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In college, I always felt like the odd woman out because I wasn’t particularly politically minded. I went to a school for high achievers, children of senators, and an alumni list counting among its ranks several US Presidents, diplomats, Attorney Generals and, ahem, *notorious FBI Directors*.
Before Obama’s first term, I always saw myself as politically moderate with no affiliation with any political party–I had my fair share of conservative views that lived comfortably along with the liberal ones.
The good ol’ days, if you will.
I never in a million years thought Obama would win, and I wasn’t old enough to vote to make a difference, anyway, so I wasn’t particularly invested. 16 years as a minority woman in America convinced me that this country could never get over its racial issues and put an African American in the White House–SURPRISE!
I’m quite sure that I would’ve tried to stay in the center of the political spectrum post-election had it not been for the shenanigans of Sarah Palin. When I saw the Right embrace such an uneducated, dithering, hypocritical harpy, John McCain’s relevancy was completely washed away and I was nudged to the left of center.
Then Mitt Romney rolled up with Ryan 4 years later and I wasn’t completely turned off by the idea of voting GOP. However, his out-of-touch millionaire views regarding the poor ended up being a turn-off, and I cast my first vote for US President for Obama. I knew the obstacles he had run up against with an obstructionist congress during his first term and wanted to see what he could do with a second.
Though left of center after Obama’s re-election, I wasn’t forcefully catapulted away from the Right until recently when Donald Trump decided to get a new hobby and run for President. I’ve already written a piece on the many ways he insults a majority of the US population with vigor and unabashed glee. And, get this, he’s picked on even more people since then. I have to admit that Hillary Clinton was not originally my candidate of choice; however, I can now say, without doubt, that I am a literal Hairy Legged (I hate shaving), No Bra Wearing (at least at nighttime), Pacifist (war is expensive) Liberal.
There really is no other way for me to vote at this point–I am female, I am hispanic, I am African American (or one of “The Blacks” that Trump is always referring to). Not only does this dude automatically shove me and my kin in the rapist/criminal category–he feels entitled to grab me by my genitalia because he’s rich! And famous! And he can!
Angela Merkel and Theresa May better put on some iron undies if this dude makes it into the White House.
But I’m writing this post in the hopes that someone on the fence (who are you, really?!) will read this message and decide that they do care about their neighbors enough to stop that from happening–their Muslim neighbors, and their disabled neighbors, their war veteran neighbors, and their female neighbors, your LGBT neighbors, and any other group of people that Trump and his most virulent supporters have attempted to crush beneath their feet.
Because you can’t say that you love these people and then vote for Trump–you can’t look any one of those people in the eye, grab a beer with them and say:
“I know this dude despises you, sees you as a subhuman-second-class-citizen. I know that what he’s done has contributed to the rise of white nationalists and other hate groups that intend to breed violence against you and yours, but I love you man. Let’s agree to disagree. It’s nothing personal.”
It is. IT IS PERSONAL. There is nothing more personal than selecting the leader of your country.
I can only assume that a lot of people are turning a blind eye to their friends that have been categorically maligned and abused by Trump and the Right because they’re living in a “color blind” world (or at least that’s what they tell themselves).
“Oh, I know your black/gay/muslim/etc, but you’re not like the OTHER black/gay/muslim people that Trump is talking about–THOSE are the ones we’re voting against.”
Uh-uh. Doesn’t work that way, homie.
You may not see me as the racist stereotype of one of “The Blacks”, you may not see me as the racist stereotype of hispanic people, and you may not throw me under the bus with the negative stereotype of a feminist woman. But I am black, I am hispanic, I have been half of an interracial relationship, and I do believe in equal rights between men and women so I am most certainly a feminist.
To all the minorities thinking about voting for Trump: PAUSE. Let’s take a second:
Think about who the ACTUAL Nazis are voting for (it’s Trump). Think about who the ACTUAL KKK is voting for (it’s Trump). Do you genuinely feel like you share the same political interests? Do you genuinely feel like you should be voting for the same candidate along with a group of people that probably lynched and/or enslaved one or more of your ancestors?
I had and still have friends who voted for John McCain.
I had and still have friends who voted for Mitt Romney.
I will not be able to keep connections with people who vote for Trump if this guy wins.
Not this time. Not this election.
The outlook for my future, personally, will look much different than yours (and not in a good way), if that’s the case.
Things are going to go south, fast. That’s not a prediction, that’s just a preview of reality–it’s already started. Just watch the videos of ANY Trump rally and you will see for yourself what America looks like when Bigotry is given a Soap Box.
And I, for one, will stand with the people that reject hatred and bigotry and I won’t “unite as a nation” behind someone that has expressed his disdain for actual human beings that make up a YUGE number of this amazing melting pot.
His KKK supporters have already vowed to show up at polling booths on election day. I certainly won’t be holding their place for them in line when they need to take a pee break, but I won’t make a ruckus about their presence, either.
And I promise you that I won’t be afraid.