To Trump supporters who say they’re not bigots
You may not be racist in belief, but the proposed policies and rhetoric of your candidate is. Therefore, the outcome and impact of your vote is: racism, Muslim bashing, gay bashing, transphobia and sexism… on top of plain old fear.
It’s violence directed at different types of minorities.
It’s white, middle-aged Trump supporters harassing people on the street [actually happened].
It’s that, so much more that has already happened and so much more that has yet to come.
Further: Mike Pence is definitely a bigot.
Did you donate?
Did you get your people to the polls for the primaries?
Did you talk to people about your candidate long before it was voting time, or did you wait until it was down to the wire to yell judgmental things at people?
It wasn’t about “getting the word out” to the “power of the numbers” of 42 million people to vote to cancel their debt as Jill Stein told The Young Turks Jimmy Dore.
It was about galvanizing people long before the election and then translating that emotional upheaval into action at the polls.
You failed at that just as Hillary failed everyone on the left, except establishment Democrats.
I really don’t give a good god damn if I’m considered “pro-Killary” or some “establishment sheeple” for acknowledging my reality or others.
I find it hard to believe that intelligent people can’t understand that protests for Trump aren’t necessarily protests against democracy and that they can’t believe there are people who weren’t happy with *any* of the choices [including Bernie] in this election.
I feel like much of it is people willfully ignoring both the nuances of the 2016 election and the day-to-day realities many people face, for the sake of sitting atop a moral high horse and ignoring their own vulnerability.
I’ve paid attention to Bernie since I was 15, which is half my life at this point and I honestly wasn’t thrilled at his running. I was happy about it, but not thrilled.
My work has and will be in my community, regardless of who’s in the Oval and I would’ve been protesting Hillary (and was scanning online for such actions) had she won.
I don’t subscribe to this train of thought whereby we worry about people abroad more than people here because it hasn’t seemed to work well for people abroad or domestically.
The more we’ve neglected people here, the more it seems they rationalize abusing people elsewhere.
That said, there are people who have even more strikes against them in Trump’s America than I do, and what I’ve experienced firsthand is already enough. Not only have I [and others] experience shit before Trump and since, it’s escalated. This idea that
“Oh that’s just a couple people, NBD… it’s not worth protesting” is something that reeks of patriarchal hardening that I can’t subscribe to, no matter how cloaked in progressivism it is. I don’t want to hafta endure more than I’ve already have, no matter how resilient I or my lineage may be. I really don’t.
My protest against neoliberalism in the last 8 years has been and will continue to be largely in my community, in supporting larger efforts outside of it in tangible ways and in supporting the people engaged in them.
If that service, my prior service (especially as someone not born here) and not wanting to stand for further dehumanization/marginalization/criminalization than I’ve already endured isn’t enough to make sense of protesting someone who’s directly contributing to it, then I’m okay with it not making sense.
My pops is off his rocker, but one thing he said my entire childhood that’s stuck with me is,
“Charity begins at home at ends abroad.”
Somewhere in the veganization of leftist politics in America, it’s become cool to abandon your neighbors for the sake of some poor, nameless brown kid you didn’t give a damn about when you were buying a product made by them in a sweatshop.
It’s become cool to disregard the day-to-day survival and health concerns of the people in this country, as if only our existence is tied to how we treat others and how we treat those abroad is completely independent of how we treat racial minorities, sexual minorities, the poor, sick and hungry here.
My priorities are in strengthening my community and my protest for the last 8 years has been in resisting neoliberalism by working to build up that community–primarily through youth.
How much more should I have to to take?
How much more is enough to justify me working alongside imperfect people, or appearing at imperfect events?
Some people don’t rely on TV pundits to tell them what’s going on.
Some people aren’t repeating stories they read on the internet.
Some people are actually living their fucking lives, which include harassment from Trump supporters.
For those people which include myself, our actions and attitudes aren’t born of anxiety about the future.
Our attitudes and actions are born of a desire to not continue experiencing what we already have been. They come out of a desire to fight back against what’s already happening now.
To ask us to wait and see is asking us to be sitting ducks.
It’s asking us to continue taking shit and accepting abuse.
You may be able to accept the current state of things, but asking us to is asking too much. For anyone–including Liberals and alleged Progressives–to continue asking that of us after we’ve told you our truths is betrayal.
Stay silent if you want.
Ignore our realities if you want.
But don’t encourage complicitness dressed up as keeping our cool (or make us out to be whiny, anxious fools which is a prevailing narrative), because we choose something different for ourselves.
That’s dishonest and it’s born from the preferences of those asking, not our experiences.
Cooler heads prevailing seem to have gotten us nowhere.
Cooler heads allowed White Conservatives and White Liberals to play chicken with this country with the rest of us being who gets crashed into.
Cooler heads prevailing has allowed this country to turn its back on progress.
If it takes not having a cool head to ensure I don’t become someone’s victim, or erased, then fuck it.
I know the inherent safety risks of protest and demonstration and I find them preferable to what I’ve already experienced.
If I don’t see you in the streets, okay, but don’t ask me to stay home to assuage your anxiety about safety and strategy.
If you’d like a better strategy, come up with it. Til then, leave people to experiment, recoup, regroup and refine.