6 Ways NOT to Comfort Me About the Election

Janet Dickerson
Nov 11, 2016 · 3 min read
Seriously. Stop.

In many ways, conversations in the aftermath of Trump’s electoral win have felt almost like how people try (and fail) to offer condolences and comfort after the death of a loved one. Trying to talk to others about how to make sense of the shock of it all has been a minefield of well-intentioned but woefully misguided advice, religious pontificating, and tone-deaf sympathies that, frankly, only piss people off more. Here are a few of the absolute worst:

1. “I’m not a Trump fan, but let’s try and give him a chance.”

Said no Trump voter or supporter about Obama EVER. So, no. Actually, Hell no. You may be saying that to try and secure yourself a shady spot on the plantation, but I’m fine right here where it’s bright, sunny, and all of the bigots are in plain view.

2. “Remember, when they go low, we must go high.”

This one is particularly tiresome. When Michelle Obama said this during her 2016 DNC speech, it was about voting AGAINST Donald Trump, not about accepting him and his bigot-ridden administration once they’re in office. We will not be guilted into “being the bigger person” by giving intolerant, racist, xenophobic misogynists a chance. In this case, “going high” doesn’t mean compromise, it means resistance.

3. “These results show that America is now officially more sexist than it is racist.”

Pause. Read. Now stop saying this bullshit.

4. “Stop being angry and start planning for 2020.”

I agree with the start planning part. But stop being angry? White right wing voters never stopped being Angry when Obama was elected, which is how we got Trump in the first place. These are both so extraordinarily tone-deaf to the massive sea change that Trump’s presidency and the ascendance of people like Mike Pence, Rudolph Giuliani and Sarah Palin to federal leadership represents, especially for communities of color, women, LBGT and disabled people. Though their grossly inhumane agenda may not affect you (or you’re in denial about the ways in which it will), it will impact others in very real, dangerous ways that we simply cannot afford to dismiss and look beyond.

5. “One man won’t stop us.”

This is a nonsense statement. We are all adult and intelligent enough to know that what Trump represents is not just himself, but an army and country of bigots and career oppressors who will be creating the laws of the land. THAT reality is very real and it is very frightening. What we’re doing is not wallowing, but coming to grips with an inevitable truth. We cannot press forward and fight what’s coming if we remain steeped in denial and encourage others to do the same.

6. “We must press on. It’s all in God’s hands now.”

Nope. Uh uh. No. This is a cop-out akin to white people telling slaves their freedom was in the afterlife. There’s a reason God gave us all hands of our own, and we must use them to FIGHT.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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