“Non-Racist Trump Voters” Have a Moral Obligation to Stand Up to Hate

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.

19 thoughts on ““Non-Racist Trump Voters” Have a Moral Obligation to Stand Up to Hate

  1. You seem to have written this before the election.

    We dont need you, want you, or care what you say. Your months of hysterical rage lost you that right.

    We will do what we like, if and when we like it.

    Yrs truly,

    Trump voters

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    1. Of course you will. But having won an election (with a candidate who lost the popular vote by almost 2 million by the way) doesn’t make everything you do right. If it did, everything the people who voted for President Obama twice did over the past 8 years would have been right, which is something I doubt you would sign on to. My saying so doesn’t give you any particular moral obligation, it’s true. And we can disagree on many things. But a moral obligation to stand up to bullying, UnAmerican attacks on each other exists separate from whether I say anything and what I think.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I don’t think this could have been written before the election, unless the writer had a crystal ball. Somehow I doubt that. And I’ve realized the problem is not that “you” need “us” but that WE NEED YOU! You don’t want us, but we want you. You don’t care about us, but we care about you. That’s the problem. I can reach out from here to the North Pole and it might be futile. I pray and hope you decide what you will do before this mess gets any worse. Please.

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  2. “Non-Racist Trump Voters” is an oxymoron. You knew he was a racist. If you voted for him, you condoned it. Ergo, you are a racist. And a misogynist, homophobe, xenophobe and an asshole.

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    1. It makes no sense that I as a bisexual woman would be a homophobe! I voted for Trump for abortion and Israel! I love gays and blacks! I have Muslim friends! I am only against the radical terrorists! I welcome the good immigrants! There are a wide range of different types of people.who voted Trump, not just racists, bigots and homophobes!

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      1. Hi Bonnie! I was not arguing that you are a homohobic. I was arguing that if in fact you are not racist or anti-Muslim etc, then I hope that you are standing up to your president (and your Congresspeople) and telling him that you do not actually approve of what he is doing when it goes against those values. Because if you are against the “radical terrorists” (even leaving aside the fact that white right-wingers have killed far far far more Americans than supposedly Islamic jihadists), then you should be deeply deeply concerned (just for one example) that: (1) the recent travel ban excludes all the countries where any terrorists who have killed Americans have actually come from and no refugees have become terrorists and (2) excluding deeply deeply vetted refugees fleeing the very radical terrorists you are against HELPS those terrorists–it keeps their victims from escaping and it allows them to recruit more people by telling them how much Americans are waging war on Islam. Or, if you want to reduce abortions, taking away people’s healthcare and family planning access will INCREASE abortions (federal $ already doesn’t pay for abortions). If you don’t want your gay friends and you to suffer, you might want to speak out against Supreme Court nominees who believe you have no right to privacy in sexual relations and could be fired or denied service for who you love. Etc. So I am NOT actually calling you names–I am taking you at your word and hoping you live up to it. Because otherwise we are all going to suffer–you and me alike. Your voice as a Trump voter is particularly strong right now. Please use it!

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      2. (Also, I see that Brian was in fact saying something that I wasn’t and that’s what you were responding to. I understand his sentiment. It’s hard for many of us to understand overlooking the very scary parts of what Trump represented enough vote for him without being driven by those various hatreds. The best way to prove Brian wrong would be to stand up for those values when they are under attack, even by someone you voted for. I critique and protest people I felt I had to vote for as the ‘lesser of two evils’ all the time.)

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  3. Exceptional point and well written. Thank you. This is the demand that’s been placed on all Muslims for the actions of the few. So Trump voters, welcome to the club. Karma baby.

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  4. Have you not heard the phrase, “Guilty by association” ? You chose him. You get the whole thing, Everything. The good The bad. The heinous. If you abhor all the hate, bigotry and the like, you shouldn’t have unleashed an immoral monster on the country. on the world. YOU did this. Now we’re ALL going to pay. God help us.

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  5. You bet, I have and will continue to, I would also like to see everyone condemning people for physically attacking people for supporting Trump. While we are at it, let’s condemn all those people caught on tape stealing and destroying Trump signs, and blocking highways.
    I will do my part regardless of what anyone else does because it’s the right thing to do.
    I will also point out when it doesn’t happen and should, no matter who fails.

