Have you noticed photos of friends on social media wearing safety pins starting to crop up over the past week? With several news outlets reporting a sudden rise in hate crimes some have started to wear safety pins. Wearing the safety pins sends a message that those individuals are “safe” allies, willing to step forward and accompany anyone feeling targeted or marginalized.
According to multiple news outlets, there has been a rise in hate crimes over the past week. A USA Today article was one of several written. I found their headline unsettling, Post-election spate of hate crimes worse than post-9/11, experts say, but what bothered me the most about the article was how little it surprised me. This quote shared on Facebook by my friend Don Hamel nicely articulates why I’m not surprised and why I’m so disappointed.
Not all Trump voters are racist, but all of them decided that racism (or homophobia, etc) isn’t a dealbreaker. And to me that is racism. It is easier to be racist to a large group of people you can’t see, don’t know, etc, as opposed to your neighbor or family member, but to me it’s racism just the same.
As Van Jones put it, Trump was willing to “throw some of us away to appeal more deeply to others”, and voting for him signifies that you were willing to throw some people away to get your agenda (which honestly may not even happen…what are the chances of Trump really helping the middle class or fixing healthcare).
I know some people commenting here who voted for Trump are loving and wonderful people but it’s just really really hard to get past the fact that racism, sexism, homophobia, etc was not a dealbreaker for people…
Some of you may have seen this graphic making the rounds on Facebook. I don’t know if the assertion is correct, but according to rwbomc on Reddit, Massachusetts was the only state in the U.S. where Trump did not win a single county. With Hillary no longer in the picture, I’m going to hijack Clinton’s hashtag and modify it to #ImWithMass.
Prior to Tuesday, November 8th there was a lot of people questioning what Donald Trump and his supporters would do after the election. Strangely, celebrating was never seriously considered and now it is the supporters of Hillary Clinton who are talking about not accepting the results of the election so I want to remind everyone of Michelle Obama’s inspiring quote.
Acknowledging is not Accepting
A lot of very prolific people have shared their thoughts about the election and after reading several articles I’ve come to my own conclusions. First, acknowledging isn’t accepting, but if we want others to respect democracy we have to acknowledge results even when we find them upsetting. One of my biggest issues with many people over the past 8 years was their inability to acknowledge Obama as a legitimate President (I lump Trump in that group).
Love and Hope > Hate and Anger
Another lesson I am reminding myself is that while I am seething with resentment: resentment with roughly half my fellow Americans; resentment with the Electoral System; resentment towards Trump for raising up and empowering hate groups; and… the list goes on and on. I must remember that I do believe in the power of love and hope and it is these emotions I want to have consume and motivate me – not anger and hate. I look to men like the non-violent, civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. for this inspiration.
I have a voice and I’ll be damned if I’m going keep quiet
While I may feel more marginalized today and wonder what is going to happen next, I tell myself that this election has served as a wake up call. I had hoped that after November 8th I could stop talking about politics. That will not happen now. On the campaign trail Bernie Sanders’ calls for a revolution (a peaceful revolution BTW) resonated. Calls for social justice from the Black Lives Matters movement inspired. And of course the LGBTQ movement and Pride now takes on added significance. The people who support these movements are still here and they need your help. So while I am troubled by certain groups who feel emboldened by a Trump victory, I am also looking to the Sanders movement, Black Lives Matters, LGBTQ community and others to come together, because to borrow a phrase I really do believe, “Together, we are stronger“.
Trump’s victory has upset me to my core, and for the moment changed how I view my country even calling into question what I think it means to be an American. I will not let that disappointment mutate into hate or despair, and I hope you will not let that happen either.
Some great articles worth reading:
Here’s Why We Grieve
Dear Queer America: Here is what we must do now that Trump will be President
Trump Victory Alarms Gay and Transgender Groups
While the political commentators rehash the election, I have no stomach for it and am sickened by the thought of a Trump presidency so I thought I would point out what an historic night it was at the ballot box for a less obvious reason.
After Tuesday’s results, the number of states that agreed to legalize marijuana for recreational has doubled from four to eight with California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada voters approving state ballot initiatives. Only in Arizona where voting remains too close to call appears to have bucked a national trend and said, “No”. For residents of Massachusetts this means that as of December 15th it will be legal to possess small amounts of marijuana and for residents to grow pot in their homes. Retail sales will not begin until Jan. 2018.
Americans living in states where marijuana is / will be legal for recreational use now includes:
Words to remember for later tonight and in the days that follow, which I predict will get quite ugly considering Trump’s behavior throughout the Presidential primary and general election.
With approximately 50% of the eligible electorate not voting in U.S. Presidential elections, I suppose it should not be surprising that politics has become more divisive with more extreme / fringe candidates succeeding in recent elections.
All the nastiness that describes the incredibly long 2016 Presidential primary and general campaign only further disenfranchises and drives down voter turnout. So what’s the answer? Asking for people to be more civil doesn’t seem to be getting us anywhere. Even the Democratic Primary which paled by comparison to the fiasco otherwise known as the Republican Primary was abhorrent. Blatant favoritism and attempts to undermine the Bernie Sanders campaign by the former DNC Chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Shultz and others poisoned the civil campaign that had been (for the most part) focused on policy. By the spring of 2016 both Sanders and Clinton (and their supporters) had dropped all pretenses of civility.
I’m not an exceptionally patriotic person. I don’t believe that America is a greater country by comparing ourselves to others and pointing out where other nations are left wanting, but I do love the freedom my country has come to symbolize. For that to continue I truly believe we need to have citizens engaged (not turned off by) democracy. So despite all the name calling, blatant lies and misinformation, I hope Americans take time to read through the issues that matter most to them, think seriously about candidates from the top to the bottom of their ballots and vote on Tuesday, November 8th.
Towleroad via World of Wonder blog, brought to my attention the disgraced former U.S. Republican Congressman, Aaron Schock, was seen at the West Hollywood Halloween parade. While his presence doesn’t confirm Schock is a Friend of Dorothy, it does nothing to quell those rumors. Schock who rose to prominence in the Republican Party in part due to his youth and good looks, never was a friend of the gay community and proved to be hostile to any legislation that would help protect our community from discrimination.
The Congressman ultimately resigned in March 2015 to avoid a congressional ethics inquiry after misappropriation of funds on everything from airplane flights to his office decor was reported. As recently as last month, Schock agreed to pay a $10,000 civil penalty to the Federal Election Commission, but he has otherwise avoided any other fines or sentencing.
Earlier this year Titan Men released a gay porn parody titled, “Cauke for President” based on Schock. The film centered around a homophobic US Senator named Mike Cauke. Twitter and Instagram social media posts for Mike Cauke repeatedly called out Shock (see below).