I WAS BOBBING in the pool by the bar on a hot yet tolerable day at an Indian casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with three gorgeous Natives talking politics, language revitalization, quaffing fruity It’s-5-O’-Clock-Somewheres when I felt an overwhelming dread by the simple thought of returning to Washington, D.C.—the idea of crawling off the plane and into the swamp of the wildly privileged and abjectly poor filled me with disappointment and frustration, and evil thoughts of what really happens in the district flooded my skull:
Noon. Trump’s amusement park. Interns and horny, hiding-in-public elected officials are already drunk to the tits, vomiting on U Street by 6 p.m. and staggering and pissing in rat-ridden alleys by eight. Nobody works here the day before the beginning of any summer holiday, at least no one important, and especially not their kids. While the wiggy sons and daughters of D.C.’s gentry are trashing their million-dollar Georgetown mansions with other spoiled skin-terns, Mom and Dad are on their yachts, on the Potomac, hosting an invite-only, well-catered jubilee, boozing heavily, dancing poorly, and fucking the help on the bow at midnight under Virginia stars when no one’s looking.
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Being a Native in D.C. isn’t easy. Neither is being a Chicano. Fans of the Washington NFL team hate you (kinda like how Gibson sees Jews), and fat men in red hats and short shorts from out of town and booming bank accounts want you to “go back where you came from!” Meanwhile, on the street, protesters with sweaty brows and sun-burnt shoulders yell from beyond the fence at a POTUS who isn’t home.
Then a Bible thumper. A Democrat. As we spoke of climate change and Trump and villains and the long, hot, sticky days that will suffocate the whole of D.C. by August, she suddenly told me I need to “trust in the Lord.”
“What?” I said. “God has NEVER had to deal with this dipshit. Not like we have to.”
Which is true. The woman faded back into the crowd of protesters with high spirits, dirty feet, and defeated eyes and said nothing. Because she knew I was right. And I AM right. God is a curious man or woman or thing—and even with his or her or its omniscience and omnipresence, he or her or it has never been on Medicaid. Which is, again, true. That is a hard fact for the devout to swallow, even for hard-lined Affordable Care Act Democrats. Indeed. D.C. is full of hypocrites and statues of slave owners and Indian killers and good ol’ ‘Merican tourists to openly molest marble junk in public to appear patriotic for pics.
A few miles away from the Andrew Jackson Memorial—the president-bastard who murdered Indians because the Jesus god allegedly said it was okey dokey—POTUS Orange with baby digits is, at any moment, babbling incoherently into a Fox News microphone about deposed FBI director James Comey or the “fake news media” or about the chocolate cake he eats before dropping bombs. Or, if it’s the weekend, he’s in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, with small white balls and young men in tight shorts blowing serious taxpayer coin on security and drinks and shrimp cocktails while blaming missed putts on Democrats and Obama and New York Times Chief White House Correspondent Peter Baker. Then it’s back to tweeting more bullshit Paul Ryan will inevitably justify by saying, sheepishly, “he’s just new to this.”
But a novice POTUS isn’t what this country needs. It’s not what the planet needs. It’s not what the future needs. Yet the orange fresh fish recently told a room full of Natives that he “loves Indian country.” And a car salesman will tell you “this baby runs smoothly—nothing to worry about!” And the pawnshop shill will rob you in your most desperate hour. Yes. The U.S. valorizes dipshits and liars and bigots, and here, in D.C., pawnshop shills hold office.
The Fourth has come, but not quite gone. More than a week later, the stench of old, rotting food and backwash boiling in beer cans fill the air…I sat down with a producer at NPR the other day at Roofers Union on 18th St., and we discussed coverage and police brutality and racist Indian mascots. But I don’t want talk about that now. I want to watch the man with sunburnt shoulders in an American flag hat, muscle shirt, and pants, and wonder: Is he wearing red, white, and blue whitey tighties? What about thongs and G-strings made to resemble the American flag? Is it unpatriotic to ram a red, white, and blue flag up the crack of your ass? Or is just good ol’ ‘Merican patriotism? I’ve never owned a thong myself, but on Independence Day or President’s Day or even Columbus Day, for that matter, it just seems poetic to link pricks and assholes and flags.
And every hour, here in Trump’s playpen, another helicopter zips by, just above your skullcap, and the dead-tired, hungry, homeless vet with post traumatic stress disorder who’s just trying to make it to his Dr.’s appointment suffers another flashback, another episode, right there on the searing sidewalk, while another rich prick blurts to another rich prick, “What’s his problem?” Then, a fat, fearless rat, just there, runs to get the crumbs. Nearby, a bus driver lays on the horn at a mother with child in stroller who he feels need to “get the hell out of the crosswalk!”
Right. Here, in the land of going in circles, it’s only a matter of time before you become a victim to heat or anger and evil and impatience and bigotry and for failing to look both ways. There are two types of people in this case: Those who keep a sharp eye for signals, warning signs, and those who deny that anything brutal could ever happen to them, until it does. But by then it’s too late. Smash. Crash. Blood and broken bones. And it’s at that life-altering moment that you pray Trumpcare fails miserably.
There’s only one thing more nasty and wrong than a fat white man in an American flag-turned-thong fondling a statue of Andrew Jackson, and that’s Trumpcare. It’s disturbing. Foul. Nauseating. But don’t look away. Muscle pass that gag reflex. Give the rich, bigoted bastards no quarter. As a matter of fact, never give a rich bastard anything other than lip. That’s the only thing they lack. And even as they own practically everything, they still want more. They always want more. They are wasičus after all. Fat takers. Beware of fat takers, and men in thongs who praise, paw and grope at busts of Andrew Jackson. They’re everywhere. You’ve been warned.
Simon Moya-Smith, Oglala Lakota, is the Culture Editor at Indian Country Media Network. Follow him on Twitter @simonmoyasmith.