My ability to be nice has vanished. I don’t mean in my day-to-day existence or even in most of my dealings with strangers. But when it comes to this election and politics I recognize that I have lost any desire to accord those who will vote for Donald Trump or anyone but Hillary Clinton, any ounce of respect.
I cannot and will not engage racists, sexists, islamophobes, homophobes with anything nearing a dispassionate discourse. I will not apologize.
I can hear those who will say, That is wrong. We have to allow for different points of view. This is America, everyone is entitled to say and believe what they want. Yes. We do have to allow for different points of view and I, of course, am a proponent of free speech. But that does not mean that one should equate the drivel that comes from the Alt-right and others that spew hate, with an opinion to be respected and engaged on that level.
I, for one, will not legitimize the disgusting rhetoric that I have seen and heard against Blacks and Jews and Gays and Muslims and Latinos by suggesting that it is just another point of view to be honored. They raise their voices to “Make America Great Again” when the rest of us know they mean to make America white again.
Trump pretends not to know who Ku Klux Klan wizard David Duke is and his vice presidential running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, refused to call him deplorable.
Why? Because they don’t want to antagonize their supporters. The CEO of their campaign, Steve Bannon is a leader in the Alt-right movement. I am not going to give an instructional diatribe as to what the Alt-right is. If you don’t know by now do your homework. It is important. Suffice to say that I would not feel safe with my family around people who are part of it.
I am white, and if I were alone, even as a woman, I would not know the kind of fear that those who are direct targets of Donald Trump and his supporters might feel. But I am not alone. I am a mother of two beautiful girls. Two beautiful and precious black girls. My husband is a black man.
I watch as all of these pathetic pundits and journalists, who are primarily white, criticize Hillary Clinton for calling Trump supporters “deplorable”, wondering if at a minimum they might try to walk in my shoes — if at a minimum they might be able to expand their feeling selves to include those that don’t have their privilege.
I doubt it.
My world is nothing compared with what my husband faces or my daughters will face by being black Americans. Their pride in this country is meaningless when it comes to the value of their lives.
The other day I had changed my Twitter photo to one of myself with my girls. I did so because I am so proud to be their mom and because I like to share that with the world. It is hard to explain the love I feel. When I made the choice to do it I was aware that the ugliness that I had seen and even experienced from Trump supporters might find its way to my feed once again. But I took a chance.
And of course, those assholes, deplorables… found me.
My daughters were referred to as subhuman and monkeys. This is just an example of what was posted. Those that spewed their hate acknowledged they were #alt-right and Trump supporters. They took pleasure in demeaning and dehumanizing my daughters.
But the media and their go-to pundits who are mostly white and mostly male suggested that Hillary Clinton made a mistake when she said that 50% of the people who support Trump are deplorable. They were, and are, wrong and are stupidly, ignorantly operating from a position of privilege.
Hillary Clinton made no mistake. It is not hard to back up her statement of a “basket of deplorables” with videos of ugly rallies where shouts of “nigger” are heard, of Trump supporters who have emblazoned his name on the Confederate Flag, or his own words where he calls for the banning of Muslims and calls Mexicans rapists. They are all deplorable and anyone who votes for this man is embracing all of this.
One does not get to separate the man from his words or from those he has surrounded himself with. His words, his people, his actions are what we must and should define him by. He is racist, homophobic, sexist, Islamophobic and xenophobic. He defines all that is wrong with America. Trump hasn’t the heart to make America anything other than ugly.
So to the journalists, the pundits who champion the Trump supporters who continue to insist they and he are not racist, wake up.
I will forgive Hillary Clinton for walking back the percentage of Trump voters who might be deplorable, but I will stand by her and her estimation of those who support Donald Trump. I will not forgive supposed progressives who vote for a third party candidate which may allow for a Trump win. You are too careless with the lives of others.
It is not just my family that counts, it is all of our families and friends who have not limited who they love and cherish, who come from a place of inclusion and of being true to the real spirit of America and all that makes us already, truly great.