Even With A Biden Presidency, I’m Not Making Amends With My Trump Loving Family and Friends
Biden wants the nation to heal by asking Americans to listen to each other again, but I have no intention of rekindling relationships with anyone close to me that supported Trump.
My aunt and best friend voted for Trump in 2016. At the time, I was taken aback that two people so close to me voted for a racist. I messaged my aunt shortly after I learned of what she did and asked her how she could support him knowing the family that she was in. My aunt is White, but she was very much so in a Black family. We were unapologetically Black and I never once felt threatened by her; not until I learned she voted for Trump.
We went back and forth over her voting for him and pretty much came to the conclusion that she “only” voted for him because of economic reasons. She didn’t want her taxes to go up, was pro-life, and pro-gun. My friend had similar reasons for voting for Trump. Although I came away from the conversations extremely frustrated and in disbelief, I maintained my relationships with my aunt and friend until 2020.
Around the time of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest, I began to question why I was maintaining relationships with people who supported Trump. I began to ask myself, “What do I gain from having relationships with Trump supporters?” I started to realize nothing beneficial nor positive was gained from those relationships. What could I gain from people that excused the actions of a racist, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic, ignorant bigot? So, I unfriended them. I’m a firm believer in explaining your actions when they have profound consequences and decided to send a message to my best friend explaining why I was unfriending her. On June 3rd I said,
I have unfriended you on all social media. I have struggled with being your friend for years now. Your ideological views directly harm me and the people that I associate with and I’m no longer willing to put up with it. This text is me unfriending you in real life too. Your conservative viewpoints are no longer something that I can say is an “agree to disagree” thing. We do not agree on anything. Your continual support of Trump and far-right Republican ideologies is no longer something I’m willing to let slide under the rug. Rather than trying to convince you why your viewpoints are deeply problematic, harmful, and wrong, I am just going to remove myself from your life. Maybe one day you will grow and become more compassionate for people, but I’m not willing to wait around for that to become reality.
Sending the message hurt, but it was long overdue and shortly after sending it I proceeded to unfriend my friend, aunt, and others that I knew supported Trump.
I spent 4 years watching Trump destroy our country at home and abroad. Americans witnessed as Trump rolled back environmental protections, repeatedly attempted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care), seated three conservative Supreme Court Justices, rolled back LGBTQIA+ protections in the workplace, made it impossible for transgender people to join the military, allowed 400K Americans to die from COVID, attempted a coup for losing the 2020 election, and was impeached twice. All of this because people like my aunt and friend were afraid that their guns were going to be taken away and that their taxes were going to go up. They allowed one man to do all that, which makes it difficult for me to want to extend an olive branch to Trump supporters.
In Biden’s victory speech, he called for unity. He said, “It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric. To see each other again. To listen to each other again.” But how are we supposed to put away the harsh rhetoric of Trump supporters that did irreparable damage to our country? How do you so easily listen to those who didn’t listen for 4 years? He further went on to say, “To make progress, we must stop treating our opponents as our enemy. We are not enemies. We are Americans. The bible tells us that to everything there is a season — a time to build, a time to reap, a time to sow. And a time to heal. This is the time to heal America.” Where does that healing begin? Trump supporters viewed us as the enemy throughout his presidency. Even after Biden was announced the winner, they called Democrats cheaters and stealers. Who was Biden really speaking to in his victory speech? I sure hope it was Trump’s supporters and I hope they were listening.
Democrats and the world watched the Trump show play out for 4 years. In that time, Americans became sicker, poorer, and more divided than ever. I don’t want to re-establish relationships with those that allowed that to happen. I’m not willing to forget the past to bring back the status quo. The only way I’d be willing to forgive family members and friends that voted for Trump is if they were truly sorry for what they did. Only then would I be able to at least establish an acquaintanceship.
4 years later and I’m not going to agree to disagree. I’m not willing to forgive and forget. We watched as Trump tried to destroy our democracy, with his supporters behind him, for too long to convince me that I need to extend my olive branch anytime soon. I believe everyone deserves a second chance, but this go around I’m not sure I’m willing to give it.