Kingston After Dark: American beauty

One of the about 500 who attended Monday’s candlelight vigil. (photo by Phyllis McCabe)

Dear God, I really wish Michelle Obama, Jamie Clayton or John Leguizamo was president right now. As we reel from the events in Charlottesville, let us note how Trump condemned racism only after facing massive bipartisan pressure and nearly half a week after Heather Heyer, an American citizen, was run down and killed by a white supremacist. When Conald Dump did say anything it was in the most Ron Burgundy reading a teleprompter of fashions and almost immediately followed by the news he plans to pardon the racist ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio. Guess he didn’t want David Duke to worry. Meanwhile open-carry NRA radicals won’t defend a black man Philando Castile for being shot despite his concealed carry permit and have cited that it’s because he was a cannabis consumer. Because that makes complete sense for a libertarian-filled organization and couldn’t possibly be racially based, right?

I am so glad growing up I had friends of many backgrounds and races, genders, sexuality, etc. I can’t understand how anyone conservative voted Trump just to win, unless they were fully fine turning a blind eye to racism in his election strategy and the fact that even his casinos paid fines for allowing black card dealers to be removed when requested by racist high-rollers.


One of my fave early memories was an early Woodstock youth center show with punk, metal and funk bands playing. I think it was my high school grunge band Melancholy, the pre-Shabutie/Coheed Nate Kelley band Moe & The Boogie Cats and some others. Someone put on The Fugees hip-hop classic The Score between bands after a NOFX song was done. The album was brand new at the time and people bugged out and started dancing to “How Many Mics.” I am so glad I was allowed to be at an event like that and had it as a formative memory, unlike some people who came from families against multiculturalism.

As Kaivan Shroff pointed out on Twitter on Monday, “Trump attacked Merck CEO Ken Frazier within hours of him leaving manufacturing council. It took him 4 days to condemn Nazis and the KKK.”

I attended the Charlottesville solidarity candlelight vigil on Broadway and Grand, several hundred people strong, in Kingston on Monday. As 7 p.m. rolled around, what looked like initially a humble crowd swelled. Hope rose. Almost every car for an hour going by honked in support, songs were sung and a moment of silence passed amongst the assembled people of all backgrounds. That is the America we need to make exist at all for once. Let’s stop the blatant lie that antifa or demonstrators against white supremacy are morally equivalent to fascist white supremacists. White supremacists do things like surround a black church with torches, throw oil on a trans person while holding the same torches and run down a woman in cold blood. They are not “nice boys concerned about globalism.” We didn’t win World War II by debating Hitler.

“I am running to repeal and replace Faso,” said congressional candidate Gareth Rhodes to me at the vigil. “He does not represent his constituents. You can see he didn’t show up tonight. He has sold us all out. He should be saying this is a united front against bigotry and racism. He has been hiding from us and is scared of the people. He took days, like Trump, to condemn what happened in Charlottesville. We are here. We are saying not in our communities. We are united against hatred and racism. This is why our community is great.”

I recently took the very big step for me of announcing to everyone I know that I am trans and am starting to transition from non-binary male to a more female presentation. I had to do it even though it is a terrifying time to be trans in America. Years of social dysphoria and restless depression finally broke like a wave. I feel better, liberated and much lighter in spirit and happier already, but also kind of exposed. If anyone wants to support me on this journey please go to and I will be eternally grateful. If Soros was paying me to protest Trump I would have nice boobs already, but I digress.

The outpouring of love and light I got from people in the community so far has been what makes America great for me and a welcome balm in an otherwise nightmarish time. Did I mention Trump’s trans ban, allegedly meant to save several million dollars, will cost $960 million to implement? Is that why your casinos failed, Conald? Did you learn math at Trump University? Stop playing golf on our dime, you giant gilded cockroach in khakis.

I would much rather hear “We Shall Overcome” sung in somber and bittersweet tones by a gathering of people of many stripes in Kingston, rather feel lifted by my fellow citizens to new heights, local business growth and conversation than have America be a place ruled by kleptocrats emboldened by chants of “blood and soil”. If that is the price of having an alleged businessman as a leader, if someone with actual Nazi ties like Gorka is allowed in the White House, if our healthcare policy is centered around revenge on Obama versus healing the sick, count me, and the majority of Americans, out.

Until next week, read some intersectional feminism, remember that reverse racism is a false narrative because of the bias of the prison-for-profit culture we live in and please try not to take any vile statements from Putin’s favorite little snowflake-in-chief to heart. Libertad!