Gorillas in the Midst

I haven’t seen this many gorillas in the room since Dian Fossey’s last documentary.

The 500-pound gorilla is that subject that all agree is out of bounds for any discussion because it is too explosive and will only end up in bloodshed if discussed but a warning, ignore the gorilla at your own peril.

The biggest, hairiest, scariest one is, no surprise, former, former president trump. Try asking your neighbor if she is a trumper and she will likely snuffle, snort and snear and scatter like wind blows away the leaves, refusing to comment on the king gorilla, although that is defamatory to gorillas. Trump is hallowed ground and a never-trumper asking a trumper anything about trump is like addressing the pope without kissing his ring, true blasphemy to speak about he who shall not be named.

And right up there is the tangential gorilla, the 2020 presidential election. The latest CNN/SSRS polls shows that 30 percent of Americans do not believe Biden legitimately won the election, including 70 percent of Republicans, yes, that’s no typo, seven in every 10 Republicans believe trump was bamboozled out of the White House, despite every known fact to man that shows that Biden won fair and square. And while Republicans around the country, and even in New Jersey, labor to rewrite voting laws, there is nary a mention, not a footnote, not a whisper, that the reason they want new voting laws is to make sure a Democrat doesn’t win again and that all gets back to the trumpian gorilla who claimed over and over and over that he was robbed.

Another gorilla — the COVID-19 pandemic. Don’t even bring it up because people are sick and tired of being sick and tired and they want to return to pre-plague normalcy, whatever that is, and damn the scientists and fear mongers who still want people to wear masks and keep their distances. Raising questions about whether it’s time to drop precautions will only put the kaibosh and the whammy on us and toss us back in the quarantine bag that nobody likes so just shut up and pray.

The question of police brutality is a big gorilla. If you broach it, you are probably labeled as anti-police and think that the police are secret Gestapo head-busters who are conspiring to kill all black people, including those who may or may not have broken the law because we don’t need to take a chance of having one more violent black man among us. And that relates to the gorilla of white privilege, something that we are all so sick and tired of talking about so keep it to yourself or talk about it with your other “woke” hypocrites and by the way, what the hell is white privilege?

Segue to racism and you will get another of those “oh please” eye rolls from all within earshot, enough already, black people have the same opportunities as white people, they say, and don’t even think about reparations because my grandparents came to this country without a dime and lived through terrible poverty and pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, so zip it, shut up, close your pie hole and put a sock in it because I don’t want to hear it anymore.

Then there is the gender gorilla and just bring up the subject of transgender people and you will hear the ear splitting roar of silence, translated into the unspoken but clear as the nose on your face bias that people think that anyone who corrects their sexual identity or even talks about it is suspect and should be exiled out of any future conversations because it’s just too weird.

Next, climate change, bring it up and you will be branded a doomsayer who only sees the dark side of everything and why talk about it when we can’t do anything anyway about the changes in climate that have caused crazy wild fires, monster hurricanes, hotter than ever temperatures, droughts, falling sea levels, shrinking glaciers, destruction of habitat. And like those three wise Japanese monkeys said, see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

Here are a few gorilla snapshots: Colin Kapernick, Malcolm X, Black Lives Matter, Trail of Tears, Palestinian rights, homelessness, and there are many, many more.

Beware because those gorillas are getting bigger and bigger and they will soon demand to be heard and when they do, look out because they will want answers and they won’t be locked away in a closet anymore.




Journalist for 40 years and now a creative writer

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Phil Garber

Phil Garber

Journalist for 40 years and now a creative writer

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