Fighting the Donald Trumps of the World is not a Spectator Sport

This fight doesn’t end with him

Donald Trump’s latest implosion is a perfect storm of the issues closest to my heart: politics, women’s empowerment, and gender-based violence. As a friend said the other night, this is pretty much my strike zone. And yet, I have said nothing.

Frankly, I don’t have anything to say. What do you want from me? To say it was terrible? Of course it was terrible! But Trump has been terrible for a long time.

Donald Trump has been terrible to women for a long time. Where have you all been on the multiple allegations of sexual assault, when he said he would date his daughter if they weren’t related, when he has called women fat pigs, sluts and slobs, or when he tries to take away our rights?

Donald Trump has been terrible for a long time. Where were you when he called Mexicans rapists, when he declared his intention to deport Muslims, when he incited his supporters toward violence, or every damn time he insists black America is synonymous with the “inner city”?

America has been terrible to women for a long time. Where were you before the cases became so famous that they became magazine covers — how many survivors or video tapes did it take for you believe? Where are you when cops blame victims, fudge sexual assault numbers, arrest sex workers when they report sexual violence perpetrated against themselves, or ruin sexual assault survivors’ lives instead of investigating their cases like they were called to do? Where is your outrage for the poor treatment of femme, trans and women folks by the medical establishment, for the utter lack of LGBTQ-friendly healthcare? Where are the protests for the forced sterilizations of women that are happening in 2016 America? Where is the acknowledged and the horror that any and all of this is worse if you’re disabled, if you’re queer, if you’re trans, if you’re of color, if you don’t make a good spokesperson for a movement, if you’re all of the above?

No one seems all that interested in the hard work of undoing our underlying rape culture, until it’s time to call out the easy culprits, like a big orange monster who has clearly crossed the line. No one wants to wade into the complex racial, religious and cultural politics of our post 9/11 world and stand up for Muslims, Mexicans, and people who are mistaken for Muslims and Mexicans, and call out all the horseshit they deal with on a daily basis for being brown in America.

It’s easy to be on the right side when the other side is a monster. I would love to see you all out here again the next time we have comments like these, but when they come from a more popular speaker, or when the comments are better coded, closer to a dog whistle than a foghorn.

You don’t get to proudly trot us out when it’s convenient, knowing we’ll be human shields between you and the trolls, after spending most of the year derisively referring to us as human outrage machines.

We are not your tool. These causes are not for manipulation, entertainment, or baffled outrage of onlookers. The betterment of our society is not a spectator sport. Join us.