have been anti-Trump protests across the country, and I get what they are trying to say: This is not the president they wanted. This isn't the person who will make them feel safe, and this is not the person who they feel will competently navigate the broad social, political, and science-related issues that we need a president to do. They feel like the Trump Administration, as it is already beginning to take form, is dangerous and bigoted against swaths of the American landscape and will do so much harm.
And I agree. I've been talking about this on this blog for some time--this is not a good path for a diverse and civil society. You can knock down some claims about the wave of racist, anti-immigrant and specifically anti-Muslim acts, but I think the totality of the reports creates a picture that points to a bit more going on than some folks just dramatically performing a kind of racial Munchausen's Syndrome--there are people who have taken this election to actually be a referendum on whether or not they can stop being a shy resentful caterpillar, and can now be the blatant racist or homophobic butterfly they always wanted to be.
The result of knowing this hate is real? For one thing, suicide hotline activity went way up. People aren't making these calls for shits and grins--they are hurting, and thinking they don't want this reality. And they think about not living in it.
And that sucks, and I hope as a society we can reject that kind of hatred that fosters despair, and wherever possible, show solidarity with the marginalized who belong here and are valued and should not be disrespected or made to feel helpless, alone, or like this is the end. Here's me feeling my privilege--if I see something, you bet I'm going to say something, and we will just see if an educated middle-aged white lady can take up space for the people I love by slinging my identity in the face of hate--What language are you going to use, son? What society do you want to live in, my brother? I haven't gotten to this stage of forty-ish feminist battle-axedness without learning how to stare down an asshole, and I will. I take up space, and believe me, the space I take up is huge. Big league. (For the benefit of Ann Coulter: And you are welcome. I'd take up space for you if I thought you stood for a damn thing worth me, my fat space, and I.)
I have anger, too. Paradoxically, I feel anger against people who look just like me and have my lived experiences, and just couldn't get it up to vote for Hillary Clinton. They "couldn't bring themselves to vote for her". Seriously? They couldn't bring themselves to face her baggage or consider her actual policies versus an actual white supremacist endorsed by the Klan? Seriously? They could have brought themselves to vote for her, and a friend, and an elderly relative--but chose not to. This guy said Mexicans were rapists--he isn't talking, when he speaks about immigrants, as if some are good and some not. He is using loaded language to smear them all. He selected a running mate who is virulently anti-gay. He suggested that women who choose abortion should be punished, and selected a running mate who had a woman who miscarried jailed. Where is the thing Hillary Clinton ever did, that is the equal to the enormity of what a Trump presidency portends? He is in favor of torture, FFS! He is planning to do actual war crimes. Because he just doesn't understand why anyone shouldn't.
I feel the anger, too. I had even a little despair, because the results of this campaign told me a lot about who votes and why and I am so fucking mad about the senseless shits who can't even schlep out to vote, ok? For the love of anything--but especially the planet you live on, read a fucking newspaper, figure out how to register and for most of you where voter suppression isn't a big thing, do that accessible to the halls of power thing, doofuses! Also--let's get really more pissed than we already are about voter suppression, you guys. Because what went down in Wisconsin or North Carolina or wherever things turned on a hair-thin margin, that might have been made up by people turned away from voting by not having adequate credentials (despite being really legitimate voters) or not having the time to stand and do the necessary? Made a terrible difference.
If you are feeling anger and despair--I am here with you. I am mad as hell and have been close to crying at times for the reality my LGBTQA and immigrant and POC and Muslim friends have faced with this election for themselves and their families. But I will stay here. I will stay here for you and me and people I don't even know yet. And we together are a wall against the stupid. Let's fight the stupid together and make sure it doesn't win. And hate will have no dominion.
We will be stronger together. It's the only way we can.