So after tonight's episode of HBR (and after the aftershow, and after the afteraftershow), my guy asked if I'd be interested in walking to the local bar, a few blocks away, to have a quick drink and just get out of the house.
We had our drink, watched the highlights of the day's hockey and basketball, and chatted with the barmaid.
On our way out the door, a guy asked us for a light. He was watching a video on his phone. As I hand him my lighter, he says, "holy shit, this stuff is scary. The new president is already committing a genocide!"
I was like... "uh... what?"
He showed me the video he was playing, which showed an impassioned Native protester speaking into a camera. He said, "it's this thing in Dakota. Trump is putting a pipeline under a river, and it's poisoning the Natives there. It's fucking scary."
So I'm standing there, flabbergasted.
I said, "Trump's not actually in office yet. Obama is still the president. And the conflict over that pipeline and concerns about the water supply for the reservation has been going on for months. And it's not a federal decision where the pipeline gets built, it's a state decision. And if the pipeline leaks, it won't just poison the water of the Native band who are protesting, but everyone for a hundred miles downriver no matter what color they are. And there are already pipelines under that river."
He was taken aback for about 3 seconds, then recovered. "Well, if this is how bad things are now, imagine how much worse they'll be when Trump DOES get in! It's fucking scary."
This is what we've come to, people.
Trump is being blamed for a "genocide" that started before he even won the presidency, because a US state approved a pipeline to be built where there are already pipelines that are older and shittier, but the new pipeline that is newer and better might leak one day and contaminate the drinking water for a Native reservation (and lots of whites, blacks and others who live downstream), and it's all Trump's fault. And even if it isn't, well, it's CERTAIN to be worse once he's inaugurated.
Now don't get me wrong. I have zero idea whether the Dakota pipeline protests are for valid reasons or not. Pipeline technology is WAY better now than it was even a decade or two ago. It's safer, and it has a much smaller carbon footprint than transporting by rail. Leak detection instruments and alarm software is so precise now that a pipeline "disaster" means some communities will need to drink bottled water for a month or two. An disaster with rail transport of oil leads to Lac Magantic.
I haven't seen the schematics or the environmental assessments. I can't say whether this pipeline is safe. And there are absolutely valid protests regarding the safety of energy projects where the objective is not to block the project, but to ensure that due diligence is followed regarding the safety of affected communities.
So I don't know, and I can't say, whether this pipeline the guy in the parking lot was talking about is safe or not, or whether the protests against it are justified or not.
All I know is it has NOTHING to do with a Trump-led genocide against Native Americans.
But this is where we are. This is seriously where we are.
Trump is officially the Babadook. Dook. Dook.