Speaking up

I posted the words below this morning, after a night of tossing and turning brought on by people attacking me for sharing my story of sexual assault, for talking about how their dismissal of what Trump has said is re-victimizing those of us who have been sexually assaulted and for pointing out the truth that Donald Trump is a serial sexual predator, a racist, a misogynist and a bigot.

I stand by what I said…but now with a caveat

A little while ago something just as horrifying and disturbing happened.

A friend privately pointed something out to me about my statement. What this friend said saddened and appalled me. This friend understood where I was coming from but also told me that what I said was not entirely accurate. There are people who would like to speak up and condemn Trump and what he has said and done. But they can’t. They can’t because they live in areas that have vicious and vocal and sometimes violent pro-Trump supporters. They can’t because they are afraid. They are afraid because of their political views or their skin color or their religion. They have been threatened and harassed and some have even been attacked by pro-Trump supporters. There are others who can’t freely say what they think because they have employers who have made it clear that if they are against Trump they will no longer have jobs.

One of our basic rights as Americans is free speech. Yet, there is a man running for the highest office in our country who is supported by and encourages and riles up groups and supporters who feel that is their right to intimidate, harass and even attack anyone who does not agree with them and does not support their candidate. They feel that this behavior towards anyone who is different is acceptable. These people have lost their ability to speak freely because they are afraid for themselves, their families, their children.

To those people, those people who are too afraid of the consequences to be able to stand up for what they believe in, I apologize if my words hurt or upset you. I also promise to be your voice. I will keep raising mine for both of us. I hope some of you will also.

If you are as horrified by this as I am — speak up and keep speaking up, on your own behalf and on behalf of those who are too afraid to be able to.

This America, this divided, violent, vicious, racist, bigoted America is not what any of us should want or should find acceptable. There are ways to bridge the divide that has formed in our country and there are ways to fix the problems that this country clearly has, but it will not happen when people are too frightened for their personal safety and the safety of their families to be able to stand up and state their beliefs.