My response to a comment about my invitation to Mr Trump to come and take tea with me in my humble abode in Lincoln.
If I only do business/associate/befriend/listen to people who have never said or done anything just as crass and stupid as Donald Trump then I’d be a pretty lonely person. I’ve witnessed both men and women saying things equally as bad if not far worse as Trump’s widely reported pussy grabbing comment. I’ve also witnessed behaviour that was also reprehensible. (E.G. Dancing on the bonnet of someone’s car, leaving it quite battered.) Some other examples of comments that I’ve personally witnessed come to mind….(Forgive the paraphrasing and I’ve omitting the names of the various “criminals” to avoid embarrassment):
“All male primary school teachers are paedophiles.” Said by a female primary school teacher to her colleague who was in total agreement with this example of man bashing. A nice bit of gross generalisation mixed with just a bucket load of misandry.
“Yeah, I’ll be banging her later.” Said by a student in one of the newsrooms at the hallowed halls of the University of Lincoln. A crass and uncalled for comment. In fact, this is only a small snippet from an extended conversation betwee
n a group of about six “gentlemen” who were discussing their sexual prospects amongst the female freshers. Done so quite openly and with no obvious sense of shame or guilt in front of myself, a complete stranger.
“Gay people are sickos.” Stated with no small measure of vehemence by the mother of a child in my son’s class at school. The “lady” being what I’d call a “strong” Christian and totally convinced of her beliefs.
“You are a useless and stupid child that will never amount to anything. Get out of my class!” Shouted by a teacher at a 9-year-old who had problems understanding the lesson material. The child was then literally dragged from the classroom and humiliated further by being forced to spend the rest of the day in the corridor outside. (Oh, and if you’re wondering…yes, that was me and I have never forgiven that scumbag of a teacher for taking such obvious delight in the distress of a child.)
“Fuck off!” Screamed at me by a “lady” who’d left her purse at the bar of a North London nightclub and which I was foolishly trying to politely return to her no doubt sweaty and booze tainted hands. Oh, and if you’re wondering, I responded by merely wishing her a good evening. I can be so nice, sometimes.
“Shagging her was like throwing a sausage down the centre lane of the M25.” A quote from a chap who’d done the nasty in the pasty (Futurama reference) with a lady we both worked with. He obviously didn’t feel the need to express gratitude for their shared carnal adventure.
I could bore you with many more comments, from both men and women, that were misogynistic, misandristic, racist, bigoted, homophobic, discriminatory and usually downright stupid. Such comments came from people on the Left, Right and the Centre of the political spectrum. The poor, middle classes and the rich were part of this rich tapestry of intolerance, and race was no barrier to membership of this less than excusive club either. Nor was academic achievement, or even professional status, likely to bar a person’s admission to Club Intolerance. And religionists also regularly featured, giving lie to their constant claims of “love thy neighbour”. (And in one case that’s exactly what they did, much to their wife’s dismay!)
I suppose the point, okay points, I’m trying to make are as follows:
- All people are intolerant some of the time, if not all of the time. Just look at the concepts of white flight and PLU (People Like Us).
- People regularly say things that they later regret – my wife still has nightmares about proposing to me and for good reason!
- The Anti-Trump brigade hate him because he seems to get away with saying and doing the things that they’d like to do themselves but wouldn’t dare to admit to because they’d be branded as “bad guys”.
- If you only deal with those you agree with then you end up existing inside a sterile echo chamber in which you’ll never learn anything.
So even though I don’t always agree with Trump, or his every pronouncement, he’d still be welcome at Chez Hodges AND so would the likes of Jeremy Corbyn, Theresa May, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkle, Jean Claude Juncker, President Xi Jinping of China, the editor of the New Internationalist, Basil Brush and (deep breath) Mary Berry!
Looks like I might need to get in a catering pack of teabags and some milk…