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  6. Your condescending, elitist tone makes me question whether you and your supporters are truly keeping an open mind, but I feel compelled to reply anyway.
    First, the kindness, support and compassion we should show to each other has nothing to do with an election. I’d like to think that all of us have always done our best to take care of others as part of our daily lives.
    I am a registered Republican and a practicing Roman Catholic. I’m also a full-time working mother who, along with my wonderful husband, has opened our home to 24 foster children over the course of the past six+ years. Of my three beautiful daughters, one was adopted through our foster care work. We are also preparing to adopt another little girl who is 14 months old and possibly her newborn sister. I always find it interesting that DCF tells us the race of the children before they are placed–our response has always been, “Who cares.” Keep in mind that my husband and I are 56 and 54 respectively; our only concern is whether or not we’ll be able to be quality parents to these young children. People who don’t know us well often question us about early retirement, time for ourselves, world travel, fine dining, etc. Frankly, giving those things up pales in comparison to the love we have for these children and our commitment to do what we can to make the world a better place. Preparing meals for homeless shelters, teaching religious education to young people, serving as mentors to youth and supporting our schools and community anyway we can are also regular activities in our lives. My day starts at 5:00 a.m. and ends around 10:00 p.m. I’m not looking for praise or notoriety–my circle of friends includes people doing as much, if not more, than me; I simply want you and your supporters to know a little bit about me other than my decision to vote for Donald Trump.
    Not that I owe anyone an explanation for why I exercised my right to vote the way I did, I chose Trump because of the Democratic party’s abortion platform. I believe in the sanctity of life from conception to natural death. Whenever a liberal talks about abortion, they talk only about the woman and never the other half of the equation. Or when they do speak of the baby, it’s a blob, a nothing, a cluster of cells–I find that attitude and belief abhorrent. I dare anyone who supports abortion at any time for any reason to look at the remains of that child after the abortion and then tell me it’s a blob or a nothing. That’s why we support the foster care program the way we do–life is precious at every stage and we should do everything in our power to protect and nourish it. Beyond that, I questioned Hillary’s judgment in everything from vilifying her husband’s victims, to Benghazi, to the use of a private email server for classified government matters, to her dealings with Wall Street, and finally to her obvious desire to be part of the entertainment industry’s in-crowd. For all of the above, I was called deplorable by your candidate and one of her most ardent supporters told me their was a special place in hell for me because I didn’t blindly follow her beliefs.
    These have been my beliefs for all of my adult life. I have never felt compelled to make a poster and march up and down the street in anger to make you aware of them. If you wish to get to know me, I’ll share them with you, but not from a bullhorn. For the past eight years under a liberal President, I have never once felt compelled to smash windows, set fires or destroy the property of others because I’m not getting my way.
    Since the election, I’ve had people who know nothing about me call me a turd, and refer to me repeatedly as ignorant and hateful. I even had a fellow alum from my all woman’s college say that it was okay to hate me because of the way I voted. I’ve had a young person tell me to pull my head out of my ass for responding to insults hurled at me on Facebook. I’ve had friends unfriend me from Facebook because I didn’t vote the way they had. Is this the standard you’re holding up to be modeled after? Rather than assuming it’s your role to tell others how to behave, maybe you should simply take care of your own attitudes and misconceptions about others. I’ll do the same for myself as well and if we share it with our circle of friends, and they do the same with theirs, society will be more compassionate, understanding, and giving. The Golden Rule simply tells us to treat and love others as we wish to be treated and loved. If we did that our society would have no room for name calling, insulting, and promoting division. Let’s come together and heal.

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    1. Thank you for your long reply, and your wonderful work at the important job of fostering, and I’m sorry that you’ve been insulted by people who are hurting and scared (and maybe also by people who have less reason). I know that there is wide variety, which is why I expected that there would be Trump voters who are outraged by the hateful behavior that has been emboldened and want to use their position to speak out against it. You may have spent the last 8 years quietly doing good, and I applaud you for it. But in general the opposition to President Obama has been obstructionist and aggressive and threatening as well. There have been protests–and those protests involved guns, involved taking over public lands and buildings, involved refusing to do their legal jobs. One Trump supporter recently took it upon himself to shoot a cop in protest. Neither group responds in a monolithic way. As Martin Luther King Jr said, riots are the voice of the unheard.

      Abortion is, of course, a touch point for many people, and a difficult one. I hear that it is a big deal to you. I think what you might be missing is that many people who are upset and feeling threatened right now believe, with good reason, that their own lives and the lives of their loved ones are in danger. People who lived through the Holocaust see the same kind of policies gearing up. People who fled violence and certain death to come to this country are faced being forcibly returned. It is hard to have the bigger picture conversations — what can we all agree upon to reduce the number of abortions? how can we do better economically for the people that the Democrats did not manage to serve? — when people’s basic safety walking on the street is at risk. I believe we can join together, shut down hate, and figure out some better compromises. But there has to be some kind of acknowledgement that the imminent danger is going on, and that Trump, and now the explicitly and avowedly racist and anti-Semitic leaders he is putting in positions of power, are fueling that. It’s not what you voted for, but it’s what you got. I didn’t vote for drone killings when I voted for Obama, and I did indeed feel responsible for letting him know that.

      No one is going to feel able to come together and heal, when they walk out of their door and to a sign that proclaims they should be lynched, when their babysitter was beaten up while being called a Hillary-loving faggot, when they are threatened with a gun and called the n*word driving down the street, when they expect to be ripped from their family and the only country they’ve known and deported in a matter of months (all real examples).

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  7. I wish these things would sincerely promote discussion outside of the “I voted Trump and I’m a wonderful person! Let me go on a 362 pg dissertation to explain to you how wonderful I am and how I’ve spent a lifetime committed to my causes I believe are humanitarian just to prove you wrong!”

    A lot of us seriously want to know what their plans are! What do you intend to do outside of this self praising diatribe of personally important achievements that don’t answer the question of “Are you going to uphold civil rights?!”

    They all dodge this question like it’s yesterday’s left overs.

    Are they?! We *need* to know!

    Like

  8. Pingback: We Are The Storm

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