Yesterday was a rough day. Just leaving my house made me feel exposed, raw, naked, vulnerable. I did not want to talk to anyone because I don’t know who I can trust anymore. And if you think I felt that way because my political party didn’t win the election, you aren’t paying attention.
Yes, I was proud to vote for Hillary Clinton. I was hopeful that my vote would not only contribute to breaking that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but that it would also support women’s rights, education, a better future for my children, equality, a living wage, a foreign policy guided by experience and education, protection of our constitution, and probably other things I can’t even remember right now.
To me, a vote for Donald Trump was a vote for bullying. It was a vote that agreed with touching a woman without her consent. It was a vote against Muslims and a vote against the LGBT community. It was a vote that condones making fun of individuals with disabilities. Support for Trump said to me that the office of the President of the United States is not something to respect or prepare for. It was a vote that agreed that a rich white man with no relevant experience is better for the job than a woman who has every possible qualification for the job.
To me, it was not a vote in support of the Republican party. If you are a Republican, you should feel insulted that he claims to be one.
If you voted for Donald Trump, you voted against me and my family. I am married to a Hispanic immigrant and am a mother to two Latinas. Donald Trump is on the record as referring to a Latina Miss Universe as “Miss Housekeeping,” among other things.
If you voted for Donald Trump, you voted for the older boys at the playground who looked down my shirt without permission and laughed when I was seven years-old. You voted for the 19 year-old who wrapped his hands around my 16 year-old thigh without permission and squeezed it like it was his while I walked past him at a basketball game in my high school gym. You voted for every guy who has touched my ass on purpose and without permission at a concert or a party.
If you voted for Donald Trump, you voted against anyone you know who is an other, by race, religion, sexual orientation, chosen occupation. Anyone who goes against the norm. And they do not view you as an ally.
If you think we are upset because our candidate lost, you are not paying attention. This is not Bush v. Gore. This is not the Superbowl. This is not like anything else we’ve experienced before. And it is on you to show that you do not stand for the terrible things Donald Trump has said or done. If you want to be an ally for the others in your life, you have to make us trust you again.
What I have been struggling the most with since Election Night is why anyone I know and love and believe to be a good person would vote for Donald Trump. Would align him or herself with a candidate supported by the KKK. I know there is another side to this I am not seeing. There has to be.
What I don’t want to hear is that you voted for him because of religious beliefs. I am a Christian. Not one thing about Donald Trump aligns with my Christian beliefs.
I don’t want to hear that you voted for him because he was the Republican on the ticket. You easily could have voted for ANYONE else for president and voted Republican on everything else. You chose to support him.
I am fearful that those who truly have hate in their hearts will feel empowered because of his win. I have seen evidence of this already in personal anecdotes shared on social media. I am fearful that the hateful people view your support of Donald Trump as support for them.
I need you to make this right. I need you to be an ally for those who are bullied or mistreated because of how they look or what they believe. I need you to do that because it is the only way to maintain a survivable balance in this country.
So yes, I am upset. But this isn’t about the political party I voted for. This is about the people of this country.
You won’t see me protesting Trump’s election. Our election process is seriously messed up, but he won. Fair and square. I won’t march against that.
But I will stand up for what’s right. I will be a voice for the voiceless. I will make sure my girls know they are valued and their heritage is something to be proud of. That everyone deserves respect and kindness.
What will you do?
ETA: To those who read this and thought I called them a racist for voting for Trump, read again. I said, and will reiterate here, that a vote for Trump supports his racist comments because after the awful things Trump said on this campaign, those who voted for Trump decided none of that mattered. That having someone to push a Republican agenda through the White House was more important than Trump’s words towards black and brown people and women.
This election has consequences. A vote for Trump carried more with it than you may have realized.
Trump’s win has empowered hate groups. That is a fact. Follow Shaun King on Facebook to see some of the incidents people are reporting. He’s been sharing reports of assaults but also reports of love and support. We must seek out other points of view to understand what is happening.
I stand by every word I wrote, though I did take out the word “prove” because that made people think they had to prove something to ME. You don’t have to prove anything to ME. This isn’t about me. This is about the people who are targets of the newly empowered hate groups. The groups who now feel powerful because Donald Trump is the president-elect.
If you want to prove something to someone, prove to your black and brown and LGBT neighbors that you will keep an eye out for them. Show kindness and respect to those who now fear for their loved ones.
But don’t tell me how to feel. Or write. Don’t tell me to smile or calm down. This isn’t about me. This is about how more than half of our country is hurting right now because they feel that hate won. Prove them wrong by loving them, not by yelling at them and telling them how to feel.
“Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.”
– MLK, 1963