This is for the people who voted for Trump and are now downplaying the racist, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-Semitic aspects of his campaign. For the people the news keeps telling us voted for him “in spite of those remarks, not because of them.” For the people distancing themselves from the reports of the behavior of the racists, misogynists, homophobes, and anti-Semites who did vote for Trump and are now emboldened by his victory.
Here’s the deal. None of this stuff was hidden. Maybe you thought it was just rhetoric. Maybe you thought the political process would stop the more extreme ideas before they even got started. Maybe you just didn’t want to take the chance that our next president might send an errant e-mail. Whatever your justification to yourself, you voted for him, and you got the whole package. You can’t just claim the aspects you wanted and ignore the rest; that’s not how it works. You are in part responsible for these people feeling free to express their hate on our streets, because you endorsed and helped elect the candidate who told them it was okay.
But this post isn’t meant to shame you or anything. You’re an adult, you made a decision, and your decision came with consequences. So if you’re really not okay with hate, if you’re privately horrified by the threatening letters, the hateful graffiti, the confrontations in public, you can do something about it. When you see attempts to roll back progress–like the Trump transition team discussing registering Muslims in a database–stand up and say that it’s not acceptable, loudly and often.
Here’s the most important thing, though: take action. Donate to the groups that are specifically fighting hate: the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Planned Parenthood, and so on. The lists aren’t hard to find. And call your elected representatives. Tell them you don’t want a radical anti-Semite as your next President’s chief counselor. Tell them you don’t want immigrant deportations, minority groups forced to register in a database, gay marriage overturned, Roe v. Wade overturned. Your voice matters, especially if you’re in a red state or represented by a Republican at any level of federal government.
If you really aren’t down with misogyny, racism, anti-Semitism, or any of the other hateful philosophies our President-elect and his running mate have endorsed throughout their campaign, do something about it. You bought this presidency. Now own it.