex and the City.
I know everything about America, and those white women – and nothing at the same time.
You know when calves get separated from their mothers? The cows howl for eight days afterwards. I watched a documentary about it, afterwards, the farmer was laughing, but not meanly. She said, in her cold, North German way: „It does make such an unholy din!“ Then she said: We try not to go near them for that eight days, it’s so loud, it’s so noisy, it’s really loud, the noise they make.
I know nothing about America, but I know there’s at least one white woman in America who voted for Trump and isn’t racist and yet she thinks CIO is a form of child abuse. There’s white women in America who voted for Trump and are not racist and they home-educate their kids because their kids were being bullied in school and they couldn’t leave them at the school gates, knowing they’d be bullied by the other children and they wouldn’t be there to protect them. There’s a white woman who voted for Trump and isn’t racist who, right now, is organizing a cake sake for a kid in her local area who has cancer. Maybe that kid’s gonna get sent to Disneyland, maybe she’s just going to get medical treatment. There are white women who voted for Trump and are not racist and I know them.
You wanna know the truth, the truth is I don’t actually believe in co-sleeping, ach, believe is such a strong word, the truth is I don’t give a fuck what you do with your baby. Sleep with your baby in your bed, I always did, hopefully you won’t roll over and squash them to death in your sleep, I never did, sleep with your baby attached to your bed in some kind of separate cot-car device, well done, this is a good plan, sleep with your baby in a separate cot but in the same room, put your baby in a separate bed, a separate room, I did this soon enough, do what the fuck you want, I don’t give a shit, it’s your baby, it’s your decision, who the fuck am I, the WHO, I don’t give a shit, I couldn’t give less of a shit. But I have slept with a baby in my bed and I know what it feels like to wake up with them, that gorgeous feeling when you wake up, still drowned in sleep, schlaftrunken, as the Germans say, you wake up, all foggy and delighted, you feel your baby, you feel your baby’s skin and you smell your baby’s hair. He looks like plasticine in this light. He grins at you carefully, like a proud scientist, he has these dumb, hopeful, trusting eyes, like a calf, but the lascivious, knowing smile of a sailor, he gurgles, you pull him onto you and kiss him hard, maybe a tiny bit too hard, what if he breaks. This, this, this right here, this is the reason the mothers of newborn babies don’t want sex – well, it’s this and the sleep deprivation, the exhaustion – because when you have a tiny half-naked baby next to you, you get to that feeling of bliss without all the fucking. You can smell your own milk everywhere and your baby is fat and perfect and no matter what any spiritual guru on YouTube or old king in the Bible might tell you, this baby is all, all yours, all yours. Look at his eye, look at his eye, look at his eyes, his eyes are perfection. Look at his cheeks, they could carve his cheeks up and serve them in a carvery, they are just perfect and fatty and perfect and whole, he is so whole, you feel, even though there’s problems with the breastfeeding, still, you feel your breasts get hard with milk and it feels like that hardness behind your nipple is this strong metal wire physically connecting you to this perfect fat pumpkin, this bundle of fat and flesh, this ridiculously wonderful mushroom, this delightful, tiny, perfect human being.
There are white women who voted for Trump and are not racist who know this moment.
There are white women who voted for Trump and are not racist who know they know.
There are white women who voted for Trump and are not racist who, right now, right at this moment, right now, are laying in bed with their babies and their doors, their front doors, the doors to their apartments or their houses, they are guarded with wires and technology and alarms, alarms that will go off and beep ear-piercingly high beeps of distress if anyone tried to break in to their house and steal their baby. They want to be safe, and protected, they want their babies to be safe. And if I broke in right now, right now, right this very moment, they’d scream higher pitched than any alarm they’ve got set up, they’d scream and scream and scream and scream and scream and they would fight me, they would fight me till my nails bled, they would fight me until I had no eyes left, no limbs left, before they let me take their baby from them.
They cried when Chandler told Monica they were both infertile and they are not racist. They are capable of empathy with fictional white characters. And they are not racist. They are not racist. There are white women who voted for Trump and are not racist.
The white women who voted for Trump and are not racist know about the brown babies in cages and the brown children in tents. They don’t cry. I wonder if they ever even think about them, or if the thought just flickers underneath their eyelids, like when you sometimes remember about the cows and the calves and the eight days of howling. Maybe they never think about them at all. But they know. The white women who voted for Trump and are not racist know. Maybe they tell each other: avoid tent city, you guys, you don’t want to hear that unholy din.
There are, of course, racists who voted for Donald Trump, it’s easy to spot the racists, they have swastika tattoos on their necks and laugh when black or brown people die. But there are, apparently, lots of white women who voted for Donald Trump and are not racist. They don’t cheer when brown people die, they aren’t happy about the babies separated from their mothers, they don’t celebrate the hate and destruction they’ve voted for. They just accept it and vote for it. That’s all they do. They accept it and they vote for it and they let it happen and they make it happen. There are white women who voted for Donald Trump and are, apparently, not racist. And I do not know how they sleep at night