I’m not usually the kind of gal who likes to engage in too much political debate online. But this hasn’t been a usual kind of year. The fact is, we have one of the most important elections in our nation’s history coming up, and I can’t afford to see four more years of Donald Trump in the Oval Office. I also can’t stand to see the hashtag #Trump2020 splashed across the internet anymore, because it’s starting to make me want to flip every table everywhere. So after a generous glass of wine last weekend, I dove headfirst into a debate-style battle against pro-Trumpers online.
Let’s just say that Trump voters didn’t disappoint when it came to being predictable. I knew I’d be arguing with a lot of white people, white moms in particular, and that’s exactly who came out swinging. I was hilariously told, mostly by white mothers, that it was totally racist of me to call out Donald Trump’s white supremacist influence on our country and the racist implications of openly supporting him. I was accused of evidently watching too much CNN and MSNBC, even though I don’t really watch either channel. And I was chided for apparently choosing “feelings over actual policies” when I brought up the very well-backed argument that a vote for Trump this November is a continued vote for division, bigotry, and hate.
But there were two particular experiences that really annoyed the shit out of me, beyond being called a snowflake by internet trolls or having white folks type-yell at me for being offended by my anti-Trump stance.
I was challenged multiple times to provide a list of the exact policies passed by Trump and tangible actions taken by him that undoubtedly prove his administration to be racist, homophobic, and horrendously divisive — and when presented, I was met with a complete rejection of their validity. I also brought up Trump’s sexist and misogynistic treatment of women and his toddler-tantrum tweets and was told that most people voting for this asshole are not doing it because they’re 100% on board with who he is as a person. They’re voting for his policies, and more importantly, how these policies benefit them.
To this I definitively say: Would you kindly STFU?
First of all, if you’re still supporting a president who has a public track record for diminishing LGBTQIA rights and disproportionately targeting Black communities and communities of color, then you are 100% complicit in these efforts. If you need further proof of the Trump administration’s discriminatory rollbacks, look no further than The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. This equality-driven coalition of more than 200 national organizations created an extensive list of all the awful tactics Trump has taken to quietly — and not so quietly — attack communities of color, immigrants, and LGBTQIA+ individuals. And it is exhaustingly long.
So if you’re going around screaming “I vote for policies, not the person!” and are still supporting Donald Trump’s racist, homophobic, transphobic, and even anti-semitic agenda, then you’re basically telling the rest of us that you don’t give an actual fuck about Black people, marginalized communities, and LGBTQIA+ Americans.
Now let’s tackle the senseless argument that a president can only be influential based on policies alone. If you actively choose to ignore who Trump is at his very core just because you want to stand by a Republican nominee, then you are being dangerously irresponsible. In 2018, the F.B.I. reported that hate-crime violence was at a 16-year high, with a specific 24.7% increase at K-12 schools and colleges. Counties across the U.S. that hosted Trump rallies back in 2016 also saw a 226% increase in hate-based violence.
Just last month, F.B.I. Director Christopher Wray sat in front of the House Homeland Security Committee and reported that white supremacists make up the largest portion of “the most lethal of all domestic extremists since 2001.” And just this month, Donald Trump publicly refused to denounce them.
And that’s not all, folks. According to the Anti-Defamation League, white supremacist propaganda has been distributed at an alarming rate since Trump took office. “From Sept. 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019, ADL’s Center on Extremism documented 313 cases of white supremacist propaganda on college campuses – including fliers, stickers and posters – compared to 292 during the 2017-2018 academic year, representing a 7 percent increase,” ADL’s report states. It’s important to also note that this 7% increase is already on top of a whopping 77% increase that the ADL reported during the 2017-2018 academic year.
In fact, a term has been officially coined to describe the abhorrent impact our president has had on our country’s youth ever since he campaigned across America the first time around. It’s called, “The Trump Effect.”
“It’s producing an alarming level of fear and anxiety among children of color and inflaming racial and ethnic tensions in the classroom. Many students worry about being deported,” a 2016 report conducted by the Southern Law Poverty Center states. “Other students have been emboldened by the divisive, often juvenile rhetoric in the campaign. Teachers have noted an increase in bullying, harassment and intimidation of students whose races, religions or nationalities have been the verbal targets of candidates on the campaign trail.”
Donald Trump continually defends himself as the greatest leader for Black people and communities of color, yet his public presentation of ridicule, racist tweets, support for white supremacists, and derogatory comments reveal anything but.
Need I also remind you that this is the very same man who told four congresswomen of color to “go back” to the countries they came from, retweeted a video of a racist man chanting “white power,” stirred up completely false birther conspiracies against Barack Obama and Kamala Harris, deemed alt-right protesters in Charlottesville “very fine people” after one of them murdered a woman, accused immigrants of being drug dealers, criminals, and rapists, called Black Lives Matter protestors “thugs,” has repeatedly bashed women based on their appearance alone, and loves to “grab ‘em by the pussy”? Not to mention he’s notorious for saying creepy things, like this disgusting lil’ gem: “I’ve said that if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I would be dating her.”
Yeah. I just vomited in my mouth a little bit.
Oh, and then there was the time he avoided paying income taxes for basically a decade and straight up lied about his wealth to get onto the Forbes 400 list. And who could forget learning that Trump had been happily partying for two decades with child rapist and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who would go on to be arrested in July 2019 on charges of sex trafficking? Or how about the 26 women who have come forward accusing our president of sexual misconduct?
I could literally do this all day, but I won’t. Because if you’re still on Team Trump after reading all of this, there’s honestly nothing more I could say to persuade you not to vote for him.
But know this: If you choose to willingly put on your MAGA hat in the hopes that you get to wear it with pride for another four years, you are also willingly choosing to stick by racism, homophobia, bigotry, anti-semitism, misogyny, sexism, and transphobia. Make no mistake — this is exactly what you will be doing if you vote for Donald Trump this year. While you keep deluding yourself into praising only the good stuff you think this man has done for our country, you are also ignoring all of the very, very bad stuff. And that is a dangerous proposition.
So please — pretty please, with a big old cherry on top — don’t fool yourself into believing that there is anything remotely redeeming about voting for Donald Trump. Because doing so means directly supporting the private and public presentation of a man who loves to shit all over people with his words, policies, and actions. (Or sometimes, he just pees on them.)
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