The MAGA American Wet Dream

Ahhh, the Cleavers — that All-American Family…

Looks all fine and dandy on the surface, but when you look out the Cleavers’ window, you see segregated bus stops for segregated buses taking kids to segregated schools and people to segregated neighborhoods to do segregated shopping. God forbid you take the wrong bus to the wrong place — people were getting murdered just because they were a different shade of the same “God-given” skin everyone else had. And the law looked the other way.

The 1950s were a terrible time in American history for anyone who wasn’t a white man. Women were treated like shit. Their place was in the kitchen. Kids were beaten. They should be seen and not heard. Everyone lived in regimen. Walking on eggshells. Whether you were a mother or a child, you did what you were told …or else you got the belt.

Ethnic- and racial slurs were abundant and acceptable. Dagos and wops, kikes, krouts, micks, niggers, spics, slant-eyes, Japs, injuns, zips — back then they were all represented on TV shows as enemies of the “normal” — or as Archie Bunker would say, “regular” — American white folk. I mean, come on, kids didn’t play “Cowboys vs. Cowboys” back then. They were programmed to believe, rather, that anyone that didn’t look like them was The Enemy.

Right there on the set of “Leave It To Beaver”, behind the walls of this scene, Universal Studios had segregated bathrooms, female assistants were belittled and groped and taken advantage of, and immigrant labor was forced into cheap servitude lest they be deported back to wherever they came from. And the kids on the set were forced to work long hours for pay only their parents were entitled to — money they never did get to see.

Yeah, it was a wonderful time. The Cleavers were the “All-American Family” that everyone wanted to be …but no one ever was. The wet dream of White Conservatives. They want you to think “traditional” American values is an actual, “good thing” — but do we really want those “traditions” back? Was life better when women were in the kitchen, wherever you went you only saw your own kind, and kids shut the fuck up? Was life really better when everyone was an alcoholic and smoked like chimneys and beat the fuck out of each other and then put on a pretty face every Sunday for church?

What was happening beyond the walls of 211 Pine Street was a powder keg getting ready to explode — civil rights, equal rights, Vietnam, a Cold War, Roe v Wade, drugs, fear, violence, a drug war, and more violence… Fact is, the America they think of as “Great” was just the set of a TV show. It was never real. THAT America is the America that got us all into this mess to begin with. That “idea” of America. It’s the reason why most of America has a mental illness — we fucked ourselves up.

Traditions evolve. Don’t be fooled. Conservatives use the words “nationalism” in place of “fascism” and “tradition” in place of “ritual behavior” because the latter doesn’t bode as well in print and on social media. It sounds too cultish. And then they prefix the word “Christian” to the front of it all so it all sounds so wholesome …like The Cleavers.

—P

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