An Olive Branch to Trump Voters
Over the past week, I’ve said some angry, provocative, and downright hateful things about Trump voters; words I regret. Shock and disbelief took over after the election, and mindfulness went right out the window as my brain went into full amygdala hijack. I apologize. Really… I’m sorry. Thankfully, most of you have put up with me as I vented. This morning, the rage has subsided, but I still have that sick feeling in my stomach. It’s like that feeling after your hurl when you think you might be okay, but you also know you could toss your cookies again at any moment.
So, most of us are still friends online, and I’m glad for that. But, like I said in previous posts, I lost a degree of respect for you when you cast your vote for Trump. I’m not going to rehash all the reasons why… You know why I’m angry. But I’ve been thinking about it over the past couple days and I think there’s a way we can start to build a bridge.
We have, over the years, respectfully disagreed on many issues: Abortion, the environment. guns, etc. I don’t expect your guy appoint someone like Bernie Sanders as Secretary of State, or Jill Stein as Interior Secretary. You want someone like Sarah who wants to “drill baby, drill” and while that might make me angry, it’s also not unexpected. I can find a way to live with that until the next election. I will protest of course, but I will try to do so by attacking the issue, not you. But, when it comes to white nationalism, racial slurs, hate speech, xenophobia, bullying, misogyny, etc., that’s where I have to draw the line.
You excused Trump for expressing these and now we are seeing a spike in this behavior from what I can only hope are fringe elements of his base. You’ve seen the videos of students shouting “White power” while holding a Trump sign at school. You’ve heard the reports of middle school students chanting “Build the wall” in class. You’ve read the stories of online hate and bullying. We’ve tried to bring these to your attention, and many of you dismiss them saying either that most are fake, that it’s no different from the way things were before, and it’s no different than the kind of hate I’ve spewed in my posts. Maybe, but here’s the thing. Your guy won. Your side has the power. We are telling you we’re scared. My LBGTQ friends, friends of color, immigrant friends; they’re all terrified. Genuinely, truly, actually terrified.
So, here’s what I ask. It’s a simple, small thing, but it would go a LONG way to help heal this wound.
Post a message on Facebook and/or Twitter saying that you support diversity and that you stand against hate. Say that you will not tolerate bigotry, sexism or xenophobia, and that while you may not agree with many of the things we believe in, you will take a stand against anyone who expresses these online. We don’t see what you see on Facebook… We live in separate filter bubbles with different sets of friends. If you see someone comment with hateful, racist words, please SPEAK UP. You carry far more influence with your side than we do. Wear a safety pin. Send a letter to your congressmen/women, or start an online petition asking Trump to speak up and deliver a speech against hate. Ask him to reverse his decision on Steve Bannon who is responsible for headlines like these. If someone calls Michelle an man, Barack a monkey, Hillary a bitch, etc., and you don’t say something, we will not only assume that you condone it, but that you agree with it.
You keep telling us that you’re not racist, xenophobic, etc. Right now, we really need you guys to prove it. Please. We need your help.