White Supremacy is back in the news thanks to a man who walked around Seattle wearing a Swastika armband, and the man who decided to punch him in the face.

The repetitiveness of these events is a point of frustration. Extremists will continue to use these incidents to embolden their small groups to continue to disrupt and derail the conversations we should be having in our country.

Let’s start with Charlottesville. Most media has estimated that 200-250 white nationalists protested on the first night. According to NYTimes’ The Daily podcast, that was after an organized GLOBAL recruitment of protestors. That’s right, they reached out to all the white nationalists on planet earth and were able to scrounge up about 200-250 pathetic men. But then, what did the media do? Act like this was news. Like it was important. Like we should care. Do you actually think the KKK ever stopped protesting? Do you think this type of behavior is on the rise because of Trump? Perhaps. But I have a feeling it’s probably because we as a society have decided to make something out of it and act like a couple of children with tiki torches is the greatest threat to America. The next day, as we all know, much violence ensued, the President made cringe-worthy statements and all of the sudden we had to act like white supremacy is a thing again. They’re getting all of this attention thanks in part to the media and so-called Social Justice Warriors.

Now, let’s take Mr. Swastika (that’s what I’m calling him). He was obviously doing this for attention. Obviously trying to get a rise out of people. And as usual, the opposition took the bait. Someone punched him in the face. Not only did someone punch him in the face, but the internet went on to celebrate this act of violence. Now the bad guy is the victim. And yes, the media has an obligation to hear his side of the story if they want to fairly cover the story. It’s a sad state of affairs that we have set ourselves up to give a platform to a Nazi. But now it boils down to a man suffering an act of violence simply for exercising his first amendment right. Thank you to the idiot who punched him.
Let’s be real- this is not about Nazis. This is not about the KKK. It’s not about white supremacy. It’s about Trump, and hatred for anyone who supports him. Why do I feel this way? Because there are symbols of fascist violence all over America that many people who oppose these Nazis not only condone but to some degree, celebrate. We all know about Fremont’s Lenin statue. Seattleites are in no hurry to see it come down but are furious about confederate statues on the opposite side of the country. In the very moment Colin Kaepernick calls America a police state, he wears the face of Fidel Castro, a man who slaughtered tens of thousands of his own people. Jay-Z, an outspoken supporter of #BlackLivesMatter, wears Che Guevera, who was responsible for many deaths, and, ironically, was racist against blacks.
This isn’t about shutting down “symbols of violence.” It’s about winning at politics. And until we can get past this, we will continue to overlook the reall issues that face our society.

“Resistance” is the word of conviction in Seattle lately. The election of Donald Trump has sent some into a frenzy, taking every action possible to show their outrage and disapproval of his administration. Most recently, the Seattle City Council got on board to “Trump-Proof Seattle” with the passing of an income tax on the wealthiest citizens in the city. The goal of said tax was to be prepared if Trump pulls federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities, and chip away at the city’s “regressive tax system.” We’re yet to see if the funding will actually be used for either. 

But let’s face it. This is all a distraction. A way to pander to louder constituents while making grand gestures without any real impact. The question remains if this time-consuming act does anything to help Seattle’s urgent issues. As an aspirational stoic, I am reminded of a passage from one of the most famous Stoics, Marcus Aurelius.

 

“Does what’s happened keep you from acting with justice, generosity, self-control, sanity, prudence, honesty, humility, straightforwardness, and all other qualities that allow a person’s nature to fulfill itself? So remember this principle when something threatens to cause you pain: the thing itself was no misfortune at all; to endure it and prevail is great good fortune.”  Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

 

The best answer to an administration you disagree with is simple: do your job. Be a good person. Act with self-control and contribute to your community. Aurelius reminds us in his timeless prose, if we all stay focused doing our work, and doing what is right, there will be no need to “resist.” 

Before Trump was ever elected president, Seattle had a growing homelessness issue. Before Trump took office, our chronic traffic congestion was only getting worse. Way before Trump was even the Republican nominee, housing affordability was a hot topic in Seattle. None of that has changed. There is still much work to be done, regardless of who is in the White House. With the exception of the ill-executed Travel Ban, nothing from the White House has really had a direct impact on our city. And if we were to use the travel ban as an example, it was the fact federal judges did their job that the Trump Administration is taking this case all the way to SCOTUS

You may be tired of the childish tweets. You may be concerned about what’s happening with Russia. You might be worried about the overall incompetence. It can be tempting to be “outraged” and to make bold gestures, but none of that will help Seattle. The best thing you can do is your small part. Take care of your family. Work hard and with integrity. Volunteer in your community. Stay informed on local politics. Do your job.