Dear Trump Voters,
I’ve seen a lot of you being very angry at being assumed a racist. I’ve seen you claiming you love everybody and believe your “rough around the edges” candidate really does too, and you were voting based on economics or sticking it to the establishment.
Let’s say for a minute that the rest of us take you at your word that you do not believe you are racist or hateful.
Then we have to talk about how the election of your candidate and his positions and behaviors has unleashed a torrent of racist hate. People are being bullied and threatened left and right. Told they’re going to be kicked out of the country, “taken care of,” and “put back in their place.” Racist, anti-Semitic, anti-gay grafitti and threats are appearing everywhere. Religious institutions are being defaced. See stories here and here. People I know directly have been threatened. I only need to go one degree of separation to get to dozens of stories, from every part of the country. People are terrified.
You need to fix this. You.
The rest of us are going to be doing our best as well, of course, but this is your guy, his election has emboldened the perpetrators of these actions, and you have a moral obligation to deal with it.
Here’s what you need to:
- Write to your president-elect and tell him you voted for him and you need him to explicitly denounce all of these hateful acts and call for them to stop. Now. If you did not vote for him with the intent of registering Muslims or tearing families apart in deportations, you need to spell that out too. (Do the same for all of your other Republican elected officials while you’re at it.)
- Take a public stand. Write to your local paper and your church bulletin. Call in to radio shows and stand up at public meetings. Identify yourself as a Trump voter. Do not defend or explain your choice, just explicitly reject all these acts of hate and violence, call for accountability for the perpetrators, and support for the victims. Follow up. Demand that the organizations you are a part of also speak up, step up, and stand in solidarity with their neighbors. (NB: Responding defensively on a friend’s Facebook thread that you “don’t support violence” doesn’t count.)
- Put your bodies and reputations on the line. Commit to intervening if you see someone being harassed. Speak up when you hear threats and insults. Challenge your colleagues, neighbors, or family members who are participating in these actions. Make sure your children know it is unacceptable to join in taunting or threatening of their immigrant/Muslim/queer/disabled classmates. Ask your principal and school board how they are making sure their schools are safe for everyone. If you are in a supervisory or leadership position, proactively make sure everyone under you knows that they are safe there and that you do not tolerate harassment on the job. Donate to groups that are working to keep people safe. If you are Christian, share this article with your pastor and congregation, and then act on it.
Get moving. Then maybe we can talk about the rest of it.