Dear Trump Supporters, I Love You, But …

this guy is very bad news …

Dear Trump Supporters, Dear Republicans:

I love you. I nearly voted for the man myself, you know “just to throw a wrench in the system.” I liked how he was more casual and “himself.” And I was ignoring disturbing things about him because I thought it was “just campaign rhetoric” or lies or smears or … I don’t know what. It was all very confusing … with accusations flying from all sides … I also don’t think I thought he would continue all that once in office. In the end, I voted for Hillary. I probably always would have, but I’m just saying! … I had my moments. And I am a “woman of color!”

And now … I really want you to know that, as I write here, and as I have been posting hate crimes now happening across the country (and even the globe!) at my Facebook and Twitter accounts from after the election, I am not posting against you.

I am writing to try show that this man and his close associates, now in cabinet, have sparked a wave of fear, anger and hatred across the country against people of color, LGBT, women, immigrant children even that is frankly, incredibly disturbing. It is unlike anything I have ever seen.

My Indian girlfriend (our kids went to preschool together) who lives in a wealthy Silicon Valley suburb was harrased on a flight to Mexico by a Trump supporter, just after the election … until the captain had to come out of the cockpit and move the man from his seat.

Indeed, this same woman (more informed than me) was very alarmed when she thought Trump might win, and made 100 calls for the Hillary campaign with her daughter, in the days before the election. And then the mother-daughter team made a few calls to the Trump campaign, just to see what they were up to (and, frankly, to be naughty). Two calls went to somewhat clueless volunteers, and the third seemed to go to a real manager at the Trump campaign.

“We want to make America great again!” they said. “What can we do?” This manager said, “Well, you could go down to a polling station and harass people who look like they are going to vote for Hillary.”

This is not a joke. This is the truth as told to me. (And it is relatively common knowledge now that voter supression and harassment were significant tactics of the Trump campaign.)

Later, my friends’ elderly Indian mother and a friend were shouted at by a group of white women on University Avenue in downtown Palo Alto, former home of Steve Jobs. My beautiful mixed-race friend in Marin county (another wealthy suburb of San Francisco) was subjected to “drive by” harassment from a Trump supporter the day after the election, who leered at her from his pickup truck, draped with the confederate flag and sneered “Trump won!”

Why?

Another Facebook friend of mine, Maria, reported four hate crimes or incidents of extreme fear on “Day One” of the new President Elect. Latino children crying and terrified in their classrooms on the East Side of San Jose, and then buses of kids on field trips at Stanford University jeering at kids who looked to be brown. Such incidents were even reported at Bellarmine High School, a top private prep school in the area.

And then, my cousin, who is mixed-race in Michigan, reported on Facebook that she was yelled at and called a “nigger” at her polling place during an altercation in which she says a white woman was physically attacking a Latino. A few days later, my cousin shared with me a photo of her babysitter’s mother’s car with the word “nigger” scrawled on it. The mother is Mexican, the daughter is mixed-race and they were on their way to a Church of Latter Day Saints meeting.*

This would not happen with a “normal” Republican candidate, and by that I mean a decent Republican candidate — and neither would these unprecedented protests, most of which have been peaceful (although people of color and women and LGBT people and people who care about the planet are very, very scared and also angry.) No one should be violent in my mind and I have pledged to defend a Trump supporter if they are attacked anywhere near me. Indeed, I have been reaching out to them when I can. I am asking you for the same. Can you extend your heart and curiosity to those “on the other side”?

Do you feel and understand that this candidate is different? These things did not happen with Bush, even though that election was very heavily contested.

What I am not sensing from Donald Trump, truly, is that he opposes racism and white supremacy. If he did, he would have issued a clear and unequivocal statement condemning these actions on Day One or Day Two after the election. You know, a speech more than 20 minutes long, televised to the nation and world: “Dear Nation, I have heard of the hate crimes and racist incidents happening in my name across the country. I want you to know that I unequivocally stand against such crimes … etc. etc.”

I am not sensing a moral compass here. And I am not the only one. It is nearly everyone I meet who is within these categories I speak of … What did he say about Syrian atrocities? Nothing.

There is a “secret” Facebook group called “Pantsuit Nation” that was pro-Hillary, but that was set up for the specific purpose of allowing women to share their enthusiasm for Hillary without being attacked, about two weeks before the election. (Hillary specifically mentioned this group in her concession speech). Many women there were reporting being threatened by the men in their lives, or their neighbors, as Trump was “coming to power” … and the LGBT people have been terrified. Now, post-election, they are actually buying plane tickets out of the country. People are trying to figure out how to move out of Red states for safety purposes. I have added people to the group myself who are themselves feeling threatened, or who have friends looking for “safe places” to live or to be.

Even my upper class white women friends have joined this group in order to find some shelter from the storm. This group is now nearly 4 million strong and growing day by day. “Secret” Facebook groups have been popping up all over the place so that people can speak without being attacked, or told to “get over it” or “stop whining” or “stop being cry-babies.”

This may seem obvious to many, but I also believe it is still not clear to many more. There is something very, very bad going on. And maybe also very good, in that it gives us all a chance to reconsider everything. I get that and support that. For me, right now, it feels so much better to be trying to help the vulnerable and frightened in this way (writing blogs, offering support) than to be sitting in fear. I am not the only one who cannot sleep, who cannot eat. It is many of us.

Trump supporters, I love you. We are in this country together. But will you also help us to stop this, or even just look at this? Outside of the world of Fox News and its affiliates? We need to hear you also say “Yes,” I see it. I feel it. I am at least thinking about it. 

Please forward to a Trump supporter that you love and respect.

If you think these incidents were just a blip that will go away, my cousin has now had to quit her only job because just last week (early December), her private employer began to verbally attack her based on her race: “All black girls act the same!” he yelled at her. “That’s why you’re single, because all black girls are the same.” When she told him she was half-white, he said: “Well, I’m glad you’re not all white!” … My cousin is now taking care of her own child, and four foster children and facing the coming holidays with no job.

Through her sobs she said to me: “This is 2016! How can I help it if I am half-black or half-white? This is how I was born. This is who I am! I never had to deal with this growing up! This is 2016! This is 2016! And now I have to endure this?”

Update: I have now done thorough research on Trump, across multiple news sources and biographers, and concluded that he is a “eugenicist,” racist, and (this is my assumption based on the facts) a white supremacist, and has been courting such people intentionally. The best reporting on this has been done by Mother Jones magazine, in conjuction with the Nation Institute. Please see this article, which does not even mention the books by Hitler that Trump has admitted to keeping in his bedroom. Not to read, he has said.

But really, Who does that?

The following are tweets from Donald Trump during the campaign. The “Pepe the Frog” meme is associated with white supremacists, and white nationalism. The red star is associated with the Jewish Star of David, of course, but Trump pulled this tweet after posting, and then said it was supposed to be a “Sherrif’s star.” Reaction from his white supremacist following (not all Trump supporters, of course) has been elation.

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