For the last decade, I thought we (collectively) had made progress in embracing (I hate the word tolerant in this context) people from different ethnic regions, who had different sexual orientations and gender identities than the usual; that women were actually, truly accepted in the workplace and respected for their innovations instead of their tits.
Boy, was I wrong. With Trump taking presidency- his not only tolerance, but, promotion and encouragement of racism, misogyny, discrimination, has given people the platform and permission to say and do what’s really on their minds. It’s scary to think those thoughts were hidden, but PRESENT all this time- and we didn’t know. Maybe I AM “privileged”, being white. Believe me, I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon, but that’s another post. Maybe I just didn’t know how bad things were for people different from my own ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity, religion, culture. The people being hateful will swear to you their not racist, their not misogynists, they are “very fine people”. Maybe they don’t want to admit to themselves that their not as wonderful as they think they are. Being racist isn’t just a flaw- we’re all flawed. Being racist is a character trait that when given voice to, reveals who you are inside, not matter how adorable or handsome you look on the outside. It makes you ugly.
I get frustrated debating with people online who refuse to admit that they are, in fact, racist by the very defense of it, promotion of it. One such conversation regarding Charlottesville, a man said, “If ANTIFA is on one side and Nazis on the other, and it’s disrupting peaceful protesters, what are we suppose to do? Just leave? I’m standing my ground.” He said he’d rather stand with white supremacists than concede defeat. Justification for standing with white supremacists… better than admitting you’re racist? People don’t stand together with people spewing hate and just hope somehow they’re not associated with them. Guilt by association. Just you being there- one more body on their side, emboldens them. Maybe their presence emboldens you too, you just don’t have the courage to admit it when you’re sitting behind your computer not protected by the power of like minded people.
I hate that this time in history, when technology is so far advanced- we have robots for crying out loud- is going to be remembered with the same disdain as when slavery was still legal. We’re going backwards instead of forwards. I hate that I have to look around me and wonder, “Are you an asshole?” because apparently 1/3 of the US is. I actually wanted to ask my waiter if he was a Trump supporter the other day because I didn’t want to tip if he was, but I forced myself to withhold that question. I feel angry at Trump’s supporters in a way that I have never felt angry. I want to scream, “How can you be so fucking ignorant?! Grow some balls and admit you’re a racist or stop defending and supporting someone who is!”