I’ve tried to start this post about 100 times since Tuesday, and the words just won’t come. But I need to get them out, even if they’re not eloquent, so here we are.
I know a lot of people who voted for Trump, and I know most* of you are good, loving people who did what you thought was best for your families and the country. I know most* of you are not racist, misogynist, xenophobic, homophobic, ableist and all the other -phobic & -ists that are being thrown out. I know that. I believe that. I have loved many of you my whole life, and I know your hearts.
But here is my plea to you–if you truly are not those things. If you truly don’t want harm to come to people who don’t look like you, or worship like you, or love like you, or live like you, or sound like you, then I am BEGGING you to stand up for those people when they are threatened, when their lives and livelihoods and liberties are on the line. Speak up in your communities, but also speak up to your elected officials and make your voice heard. You may not think anything bad is going to happen, and maybe it won’t (though I personally think that there are plenty of signs pointing the way showing it’s likely, I understand you may not). But I’m asking you to stand up and demand better of the people you voted for if it does.
You voted for Trump. You swear it’s not because of the awful things he said and promised. Many of you don’t believe he will act on the worst things he said. You swear you’re not all those bad things people are saying about Trump voters, and I believe that of most* of you. So prove it in your actions. Hold his feet to the fire, hold your elected officials’ feet to the fire, make sure they know those awful things aren’t ok with you. Call, write, and then call and write some more when they step over the bounds of what YOU KNOW in your heart is an unacceptable line.
*yeah, some of you? I’ve seen your facebook posts and heard how you talk about minorities and women and people you consider less than you. You can go ahead and keep pretending you’re not all those terrible things just because you’ve never lynched or raped someone yourself, but you’d be wrong. I’m not even pretending I can speak to your better nature.
If you read my plea above, and your first thoughts were “stop whining you libtard,” or any variation thereof, well, it’s pretty clear where you stand.
I’ve seen a lot about whining, and sour grapes, and crybabies, about how we need to calm down, suck it up, accept him as our president, it’s not the end of the world (most often seems to be spouted from folks who swore they’d take up arms in revolution if Trump won, or who spent the last 8 years claiming that Obama wasn’t their president, funnily enough).
But the reality is that there are actual honest to goodness lives at stake here, and not just because of what a Trump administration might do at the federal level, though there’s that too. Hate crimes have increased drastically in the last week. Women are being grabbed and groped and verbally assaulted by men who now think they have that right. Swastikas have been popping up with alarming frequency. The KKK is cheering Trump’s win & his cabinet because it is normalizing their message.
As a friend said, if the KKK is cheering, something has gone very wrong.
Obviously, the KKK has been around before now. And obviously, hate crimes, and sexual assault, and other horrible things have been around before now. And obviously, none of it is ok, then or now. But it has been given the veneer of ok, suddenly, and now it’s increasing, and that’s the problem.
This isn’t about our candidate losing. It’s about the hatred that is being normalized, and passed off as politics as usual. I refuse to be ok with that. And I’m learning to find my voice for the people who need me to speak up and say I’m not ok with that.
Are you standing up and saying “this is not ok” or are you shrugging it off? If the latter, you need to own that you don’t care about the lives of the people this endangers.
Before you even bring it up, YES, I obviously include any attacks and threats to Trump voters and supporters in that. But that’s kind of my point. I’m talking about making sure everyone is ok, not just people who think and look and sound like me. The Golden Rule doesn’t just apply to the people who fit in your bubble, you know? I feel like that’s been lost, and that is perhaps at the crux of my worry.
Please, please, let us be better than this.
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