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I keep trying to turn my blog back around–to be happy and cheerful and funny (at least to my own personal standard of funny, your mileage may vary)–but I’m just not there yet. It’s sad to think that this country elected a man that supports and espouses so much hate. That some people can just roll their eyes and be like, “He’s not REEEAALLLY going to be awful, he’s just not PC. He’s actually going to be miles better than Hillary because I hate Hillary and BENGHAZI and EMAILS! I love you, though, but I’m gonna go ahead with the go ahead and vote him in.”
What’s even sadder to see is all of the various hate groups crawling out of the rotten woodwork to do things like hold “Victory Marches” in places like North Carolina.
I posted that link to my social media last night with the caption:
“Grab your hoods, y’all. Your dude won.”
I almost immediately got a response from someone in my acquaintance that voted for Trump. She stated that she was “angry at those comments.” Being the naive little optimist that I am, I thought she was angry that the KKK were marching, that one of the most despicable, hurtful, violent groups in the history of this country is experiencing a furiously growing resurgence.
She was mad at my caption, said my caption was racist, and said that comments like my caption are what’s tearing America apart because she’s not bad like one of “those people that always brings race into things.”
So here is my response to this woman (who, anecdotally, is white), and who will remain anonymous here for privacy reasons:
Dear Mrs. X,
I’ve had the privilege of knowing you for almost my entire life. Your sister was an excellent 5th grade teacher and I have many happy childhood memories with your daughter.
But here’s the thing: Your vote did this.
Whether you realize it or not, whether you like it or not, your vote put this man in the highest political position of this Great Nation and, by doing so, you gave everyone license to hate out in the open again.
“Hello pre-Civil Right’s Movement–welcome back!”
And what I don’t think you realized about my caption is that it’s nuanced (I’ll shoulder some of the blame if it wasn’t obvious). I know you’re not a card carrying member of the KKK–remember, I have been the recipient of you’re smile and your joyful greetings. The fact of the matter is you are complicit.
You KNOWINGLY voted for a man that not only accepted, but appreciated the endorsement of not only the the Ku Klux Klan, but also the American Nazi Party. Speaking of the Nazis, do you know what the worst part about Nazi Germany and the murder of over 6,000,000 people was? That their neighbors let it happen by remaining silent.
That their neighbors remained SILENT. Let that sink in, because you didn’t just remain silent, here. You spoke up with your vote and actively put this man in power.
Now, you may think my caption is racist (though, it does not ONCE mention the race of his supporters, you’re assuming I’m only addressing white people), and you may bemoan the fact that “those people are always bringing race into this”. But do you know what the KKK is? THEIR HATE IS ENTIRELY BASED ON RACE AND RELIGION. The color of my skin is SO distasteful to them that they are actively trying to disenfranchise me and millions of others. The fact that certain people don’t recognize Jesus as the Messiah sends them into a tailspin. And GOD HELP THEM if they have to sit next to “a gay” at the Golden Corral.
I never thought I would bear first hand witness of the KKK in 2016. I thought all that junk was something my mother, and uncles, and aunts, and grandparents suffered through in the past. That they fought long and hard so I wouldn’t have to live in a country where people like that are handed a microphone and spoon-fed government support. But now, this reality is my present.
Your vote did this.
But you don’t see it that way.
And therein lies the problem. And that’s the reason for this letter: I took a step back and realized that you simply didn’t know. There are those that did and happily checked that box for Trump. But you didn’t, and I know because I know YOU.
You don’t see that your vote means we will most likely be adding bigoted voices to the Supreme Court who will be hell bent on stripping people of their basic American rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
You don’t see that you had any responsibility in causing the country’s Jewish population, Muslim population, hispanic population, disabled population, black population, it’s myriad of rape victims, etc to begin a new life living in fear. You don’t see that by saying “yes” to Trump, you were saying “do your thing!” to all of these terrorist groups bent on hating other Americans, some of whom you may even have in your own friend group.
It’d be easy for me to say I’m not afraid because I don’t live in NC–I don’t live in VA or The South anymore, so I’m not near it. But you know my nephews and nieces. You see them almost every day during the school year. And I’m afraid for them–there’s no hiding that beautiful brown skin AND THEY SHOULDN’T have to. I fear for the children that bear witness to all of these heinous actions and are scared out of their minds. Children that are already being bullied in school.
Hell, my college campus is 30 minutes from you in Southern VA and minority students there are already being bullied:
So maybe your privilege allows you to live in a little bubble of being “color blind”–race is never “the issue”. I can attest to the fact that my elementary school, where you work, is just like that–its own little Utopia. But outside of that, others are forced to see the full spectrum of color.
And I don’t think that’s a bad thing!
And I know that makes you uncomfortable to even think about–that you had a hand in this nonsensical hate.
And it should.
Maybe it’ll give you an inkling of the discomfort that all of the other Americans being targeted, not because they’ve behaved egregiously, but simply because of being WHO THEY ARE, are feeling.
There’s no undoing the election now, it’s done.
But I’m glad I’ve sown this seed into your conscience.
Now, I just need you to think about what I’m saying. Listen to what others are saying about what’s happening in our lives NOW. Maybe, if you truly listen, you’ll learn. And my most ardent hope is that maybe, just maybe, what I’m saying in this letter will inform your decisions in the future.
Short and Feisty