Toni Morrison taught me early on that love is never any better than the lover. She warned us in the pages of The Bluest Eye that “wicked people love wickedly, violent people love violently, weak people love weakly…” So when I see exasperated faces and secret Facebook groups lamenting that love failed to trump hate, I must ask: Whose? Whose love failed us?

The love of free people from the Movement for Black Lives to Justice for Palestine and everywhere in between was deemed too “radical” and their vision too “unattainable” to be supported. And yet, here we are wondering why weak ass love, violent ass love, thin ass love, wasn’t enough to trump hate.

Early on in the primaries, the President-elect was shunned. He was deemed too volatile, too inexperienced, too ridiculous; yet here we are, his detractors are now his protectors. It appears he’s done what womanism and black feminist theory has taught us to do—move from the margins to the center. Only his margins represented the lowest of all of our collective human consciousness. Whatever the reasoning people have given themselves to justify a vote for him, there is no doubt that he is buoyed by the fundamental violence and terror of angry white nationalists. He’s sought to fill his cabinet with those who represent the fringe, and in doing so, he moved the fringe to the center. And that is the wrong kind of dangerous.

Unless Democrats, liberals, progressives, Bernie-ites, and the rest start to inhabit the love of a free people, they will always be trumped and trounced by hate. Those who entered movement work under the guise of getting us back to what used to be center have already failed us. The object of tug of war isn’t to keep the knot dead center, it’s to drag that shit to the edge while watching the other side give way or topple. The middle will never trump the fringe.

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