America has changed overnight. The ugliness has been here, simmering, bubbling up in pockets for years. Racism, sexism, homophobia, fear of immigrants. Now white people are openly targeting anyone they feel is “other”. Now the ugliness is out in the open.
Now is the time that we must be awake and vigilant against every form of terrorism – especially that which comes from white people. Now is the time to stand up to abuse even if it comes from our neighbors and family and friends. Now is the time we were born for.
All of this has happened in November, 2016, in the week of the election where Trump won.
In a public Facebook post, Sheri Wanderer shared this –
“Tonight driving home From work I stopped to get gas. There was a man, i’m guessing early 60s pumping gas. He appeared to be Arabic. I pulled in just as two young (early to mid 20’s) white man approached him. They begin to verbally assault him — yelling that he was not welcome here, and that Trump will send him back to where he came from. They mumbled something Incomprehensible that I believe included the word terrorism. I pulled up close, got out of my car and went and stood Beside him. At first I said nothing. I just stood next to him facing the 2 young men. My presence seemed to confuse them and as they hesitated I asked ( hopefully not unkindly and hopefully without Snark) ” why are you doing this ? ” One looked down and they both started to walk away. As they did one turned and spat at the man standing beside me. I stepped I front of him getting spat on instead. As I was not the intended target the spitter looked uncomfortable for a moment. Then the 2 young men left. I spoke just briefly with the man who was targeted with such hatred. He is from Jordan and has lived in Ypsilanti 8 years. His children were born here. He was so grateful. I had done so little yet for him I guess it meant a lot. I came home and cried. I’m gonna take a hot bath and cry some more. We have so much work to do friends.”
November 10, 2016, a person I know shared evangelical Franklin Graham’s post =
“Did God show up? In watching the news after the election, the secular media keep asking “How did this happen?” “What went wrong?” “How did we miss this?” Someare in shock. Political pundits are stunned. Many thought the Trump/Pence ticket didn’t have a chance. None of them understand the God-factor. Hundreds of thousands of Christians from across the United States have been praying. This year they came out to every state capitol to pray for this election and for the future of America. Prayer groups were started. Families prayed. Churches prayed. Then Christians went to the polls, and God showed up. While the media scratches their heads and tries to understand how this happened, I believe that God’s hand intervened Tuesday night to stop the godless, atheistic progressive agenda from taking control of our country. President-elect Donald J. Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence are going to need a lot of help and they will continue to need a lot of prayer. I pray that President-elect Trump will surround himself with godly men and women to help advise and counsel him as he leads the nation. My prayer is that God will bless America again!”
To which I replied:
“How do you explain the acts of violence that are being enacted by citizens against other citizens right now? How does God even come into the discussion when people are taking it upon themselves to verbally and physically attack people who have done nothing to them, who are breaking no laws, who only want to live their lives in peace? God is the author of love, not violence. I pray that America does not degenerate into another Holocaust, with anyone who is seen as “other” (read: not straight, white, and male) is attacked simply for existing. We are better than this.”
She deleted my reply.
My friend Franko Hashiguchi shared this –
“From my friend, Blair Breitreiter. With her kind permission. This shit is REAL. Other friends, facing the same thing. I realized I was racially made fun of and put on edge, on Sunday. Will put in the comments, later, perhaps.”
“So far what I’ve seen on my feed:
My friend was harassed in a parking lot and a Trump supporter screamed at her to suck his dick; a couple had a note left on their car saying ‘gay marriage = burning in hell! Trump 2016; a man had a beer bottle thrown at him ‘Faggots like you are gone once Trump takes office!’; and this is a short list.
What I’ve seen from the majority of Trump supporters in my feed:
‘I don’t know why these idiots are protesting’; countless posts of how people in my communities are whiners; a repost of Trump holding the rainbow flag proclaiming ‘I don’t know why the gays think he hates them!’
I’m sickened. Please, by all means, not see the point. It is the populace that has been validated by this transgression of events. Your peers are the ones perpetuating fear through vile remarks and violence. The reaction is merely the fruit. And some of you? You won’t even take accountability. So few of his supporters are stopping to say ‘I’m sorry. I don’t support this. I have your back.’ (Some are – thank you.) No, instead you’re perpetuating the stigma and if that’s your game, please exit from my life. You are no friend of mine. I’m sorry but fuck you and get out.
I refuse to heal. I refuse to accept being treated this way. I refuse your antiquated ideologies and I refuse to accept that I mattered so little to some of you to be put in harm’s way and that only after doing so, you refuse to speak out against this horrific behavior.
I can accept that you are no hero and that you won’t be mine. You need to accept that you’re not my friend. And it’s fine really. Go live your life.
I’ll be my own goddamned hero
On November 9th, the Scarritt Bennett Center posted this –
Skinner Chapel will be open today until 6pm for anyone who would like a safe and inclusive place for reflection and prayer. All are welcome.
Free self-defense classes are opening up for those who are targeted.
People are starting to wear safety pins to tell others that they are safe to be around and will not harm them – and in fact will stand up for them.
May Theiss in the Nashville Feminist Collective wrote on November 10th
“Good morning beautiful people! This is my first time posting here but I need your help. We all know how hard the last few days have been. The emotions, the pain, the fear. I have friends fleeing, I’m seeing people get shot, my brothers and sisters of color are having their lives threatened, my own family attacked me and turned their backs on me.”
Friends of mine have changed their cover photos to things like this –
and the website about information on applying for Canadian citizenship crashed this week after being overwhelmed with people looking for information.
This cover photo is poignant –
along with profile photos like this –
and there is a trend of going all black as well, as a symbol of mourning –
Nahko Bear, a Hawaiian musician and activist, shares this –
Now is the time to wake up and be present. This is the time we were born for. Now is the time to stand up for human rights.