What does it mean to have voted for Donald Trump?
The divide between our country’s citizens seems to be growing wider and wider after the controversial result of the 2016 election. Let’s be clear, this wasn’t just an election of political opinions and moral disagreements; it’s become a yelling match over social issues and human rights. Trump’s win feels much more personal when people have been able to excuse racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia for whatever good they believe Trump can potentially do.
I get it. You didn’t vote for Trump because of racism.
You voted for Trump because he isn’t Hillary, not because of the things he said about Mexicans or black people or women or disabled people or prisoners of war or Muslims. You can overlook Mike Pence’s track record with women and LGBTQ and trans people. You brush it under the rug because the Republican Party stands for what you believe in.
But the silence is deafening, and it effectively aligns you with Donald Trump’s hate speech.
Silence feels like you agree that all black people live in the ghetto and are a problem to be solved. Silence feels like you don’t believe gay people deserve the same rights as you. Silence feels like you’re okay with our next president bragging about grabbing women by the pussy.
And then you wonder why people are angry. When it seems like half the country believes you are an object of sexual gratification or a criminal or illegal or a sin or an abomination or less than human, it changes how you walk through the world. You step through your front door and have to try to edit yourself, all of the undesirable parts that might make you a target.
People are scared. The half of the U.S. who voted for Donald Trump refuses to critique his outlandish behavior.
This country is an upheaval, and some would rather deny and minimize others’ fears than to try to understand.
I’d like to believe that most of our country isn’t racist. The few who have been going around terrorizing people of color after Trump’s win are (hopefully) the disturbed minority, and every single American should be denouncing them for it. Donald Trump should be denouncing them for it.
If you don’t want to be aligned with racism, call Trump out on it.
Tell us that you’re pissed he didn’t condemn the KKK’s political support. Tell us that you’re angry he’s openly mocked disabled men and war veterans. Share your thoughts on all of the awful things he’s said. Because silence leads us to believe you’re okay with it. And that is terrifying.
The ability to overlook racism, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, and xenophobia is a privilege I can’t afford.
It’s incredibly difficult to realize that half the country can. If you don’t condone it, talk about it. Talk about it with your friends and parents and grandparents and religious aunts and heathen uncles. If you’re open about condemning racism, you probably won’t be called a racist. If you stay quiet, it says that you either secretly agree or that you couldn’t be bothered, and the end result is the same.
Please, show us you believe that these behaviors are unacceptable.
To Donald Trump, please do what so many who have held your office have done before. Use your words to bring us together as one nation.
Please repudiate the violent acts that have been carried out by your supporters and in your name.
You might think this is just about my feelings being hurt, but these poisonous thoughts seep into the foundations of our society. This idea of coming together is impossible without an understanding of each other. Empathy is the first step to bridging this gap and actually making America great, together.