Emails from Montgomery

December 11

What I’m hating most tonight is that people due northeast and northwest mock Roy Moore as our grotesquerie, when he’s a pale variant of Trump.  Trump’s a barbaric racist and a conventional sexist, a queer denier by proxy and a tranny tormentor from learned deference (and later for AM self-pleasuring), a live-child executioner, a liar so large Orwell’d lose breath — and a traitor — but for months last year I had to follow:  The Hamletting of paul ryans.  The timorousness of the Times.  Whiteboy proffers that Trump was “entertaining.”  My response I think may be the only time in my life I had no girly deftness for parrying the notion I was unfun and no will to sweeten anger with a style — o fierce Fauvista — that has in the past elicited a clap and occasional patronage.  Fuck that.  I did not give a fuck.  Anybody who voted for Trump is a racist.

You get existential freedom when you live in one of the heroic states.   Only just now occurred to me.  My unearned extravagant return for here being home.

After a successful campaign appearance in North Carolina, Trump left two black kids — friends, they’d gone as protesters — one bloody, the other his bloodied witness.  Next day they sat side by side, the shock of nonviolence on their faces.  The beaten kid had got arrested — for the fault of being hit — and while his friend yelled at “security,” the “law,” justice in uniform:  “You don’t need to do that, he won’t do anything,” the beaten kid already on the ground had his arm broke.  What I remember is their expressiveness — one’s black hill-county inhibition before the whiteboy reporter, the other’s tumbling eloquence, the beauty of words come hard and words come easy — and a closeness so brotherly (no, Cornel West, not your frattiness that’s a salute to fraud, currying favor with any white licenser of 5 min. on the teevee, leaning a shoulder into “my brother” for an extra sec of selfie bliss, you sack of tomshit sulking about Obama, in your Abernathy overalls or your pinstripes:  these boys are nothing like you).  What I mean is you felt right off what had happened wasn’t casual cop on black kidlet violence:  it was deliberate enactment of political principle refined on high — and openly relished.  And you felt the Republican Rally, in Charlottesville as it happens, coming.  Sick, raging, at whiteboy debate (“is Trump smart like a fox?”) and whiteboy even tempers . . .

After the election, two more black guys.  They sit at a hearing room table and offer race testimonials for Jeff Sessions.  He came by my house with a christening present for my baby.  He had me to dinner once at his house.   They have, in 2017, the subservience of black folk Sessions bullied more than 30 years ago to bear false witness against black organizers registering black citizens to vote.  You have to hunt pretty thoroughly to find that demeanor, a kind of psychic death, these days.  Moore’s twitchy black bodyguard has it too.

I can’t go on.

Except to say, I think Doug Jones will win.  Because unlike Americans due northeast and northwest we know the simplest truth about Roy Moore is that, like Trump, he is a racist and, like Sessions, he believes blacks are second-class human beings who are fully (and wrongly) righted.  You don’t need to argue Republicans’ systematic racism, worsening inexorably Nixon Reagan Bushes Trump, or analyze Roy Moore’s entire numbnut philo-historico-legal cosmology.  Just take this problem, as enunciated Nov. 8 in Jackson, Alabama: “They [the Supreme Court] started to create new rights in 1965.” –Judge Moore on the Voting Rights Act.

Same time, I’m an unreliable narrator.  In the trainshed of Union Station in Montgomery there’s a buncha Moore supporters, a gathering to watch his primary debate with Luther Strange.  Of course it’s fucked up.  The sun is perfectly angled to wash the screen stark white and the timing (it’s four p.m.) is hottest of the day.  There’s a half-hearted whoop at the evil of transgenders, but same-sex marriage gets silence.  Strange does his sum-up, who cares? he’s a lobbyist and got his short gig as our Senator thru a deal he wouldn’t investigate, as Attorney General, our watery-eyed weak-chinned old love guv  whispering on tape, and not to his wife, “You know what, when I stand behind you and I put my arms around you, and I put my hands on your breasts, and I put my hands on you and pull you real close and hey I love that too — putting my hands under you” and on and on.  When the Judge starts his closer, a train comes out of the distance into the station, whistles hoots clang clang wheels, it comes closer and closer and closer and the Judge is mercifully lost.  Kids skitter, fainting 80-year-olds head for their trucks and Bikers for Trump vroom their harleys and, look, here ‘s the Faulknerian voice (echoes of “now I can get me some teeth,” the husband leftover at the end of “As I Lay Dying”) and there’s the misspelt slogan on the bus (“Alabama  Derserves Moore”).

Charles Barkley makes me happy. Alabama is heroic, like Mississippi.  A minority of the population can turn the nation.


Am I crazy?

Love, Jo

December 12

I’m gonna go vote.