Remember in 2014 when Mo Asumang, a Black Women, interviewed the KKK and they said, "I am not racist. No one in the KKK is a racist." The shaking of my head is similar to my disbelief when I hear Trump voters say they race, gender, and bigotry had nothing to do with their vote.
I hear you, and have listened to many, many Trump voters say they didn't vote because of those 'topics.' Or that Trump was just saying those things to get elected and the real Trump isn't like that.
But what it comes down to is that it was still a vote for someone who used their platform and leadership to spread bigotry, scapegoating and violence as a solution.
So I hear you saying it wasn’t racism to vote for Trump, and yet the contradiction of values still stands. Trump is a racist, a bigot, a sexist, an Islamophobe. So how can a vote for him not be supporting those values? How is it possible to select the aspects of what we want to support in someone, when we are voting for the whole person?
But the votes over. It’s done. If we had a time machine then I’d keep going back and forth about how the vote went down. So instead I move forward with you. And we will ultimately get the answer to the riddle of: could someone who voted for trump still be a person who believes everyone deserves the right to respect and dignity?
And we will find out that answer by your actions. If (when) Trump continues to say statements or puts into plan actions that value one life above another, will we see you on social media, in conversations with your friends, and in the streets saying, “This was not why I voted for you! How dare you say those things! I will defend everyone’s right to respect and dignity!” If one of your Trump voting friends says, “Can’t wait till he gets rid of (insert group of people they hate), will you call them out and say, “I voted for Trump and I will not stand for that bigotry.”
Because then that’s using one’s privilege and power to confront and challenge bigotry. Because a Trump supporter will hear it differently from another Trump supporter. Can’t say back to you, “oh well you’re just a damn liberal.” No my friend. That’s Trump on Trump supporter saying I won’t stand for your violence.
If not. If it’s just radio silence. If it’s just being a bystander. Or a perpetrator. Well then we loop back to how I started this post, it will be obvious cooperation with bigotry and violence all while denying one’s participation in it.
And Oh Lord, trust me. Just because I didn’t vote for Trump doesn’t mean I’m off the hook. Or that I’m automatically one of the “good ones.” I’m also only as good as my last at bat. I am still responsible to use my influence and privilege to be an upsatnder and to be accountable and take personal responsibility. So please don’t read this as me on my high horse.
More like me being like, “I hear you say that you don’t support bigotry, and now I’d love to see what that looks like in words and actions. And if you see me slipping. If you see me living my life in a way that doesn’t align with my values, please let me know too.”
Peace and blessings.