what did you think was going happen?

This line from Fight Club is stuck in my head. Ed Norton as the narrator/protagonist delivers it to the the Space Monkeys who’ve just dragged Bob’s dead body into the kitchen of the house on Paper Street. “You morons! You’re running around with ski masks, trying to blow things up, what did you think was going to happen!?”

In my head, I deliver this line quite calmly to the media that provided over a year of free, 24/7 coverage to the president-elect, but also to my liberal friends and anyone, really, who went to college and then hightailed it off from their Red communities to some large, coastal, Blue state city. What did you think would happen? What did you think would happen? What did you think would happen?

Also on my mind is this line from the opening pages of The Bluest Eye: “There really is nothing more to say – except why. But since why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how.”

Well, perhaps we should start looking at why.

Although it’s positioned as neutral, as natural and as right as humans breathing air, whiteness is a thing with powerful imperatives. It is inextricably tied to masculinity. In the Anglosphere and, actually, wherever people think of themselves as ‘white’, whiteness crushes anything it deems a threat. So, perhaps, after eight years of being humiliated by Barack Obama’s dignified, consistent competence, whiteness simply could not tolerate Hillary Clinton’s experience and persistence – especially as a continuation of President Obama’s legacy.

And so here we are.