Protesting the President-Elect

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The group was passionate, but peaceful… mostly young people, all clearly feeling very upset at the election results. They took to the streets of the city to voice their displeasure.

While some say “what’s the point” and “it’s too late” – I think the point is clear. For a great number of people, the opinions voiced by the President-Elect are not just objectionable, they are terrifying. His words are direct threat to the safety of women, people of color, anyone on the LGBTQ+ rainbow, immigrants, and a whole list of marginalized people.

Do I believe that a protest is going to change the election results? Or magically make the country somehow say, “Whoops, our bad, let’s just erase that and have a do-over, m’kay”… No.

What I do think is that protests will make people sit up and listen. I think it may be effective in uniting those with common concerns. I think it sends an important message – to those marginalized folks? You are not alone. You have allies.

To those who do not understand? Those who hurl epithets, or who (as one man at a Trump rally did) say they believe in “respecting women” while they’re wearing a shirt that reads “Trump that bitch” and “Hillary sucks, but Monica’s better” (yeah, that’s real respect right there). To those people? I hope these protests make you uncomfortable. I hope they shake your foundation and make you question your beliefs. I hope they stir something inside you to make you realize that yours is not the only view that matters, and that others who may not look like you, or think like you, are just as deserving of not only the same human rights as you, but the same level of courtesy and respect. I do realize that’s a tall order.

When I posted these images on social media, my Twitter feed blew up. A couple of news agencies asked for permission to share the pictures (granted). One asked for an on air interview – not granted. Why? Because I wasn’t sure what the questions would be like. Because I wasn’t interested in being labeled as an anti-Trump protestor. Because I want to be able to take time to express myself thoughtfully. Because… Because… Because…

I believe in the right of the people to protest. When Baltimore erupted in April 2015 over the death of Freddie Gray, the protests were not the problem. The subsequent riots and looting were the problem. I don’t know how the rest of this protest went, but what we saw here in our neighborhood was orderly and peaceful.

On social media, I see people grieving, people stunned, people dealing with all levels of shock, or anger, or frustration.

I am none of those things. The shock passed quickly. The anger passed soon after. Frustration was quickly replaced with something that burns far brighter – determination.

I am determined to be a part of the solution for a better tomorrow. I cannot change the past. I cannot change today. But I can sure as hell make sure I do my damnedest to bring about a country where ALL of my friends and family are treated equally.

2 Comments

  1. I’m perplexed, because, if his words threaten the safety of everyone you listed, that means only straight, white, males voted for Trump, if anyone else voted, the claim of threat is void, because if it was that clear, everyone would agree, and since women, homosexual, black, Mexican, and Muslim’s voted for, or at the least supported Trump, the argument that he’s a racist, bigot, homophobe, and oppressor to women, is at the very very least ignorant, granted, he has said and done things that may be questionable, may put a frown on my, or someone’s face, but I can live with that, Clinton however, murdered people, and relentlessly lied to everyone, but somehow she seems a better fit? A better fit in.. an insane asylum maybe lol to assume someone is something without knowing, or judging someone without knowing, makes you no better than you “think” they are, and is the epitome of racist, I’m ok we disagree, I would give my life in order for us to have the option to disagree, but to spread rhetoric that isn’t true, takes a very soulless person, I encourage you to disagree if you feel strongly about something, it shows character, but when you lie, it does nothing but spread hate, and I think we can agree on this at least, there’s enough hate in this world, I didn’t vote for anyone, because Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson are dead, so I couldn’t vote for them lol

    1. I will disagree on a variety of levels… not the least of which is the argument that because x-group voted for him, he can’t be (racist, misogynist, etc). There are plenty of women in this world who happily accept the idea that Trump’s “grab them by the…” was just locker room talk. Doesn’t make those statements any less reprehensible to the rest of us. (just one example)
      And Clinton murdered people? Proof? If you’re talking about Benghazi, then we also have to say Bush murdered people. As has any president in the history of the US who was in office during a time of war or military conflict. Unless you can prove she contracted a hit on someone, this argument is based on the same spreading of rhetoric that isn’t true that you accuse me of.
      Yes, there is too much hate in this world… unfortunately, I have seen firsthand what the vocal followers and supporters of the current President Elect are capable of, and it has brought harm to those I hold dear. When friends are accosted in the street with shouts of “go back where you came from” while the perpetrator’s friends all chant for Trump; when a local person finds messages on their vandalized car that include the words “America will be great again when f****ts like you are dead”… I could go on. These are not imaginary fears. They are not isolated incidents. They are a very real problem.
      Is Trump directly responsible for these actions? No. But his rhetoric and attitudes send the message that it’s OK to behave this way. Add in his planned cabinet appointments, and on and on and on…
      So, respectfully…I completely disagree with most of your statements.
      I will agree that Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson are dead. But they were not perfect either. They were the products of their time and quite frankly, as a woman, I would not go back to that time for anything.
      We live in America, where… for now… we have the freedom to criticize our leaders and disagree with people.

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