Grieve Trump’s Victory, Fight Together
It was 2am. My girlfriend is in Cleveland and calls me crying. I wish I was with you right now. I flip on my phone and Google the elections. Trump won by over 50 electoral votes. He won states including Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Arizona; but lost New Mexico, Virgina, and Nevada.
Last night, many of my friends opted out of watching the elections. These friends were the brown, the black, the queer, disabled, the poor, educators, and the people who were the primary targets of his attacks the implicitly called for violence, expulsion, and the removal of their constitutional rights. There were many of my white friends confident that Clinton would win because of how obvious her qualifications were and how absurd it is that someone like Trump could win. They were already optimistically talking about how they’d refollow their relatives, friends, and coworkers on Facebook they didn’t agree with once the election was over. For us avoiding the election, it was the suggestion of being entertained over what amounted to a life or death prospect in our own government; in a country where we were promised safety and freedom from tyranny.
Oh, to be so lucky. He won, and my white friends might be upset over his victory, but as Aamer Rahman said earlier on Twitter, “At least they’re wearing the best camouflage.”
I’m not surprised. I’m angry, saddened, and desperately afraid. I didn’t like Clinton or Sanders. I certainly have no allegiance to Stein or Johnson. They’re a collective of white career politicians who simply didn’t represent the people who hate me and every fiber of my being. Their policies were tepid answers to a system that continues to oppress me and others with complacency. Whether it’s Clinton’s ancient support of the Defense of Marriage Act or Sanders’ yes-votes on war spending or Vermont’s depressingly disparate imprisonment of black men. Stein is a doctor who opposes vaccinations and Johnson had to learn what tragedies are occurring daily in Aleppo. Trump meanwhile might be up at 3am tweeting from his Syrian refugee invented iPhone at a woman and his aides might take away his phone, but would gladly hand him nuclear codes that could send us into an apocalypse.
From the woodwork are the angry liberals bemoaning the third-party voters and the non-voters for this unexpected loss. They’re baffled by it. She lost by so much but how?
When protestors at Standing Rock are arrested, they’ll call the state fascist for allowing a pipeline over a needed water source that white residents of North Dakota were able to veto. North Dakota went to Trump.
Ohio, a key swing state, so the acquittal of an officer who shot Tamir Rice who had been reprimanded previously for his overreactive emotional use of guns went to Trump.
Florida, a state with a stand your ground law that allowed George Zimmerman to murder Trayvon Martin but simultaneously jail Marisa Alexander for a warning shot against an abusive man with a restraining order, went to Trump.
We were so angry on social media over an officer in Philadelphia who sported white supremacist tattoos. In Philadelphia, a gay man was hospitalized after a group of teenagers brutally beat him and the one arrested was acquitted of the most serious charges. Let’s not forget the rioting when a those involved in pedophile’s cover-up was arrested for their participation — rioting because they were also responsible for their outstanding football legacy. Pennsylvania went to Trump.
Black Lives Matter, Brock Turner’s light sentence, the arson of gay homes, the popularity of blackface during Halloween and in national broadcast shows, the boycotts of people who peacefully make known their criticisms of oppression, remembering to say the names of transwomen killed, and all manners of activism revolving around the improvement of the American life are a response to the ubiquity of oppression. If you blame the third-party votes or non-voters for the clear victory of Trump’s campaign, I have to question just how deeply you’re paying attention to the oppression people face in the United States.
The Spoiler Effect myth that leads people to blame third-party and non-voters alike is a liberal myth created by focusing the conversation around white voters. What do I mean?
We saw the death of the Voting Rights Act. We saw state after state enact Voter ID laws which are proven to do little to prevent voter fraud. Voter fraud is also a problem also proven to be virtually non-existent — except for the one Trump voter caught trying to vote twice and an employee of Trump’s supposedly testing the system.
The exit polls are in and the numbers speak very loudly and very clearly that Trump won handily because of the white, straight, Christian, cisgendered vote.
This coming year, if you’re not in the demographic of a white, straight, Christian, cisgendered then you’ll have a lot to fight for from your right to the first amendment to your very safety. Queers alike will face both a president and vice president who promise to rollback and repeal rights that have taken decades to gain. Blacks and brown people alike will have to be fear every badge that comes across them as militarization is likely to increase. As a country, we actually have to face the possibility of a nuclear war.
I don’t have any solid answer to how we manage this, but I can say that in order for this to be handled — for our way of life to be preserved at a bare minimum — we must fight together. You, our white friends, relatives, and coworkers must do more than you’ve ever done to hold those you know who are willing to jeopardize my life and the lives of others you care for without concern or realization.
We must fight together and dismantle the oppression we all are responsible for allowing.
Go to your job and cry. Talk about your fears. Don’t hold back on what is going to terrify you. In the elevator, a coworker told me that her 9-year old daughter tearfully asked her if she and her wife would have to divorce now.
Are you afraid of walking now? Are you afraid of your hateful parents making your medical decisions? Are you worried that you’ll be deported? Make it known. Don’t be afraid of delivering the clearest message possible of this impact.
It was once said that no snowflake ever feels responsible for an avalanche. We must take up that responsibility for each impact that hurts each other.
I’m afraid for the
poor, queer, disabled,
women, trans, black,
brown, Muslim, Jewish,
I’m afraid of the rich,
straight, able-bodied, cis,
white, Christian America.
This is Trump 2016.