Thursday, November 10, 2016

On The Election, Or When Has Telling Someone To Calm Down Ever Actually Worked

There seems to be some confusion, so let me clarify.

Many people who voted for Trump did so because they have felt betrayed by our leaders. They feel that our country has strayed down a path of degeneration and ruin. When he said he wanted America to be great again, they looked at the protesters shouting that Black Lives Matter as they disrupted traffic and destroyed property, they saw manufacturing jobs being sent overseas, and they saw people complaining about war and patriarchy and poverty from a place of anger and war fatigue, and they believed him.

Many of the people who voted third party or abstained altogether are so frustrated and *done* with the two party system that they couldn’t, in good conscience, vote for either of the two main candidates because they refused to be intimidated or allow one of our most cherished and fundamental rights to be ruled by fear.

These people, who are family, friends, and other loved ones still deserve our respect.

That said…

For those of you who see your liberal friends angry, please do not confuse their anger for bitterness over losing. Sure, there may be some that are coming from that place, but the vast majority of us are genuinely afraid.

Because while you see a man that goes against the establishment, that speaks his mind, and that has the confidence with which you want America to be associated, we see a very different picture.
We see an accused rapist, a blatant liar, a braggart, and a racist. And these opinions aren’t based on what we’ve been told by the “liberal media.” These judgments are based on words that have literally come from his own mouth.

And have been met with thunderous applause.

You may see this as just desserts or just the flipped script of what happened when President Obama was elected.

It is not.

This is the legitimization of the very worst of what America is.

It said, “someone can be caught on record bragging about sexually assaulting women and still be elected into our nation’s highest office.”

It sent a message to every xenophobic, racist, misogynist bigot out there that their bigotry is ok.

It sent a very clear message to women, people of color, Muslims, and the LGBTQ+ community that their rights aren’t as important as your comfort.

Now, sure, I know full well that our governmental system is set up in such a way as to keep massive, widespread change from happening in our legislation overnight. That whole Checks and Balances thing is absolutely a thing and will do much to protect our rights.

But that didn’t stop kids in a high school from chanting “build the wall” at their classmates.

That didn’t stop women in hijab from getting their veils ripped off of them.

That didn’t stop racists and misogynists from vandalizing cars and assaulting women based on bumper stickers.

And it didn’t stop 8 trans people from killing themselves rather than face the future.

Don’t misunderstand. I—we—know full well that these people are simply a vocal minority.

But (and this next part is important, so listen up)

That. Does. Not. Protect. Us. From. Them.

They may not have the law backing them, but they will still threaten us, terrorize us, assault us, rape us, and murder us.

And they will feel righteous. They will feel justified. They will feel that they are simply taking their power back from a society that sought to cow them.

And by voting for someone who has vocally supported their beliefs, you have lent your support to them as well. It may not have been your intent, but that was the outcome.

So don’t tell us to calm down. Don’t tell us to suck it up and be nice. People are already dying because he was elected, and he’s not even in office yet.

*deep breath*

I don’t say these things to attack you. I am not calling *you*, Trump voter who is seeing this, a racist, misogynist, xenophobic bigot (although, if that shoe fits, you feel free to lace that mofo up and wear it).

But you have, by electing someone who has campaigned as a bigot, turned a blind eye to his bigotry. You have said “my opinions are more important than someone else’s life.”

And I will not—cannot—stand by and allow that kind of willful ignorance from people I care about to go unmarked.

So yeah. We’re mad. We’re real mad.

And those of us who have the privilege to speak without fear of retribution will continue to try to fight for the rights of those who do not have our privilege.

We will continue to stand in the way of those who would move us from protecting those rights and say, “No. You move.”

I love you all. I know that we all have bad days and good days. I know that, on an individual level, we are all human and want the world to be a better place. We won’t always agree on how to accomplish that, and that’s what civil discourse is for. We have to talk, and we have to compromise. We each have to accept things we find distasteful for the sake of progress and equality. That is what it means to be human. And that is what it *should* be to be American. You may not personally agree with homosexuality or abortion, but it is not your place to determine the course of another person’s life. I may not agree with religion or hateful speech, but it is not my place to police your heart.

We all must make our own choices. And we all want to live in a world where we are free to do so.

Tl;dr - Everyone is angry, but there's a difference between finding a candidate distasteful and literally fearing for your life. The two are not to be confused.

And, for the record, let it be known that the first motherfucker that tries to grab me by the pussy will lose the hand and maybe the rest of the arm too. 

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