Where New Yorkers should hide when the MAGAs come to riot

OPINION: I'm ready for a white riot. I know where to hide because I know how these MAGAs think.

Trump supporters "Maga" Mary Kelley, second left, of Lake Worth, and Kathy Clark of Lantana talk to a police officer as they protest following the news that former President Donald Trump has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury, Thursday, March 30, 2023, near his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. Trump has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury, prosecutors and defense lawyers said Thursday, making him the first former U.S. president to face a criminal charge and jolting his bid to retake the White House next year. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

I’m afraid y’all. Afraid that the charges against Trump will lead to a horde of MAGAs descending on New York City and making my city look like the Capitol on Jan, 6 or like “The Purge” or “Planet of the Apes” or something. We’re talking riots, fires, chaos, looting — all that crap they say BLM did but it will be MAGA, and they’ll actually do it for real. 

I mean, everyone saw what they did on Jan. 6. It was animalistic chaos. They were a homicidal mob. It looked like their favorite team had won the World Series. White people never riot except for the many, many, many times that they have rioted throughout American history because “for most of America’s history, race riot meant white supremacy asserting itself through ritual violence” so I have every right to be scared. Angry white people can be very violent. 

People say don’t worry, the NYPD will keep the city safe, to which I say, you want me to trust the NYPD? Are you serious? No, if things start to go left, I will have to save myself by finding a place to hide. But what would be the right place to hide from MAGAs in NYC? I’ve thought long and hard about this, and I’m not one to gatekeep when it comes to safety. I know where we should go. New Yorkers who want to stay safe, follow me. Where? I’ll tell you right now.

In order to know where to hide from the MAGAs, you have to know a little about how they think. The thing about MAGA people and the modern right is that they’re very threatened by the world. Almost everything they do and talk about comes from a fear of change. Over the past few years, they’ve sensed the power of whiteness beginning to dim just a teeny bit, and they’re responding with an adult temper tantrum. Supporting Donald Trump is an adult temper tantrum. It’s the equivalent of a child lying on the floor of a supermarket and screaming as loud as it can because mom refused to buy Sugary Cheese Poofs. The crying brat is MAGA voters and the mom is America and refusing to buy Sugary Cheese Poofs is symbolic of refusing to allow us to be a completely racist country anymore. It’s mom saying we can’t exclude non-white, non-straight, non-cis people forever. Supporting Trump is a way of MAGAs saying, yes we can. 

Part of the right’s fear of change is a refusal to validate it. They want to pretend that things they hate don’t even exist. They want abortion to disappear. They want Black history to disappear. They want trans people and the climate crisis and the mass murder crisis and immigrants from certain countries to just disappear. They so desperately want America to go back to the 1950s that they’re trying to imagine that we’re there now. You know how some people don’t notice things that they don’t want to see? Well, in order to hide from MAGAs, look for places that they won’t even see.

I suspect that libraries and bookstores will be very safe when the MAGA zombies come walking through Manhattan. All those books and thoughts are extremely frightening to them. A MAGA horror movie would star an average MAGA guy (of course) who’s trapped in a Manhattan bookstore and forced by a lesbian non-binary trans person to … read a book. Actually, far more scary to them would be a MAGA guy trapped in a Black women’s history class and forced to actually listen, so let’s add this to the list of safe places: colleges and universities like NYU, Columbia, CCNY, etc. They don’t want to risk coming into contact with new ideas. MAGAs are very afraid of new ideas. They’re violently resistant to new ideas so anywhere there are new ideas, they won’t go.

They’re also afraid of history, so any of New York’s many history museums will be safe as will our art museums — all the deep thinking that goes into art is scary for MAGAs. I imagine that vegan restaurants like Slutty Vegan will be totally invisible to them. They’ll surely avoid any drag shows like Illusions and drag queen restaurants like Lucky Cheng’s and overtly pro-LGBTQ spaces like The Center. I bet if they wade into the West Village, they’ll just melt like the Wicked Witch in “The Wizard of Oz”. 

Of course, the safest place in all of New York when the MAGAs come to riot is surely the projects. Any place that’s predominantly Black will be extraordinarily scary for MAGAs. They’ve been told over and over for years that the projects are violent places where there are lots of Blacks and guns. Fear of Black people is a fundamental part of the MAGA movement. You know they’re not going anywhere near Harlem or the Bronx. They’re very scared of “the Blacks.” Trump always gave me slave massa vibes because he presented himself as someone who was here to save them from us by being the white savior who’s tougher than anyone else. That was the image he emitted. So those red hat-wearing clowns aren’t about to run up in the projects. They’ve been listening to Tucker Carlson tell them scary things about Black people for so long that they would lose their minds if they were around more than two of us at once. Yep, that’s where I’ll spend Tuesday. We’ll be super safe from MAGA in the projects and that’s fitting because, in times of trouble, it’s good to be around your people. 

Touré, theGrio.com

Touré is a host and Creative Director at theGrio. He is the host of the podcast “Toure Show” and the podcast docuseries “Who Was Prince?” He is also the author of seven books including the Prince biography Nothing Compares 2 U and the ebook The Ivy League Counterfeiter. Look out for his upcoming podcast Being Black In the 80s.

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