Saturday Night Live handled the election turmoil exceptionally throughout the campaign season and that did not stop with Trump’s win. Following a beautiful cold open featuring Hillary Clinton (Kate McKinnon) singing the recently deceased Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” Dave Chapelle and Chris Rock drove home an important point regarding the election: White people may be shocked that so many people in America could accept Trump’s blatant bigotry, but black people, on the other hand, already knew how racist this country really is.
This skit hit home for me. I tend to surround myself in a pretty liberal bubble. Okay, very liberal. So, like many liberals, I had tried real hard to convince myself that Hillary Clinton was gonna pull off a win. But deep down, I had serious doubts. Watching Chapelle, I couldn’t help but think of my father and how he would have reacted to my optimism and the election in general.
Now that the Xanax haze has worn off, I watched this skit and realized how easy it is to forget just what this country is really like. Beyond the open racists that backed Trump, it was the willingness of so many to turn their heads and decide that they can accept Trump’s bigotry. The people who decided this issue or that issue was enough to look the other way and vote for him anyway. The people who decided racism wasn’t a dealbreaker.
For whatever reason, a lot of us miscalculated just what our population here in the good ole USA consists of. I did. I shouldn’t have because I damn well know, but I did. My father? I don’t think he would have. As an African-American, he lived through segregation and fought in the Civil Rights Movement. He took part in marches and sit-ins. Integrated local businesses and became the first black student to attend his high school.
He would have known all along that Trump was going to win. He knew how racist America can really be. He knew how many people may not consider themselves racist, but won’t stand up and do anything to stop it, making them every bit as deplorable. He would not have been shocked or surprised. He would have seen this coming. And for the record, I don’t think he would have even waited for Tuesday. He would have moved to Canada in time to watch the leaves start changing in September.
And now, if you want to laugh to keep from crying, you can watch the SNL “Election Night” skit, here:
Featured image via video screen capture