Like a lot of people, I didn’t sleep Tuesday night.
Fear interrupted hour-long intervals of fitful rest. I am afraid for myself and terrified for people less privileged than me, and I can’t fathom people I know whose comfort overpowers the basic needs of the marginalized. I’m upset with myself for cracking a joke about leaving, but part of me fears that his rise to power (I couldn’t even type that without recoiling) would give me fewer rights here than I’d “enjoy” in the Middle East. At least Iran moved past its Ahmedenijad era.
This election season pulled me into the past. My grandmother, bless her soul, told me that Trump was her “favor” the other day because “Melania is very chic.” My grandmother grew up in pre-revolutionary Iran and has always been a fan of opulence, so I can kind of understand her logic here. People were —and are—attracted to Trump’s money and extravagance, and hopefully he won’t blow billions of government funds on a party at some ancient ruins like the Shah did. Earlier this month, I said this country was lucky because it wouldn’t have to undergo a revolution. Now, I’m afraid of what white supremacy masquerading as nationalism will do to it.
I woke up to more sadness and “newly outed” Trump fans celebrating on social media. I tried to resume normalcy and checked my email, which accumulated a few press releases overnight. For lack of a better pun, this takes the cake. And God, I wish I were making this up:
Good morning Dakota, it’s time to make America (taste) great again thanks to pastry chef and owner of Ava’s Cupcakes, Michelle Spell.
Available for a limited time, Ava’s Trump Cupcake features a classic vanilla cake adorned with an infamous ‘wall’ made of milk chocolate, stuffed with a cherry center, topped with an edible Trump sugar face image and completely covered in edible gold. Orders can be placed online or by phone. Perfect for home/office parties.
Laugh at me all you want for getting angry at a cupcake. I’ll break this shit down for those of you who are as baffled as I was:
1. Dear Dakota
I was CCed on this press release, as Dakota is the Food section’s primary editor. All the publicist had to do was look at our names to know that sending this email wouldn’t be smart. Kim. Sedghi. We are children of immigrants and among those fearing for our lives. Considering Trump wants to keep people like our families out, we’re not the kind of people who’d be interested in Trump cupcakes.
2. …adorned with an infamous ‘wall’ made of milk chocolate…
The sanctity of the pun has been tarnished. While the racist manipulation of puns isn’t novel (see below), using chocolate (which came from Mexico, by the way) to symbolize shutting people who are just trying to survive out — Do I even need to explain how disgusting that is?
3.…and completely covered in edible gold.
Eating gold makes sense for the Trumps, and they probably shit gold too. Maybe that’s where some of their money comes from. But even the middle-class white who voted for Trump (note that his backers leaned toward the upper class, however) can find sprinkling a precious metal on a cupcake wasteful. In the wake of the Iranian Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s new government repudiated Western “indulgences” like satellite dishes (which allowed access to outside media) and modern haircuts. If people are excited about eating a cupcake covered in a precious resource, then maybe the bearded men were right about something.
Every time I read the press release aloud, people drop their jaws.
Unfortunately I’m not able to access hi-res images. I asked for some, but I guess the publicist took a few minutes to glance at Paste and realize this story would be negative.
So Trump Cupcakes, here is an image for you:
Your thumbs-ups visages will sit safely behind glass until yuppies buy them and post photos to Instagram. You’ll probably sell out, and I’m probably giving you even more publicity, but I’m angry because you’re celebrating the devastation of government.
While you commemorate your victory with a chocolate wall, the people who have something at stake are flabbergasted and hiding. People who don’t look or think like you are going to lose a lot, but at least you won’t have to share your resources. If Obamacare is repealed, many people won’t be able to recover. People are going to lose their access to birth control, which a strong percentage of Trump voters can’t even handle. Think back to the sketchy basement abortion in As I Lay Dying and know that you voted for a rise in DIY abortions. Rape will be more acceptable than ever, because even the President-Elect can assault women. I guess you were all pretending to be concerned about your daughters last month. Marriages are going to be nullified, and a Supreme Court that hurt the Voting Rights Act is going to become even more hateful. The branches of government won’t be able to balance one another out, which is one of the fundamentals of this great American democracy you love.
But hey, you’re not threatened anymore. Here’s to you. Celebrate, eat a cupcake and clog your arteries for all I care. But know that you revel in our fear.
Sarra Sedghi is Paste Food’s Assistant Editor. She can usually be found arguing about mayonnaise on Twitter.