It has become pretty clear at this point that more than a few people I know voted for Trump. You may be wondering why I am so disheartened and downright enraged by this. Let me be clear about something upfront. This has nothing to do with who you didn’t vote for, or an indictment of your right to chose how to cast your vote.
The issue that I can’t seem to wrap my head around is the choice to show millions of people in this country that they don’t matter. I am truly happy that you have the luxury of not having to think of ramifications for immigrants, minorities, muslims, the LGBTQ community, and the disabled. I genuinely hope that this wasn’t a wilfully executed “fuck you” to all of us that would fall into this diverse group.
This cuts deeply on a personal level. Many of you grew up with me and knew my Dad. He came to the United States with nothing but a suitcase and a pitifully small pocket of cash. He made a life for himself, his wife, his children by never being too proud to do a job. He was ridiculed, given the worst jobs, and discriminated against just about every day. He was called hateful names. I have heard him called a raghead, a terrorist, a sand-nigger, Ayatollah, and camel jockey. I heard people say about and to him -“go back where he came from”, “get out of our country”, “find that raft you came over on and leave”. My Mom and Dad left her backwoods town where a mixed race relationship was vehemently opposed by most. My brother and I were referred to as “those halfbreeds kids.” I heard these things from kids at school, adults I didn’t even know, and even from parents of my friends, and members of my Mom’s family. Through all of this, my parents held their heads high and pushed through. My parents were adamant that we never discriminate against those that are different, never EVER mock the disabled or the infirm. My Dad is a quietly devout muslim. He prays 5 times a day. He is giving and kind, and always helps those in need. He does this quietly, not for kudos- but to help those in need. This is just a snapshot of growing up surrounded by racism. My parents experienced far more heinous words and even attacks on themselves and their property.
When a bully stood before this country and spewed hate towards a diverse group of our population, many cheered and were thrilled to hear their own prejudices solidified. Regardless of policies, rhetoric, or dissatisfaction with the state of this country, a vote for Trump was a vote for exclusion. Again, this isn’t a chastisement for not voting for someone else, we didn’t have a stellar lineup to chose from. This isn’t just about a 4 year term. This election set a dangerous tone. American citizens are being made to feel like they don’t matter, and they- we, are scared what the future will hold. The hate filled rhetoric will continue, this will be the new way to campaign. The news was always nonstop coverage of the latest outrageous statement. He was still elected. The new formula will be hateful, horrible propaganda and the media and public gleefully eat it up. Elections will get more disgusting and we are all along for the ride now. This is where the gut wrenching events have left us. Confused, scared and disappointed that 25% of the adult population of this country have voted to push us to second class citizens. For those of my friends that voted this way, I am struggling to reconcile this disregard with the kind people I have always known you to be. For my friends in these communities – I love you, I stand proudly with you and for you.