I know that many people who have been friends and formative figures in my life likely voted for Donald Trump. That’s their business, and I get it, I really do. My more liberal-intellectual friends may take issue with this statement, but fear and anger and feelings of being left out and cheated abound regardless of who you are, or where you live. This fear and anger is legitimate. The world appears to have changed, and there are communities and families throughout the country whose livelihoods have been diminished because of these changes.
And there are those of us who are shocked and disgusted by the results of this election and stand now incredulous. Who failed to listen. Who failed to empathize. Who failed to understand that there are other voices, voices thought unimportant, voices disdained for lack of education, or sophistication. There are those of us who considered ourselves enlightened, our ideals at the forefront of all ideals, or that the system would take care of itself. This is part of the how and why we’re where we are today.
There are also many of us who don’t get what this election has unleashed. I accept that many people who voted for Donald Trump overlooked his statements and campaign rhetoric as part of an act, and they voted for reasons specific to their own circumstances. But to too many others, it was not an act, it was truth. It was validation of hate. It was validation of white supremacy and domination of female bodies and minds. It was validation of discrimination and prejudice towards anyone who falls outside of white heterosexual norms. And it was an endorsement of violence. Make no mistake about it.
And because of this, there are many of us feel this fear and anger more acutely. There are members of our society who are more vulnerable, who will feel the fear and anger that so many others feel, but who will feel it through violence inflicted upon their bodies, and upon their minds. There are those of us who fear now, more than ever, for their own safety, for the safety of their families, their loved ones. Make no mistake about it – this is truth.
I reject racism, misogyny, bigotry, and xenophobia, all of which have been brought front and center into our discourse as a nation. Hatred, intolerance, and oppression of any form should not be tolerated, nor should it be ignored.
The argument that these things do not exist is not an argument, but a cop-out.