The Decent White Woman Who Voted For Trump.
Does not exist.
I’m sure that is a hard pill to swallow so you will immediately get defensive and start saying stupid shit like “not me” or “I didn’t vote for him!” Worse, you will rationalize your ballot with some sort of “it was the economy” argument. Or you will stand on the contradiction that it was “innocent babies” you were protecting. (Except, of course, all those disenfranchised through systemic racism).
And even more egregious, you will say now is the time to just let love and peace rule and that differences of opinion don’t need to sever relationships. Or you want to hold hands and sing kum ba yah and tell others we’ll get through it because it’s “only four years.”
None of those platitudes will serve as excuse.
After centuries of coverture and being forced into submission, after decades of progress that still discriminates against multitudes of citizens. After current events send a message that sexual assault can become another chance to victim blame. After woke white allies spoke softly about checking our privilege. After every single ounce of historical evidence. We put a man who dog whistled the Alt-Right into the highest office.
White women are responsible for the newly elected administration. White women. And the truly sad part about that is that it shouldn’t be surprising. White women have a long history of sacrificing others, including themselves, to secure their position on the plantation. This time is no different.
I honestly don’t care what your reason for voting for the Trump/Pence ticket is. I don’t give a damn. Whatever it is, it’s still bullshit. It still comes down to the premise that you voted for a man who ran on a promise of sanctioned racism and the inciting of violence to that end.
That’s not decent.
Decent people didn’t cast a ballot for a man endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan. Decent people not wanting Hillary as President voted third party or stayed home instead. You didn’t do that. You got your ass over to your precinct and deliberately chose that candidate.
Now, some might argue that you didn’t do this with malicious intent. As if that kind of denial isn’t what got us to this place to begin with. Intentions don’t mean shit compared to impact. Others will say you didn’t have the education or insight or wisdom to fully understand. I might buy these cries for empathy if it wasn’t for actual evidence.
White women elected Donald Trump to be the President. White, college educated women. White non college educated women. White women from every corner of this nation. With all different types of jobs and incomes. With families and without. The demographic breakdowns are marginal at best.
And if you think it matters that some white women didn’t cast their ballot for a man who campaigned on white nationalism, think again:
In the days since the election results spilled a blood red map across our nation, I’ve seen too many white women defending the choices of their husbands, their friends, their siblings, their sisters and anyone who cast the ballot for Trump/Pence. And that is just about as grotesque.
Because that’s a message that we are to tolerate what happened. What has been happening in this nation for centuries to so many women and men. If you are a white woman giving those votes a pass, it’s likely because you don’t, or won’t, fully grasp the ramifications for everyone in its path. And that’s likely because you are still so engulfed in your privilege that you have not actually been paying attention.
You aren’t alone. The democratic candidate whose popular vote is second only to our current President wasn’t either. In her concession speech, she said:
“We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought.” — Hillary Rodham Clinton, November 9, 2016
While I did cast my ballot for Clinton, this is yet another example of the white woman bathing in her privileged perched pedestal of denial. Because women of color weren’t taken by surprise by the divide in this nation. They live it. All their lives. It is a divide that has been witnessed by women of color for generations. Perhaps that’s why so many of them came out in support of Clinton, despite the knowledge of the pandering and the realization that white women would fail them yet again.
And fail them we did. By legitimizing the Alt-Right in every branch of our government. The house, the senate and a supreme court nomination were all in play this election. Every single one of them handed to a party that nominated a demagogue to be President. A party now being celebrated with victory parades by white nationalists. A party who claimed their win in the presence of those screaming to lynch the black man.
White women did that.
So it doesn’t really matter what reason you give. It makes no difference your intent. Whatever you chose as more important still means you now wear that dog whistle around your own neck.
It was given to you the minute you cast your ballot.
If you want to be a decent white woman who voted for Trump, perhaps your answer is to find ways to give it back.
“My White Privilege” — with resources included to study the data.
“Stop Blaming White Privilege” — LaSha, Blavity 2015.
“12 Ways To Be A White Ally To Black People”, Janee Woods.
Elizabeth Grattan is a broadcast talent and writer who has covered current events, human interest and social justice for over twenty-five years. Her loves are laughter through tears, old ball caps, reasonably priced blended reds and her dream come true little man. Find & friend Elizabeth on FB or follow along on Twitter.