My How Far We’ve Gone (Back)

This time eight years ago, I was filled with so much hope and joy. I was expecting the birth of my first baby girl. We had just elected our first black president. Although the economy was tanked due to eight years of failed Republican policies, things were looking up. The stock market had begun to rebound almost immediately at the news of President-Elect Obama, and most people were looking forward to an era of hope and change.

Fast-forward to now. The hope is gone. The change is abhorrent. I feel more fear and dread than I’ve ever felt in my entire life walking around in my brown skin in Texas of all places. The campaign and now election of Donald Trump (AKA “The Rapey Cheeto”) has brought forth so much hate, so much racism, so much xenophobia, homophobia, islamophobic, and every abhorrent phobia related to humanity you can imagine. Almost as immediately as the election results came out, reports started flooding in about the harassment and even assault of racial, ethnic, and religious minorities. Muslim women have had hajibs ripped from their bodies. Black people have been called niggers and told they can’t wait for us to get sent back to Africa or “put in [our] place.”Latinos who were born here and have been here for more generations than most white people are being told to “go back to where [they] came from.” Asian Americans are being harassed more than any time in post-WWII history. 

Graffiti found the day after the election.


And white America still has the nerve to say, “I voted for him, but I’m not a racist.” No, you absolutely are. It doesn’t matter if you voted for him because you foolishly believed his claims to be pro-life. It doesn’t matter if you voted for him because of your idiotic belief that someone who has filed bankruptcy four times is a good businessman [as a former bankruptcy attorney, I can assure you that no good business person files bankruptcy four times]. It doesn’t matter that you voted for him because the other option was pretty bad [at least she wasn’t endorsed by the Alt-Right and the KKK]. There wa nothing hidden or ambiguous about Trump’s hatred of the other. It’s well-documented. If you didn’t see it, it is either because you share his beliefs and therefore see nothing wrong with them or because you chose to be willfully ignorant. Neither position is commendable. By being complicit in racism, xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny, and the like, you are by association endorsing hatred. By voting for someone who campaigned on these beliefs, you are by action endorsing hatred. This is on you. You did this.

For people who like to brag that they are pro “family values,” Trump voters cast their ballots with no families in mind except their own. For people who call themselves “pro-life,” their actions in this election show a blatant disrespect for the value of others’ lives. This election wasn’t just about politics; it was about what we as a nation find acceptable in terms of behavior. The message that 50% of you sent on Tuesday is that you will accept bullying and intolerance and that you have no empathy. 

If you are disgusted by the harassment being directed at your fellow man right now and you voted for Trump, understand that you are to blame. If you are disgusted by the harassment and didn’t vote for Trump, but stood by silently while people endorsed his ideas of “taking this country back” or “building a wall” or “putting them in their place with law and order” or “grabbing em by the pussy,” you are also to blame. You don’t get to absolve yourself from this because you turned a blind eye to hate speech that wasn’t directed at you.

Spare me the calls to come together or respect the president-elect. Where were your pleas of respect when President Obama was subjected to racial slurs and caricatures and threats of violence? Where were your calls of unity when during the Rapey Cheeto’s acceptance speech someone yelled, “Kill him!” at the mention of President Obama. Where, for that matter, was Trump?

I wish I had time to weep for this nation and what we’ve become (again). Unfortunately, I’m too busy trying to figure out how to protect my three children, my extended family members, my friends and their children, and myself from this onslaught of violence and hatred that has started.

Kudos, “Patriots”! You took your country back… all the way to the 1940s.

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