The Day After Inauguration

When I started this blog, I thought I'd avoid politics, at least any overt mention. However, in wake of many recent events, I've realized that using what I'm best at: words and writing, is one way for me to fight back and be an activist. So, today I'm talking about some thoughts I have about the incoming administration and some of the frightening things they represent.

You know, when I first heard about Trump, I thought he was ridiculous, distasteful, and certainly not someone anyone would vote for. So did most of us. The last few months have felt like a rather surreal dream. But unfortunately, it's not a dream. It's an all too frightening truth.

Many people have shown their true colors in very scary ways, including people my own age, who I thought would at least be open-minded, even if they don't agree with me. I know some people want us 'special snowflakes' to get over it. After all, it's not the end of the world, it's just a new president. But those same people don't realize that Trump is not just a new president. I cannot just accept that his my president when he, his appointees, his devotees, and his policies pose an active threat to my existence, the existence of many of my friends, my education, and my future. His appointee to the department of justice civil rights division was the lawyer who supported UNC in upholding HB2. If you don't know what that is, it's the NC law that banned trans people from using public bathrooms that corresponded with their gender identity. His pick for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, has, through her hearing, proven that she doesn't know what she's doing, and has no practical experience where it matters. Her answers about IDEA prove that she will not protect the rights of students with disabilities to a good education. Her record in Michigan shows that she is not to be trusted with public or charter schools. I do not want a woman like that in charge of my education. Furthermore, Trump has talked about doing away with the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, and the EPA. Whether he could accomplish all of those things is up for debate, but the thought of doing that is quite menacing.

And it's not just his policies and plans, or his inappropriate picks for different offices that worry me. His behavior throughout the election and up to the present has unleashed a worrisome trend. He has made it okay for people to attack women, Muslims, and other minorities again. He ripped off America's thin veneer of tolerance and decency. Now all of those people who are tired of 'political correctness' are out in the open. Sometimes I might argue that that has its benefits. Now I know who to avoid. But it has far more negatives. Many minorities fear for our rights and our lives. Jewish community centers across the nation have received bomb threats. Many people of color have been told to 'go home', and been assaulted. Muslims have also been physically attacked and had their homes defaced. The LGBTQ community is worrying that the rights we have gained will be taken away. Many people fear that reproductive rights will be gutted or taken away. I could go on, but I'm sure you guys have heard as much of this as I have.

Neo-Nazis have been popping up more and more. The KKK endorsed Trump, and he didn't disavow them. And to make it worse, many newspapers and news stations have been humanizing and validating the members and leaders of these groups. That is not okay, and it will never be okay. We need to cover these groups and be aware of what they are doing, but we should never try to make their message have legitimate value. Because it never will. Hate and intolerance of difference is never okay or valid.

You know what, if you voted for Trump. I don't necessarily think you're evil. I think you're misguided, and you may have realized that you made a mistake. But you still voted for a man who supports and encourages hate and mockery. A man who is a sexual predator, extremely racist, and anti-Semitic. So don't expect me to trust you, don't expect me to ever believe what you say again. You voted for someone who threatens the well-being and lives of me and many of my friends and family.

Trump will never be my president. He is the president, as much as I don't like the idea, but he will never be mine. I did not vote for him, he doesn't represent me or the people I care about, and his values are not mine. In fact, Trump doesn't really represent most of the country, even those who voted for him. He's a wealthy businessman who has never had to work hard to get where he is, and has never valued his employees, especially the lower-ranking ones. And the person he always puts first is himself, and everyone else is a far distant second.

For all of these reasons, I will continue to speak out, and fight against him and those he represents or supports in any way I can. He and they are not worthy of my respect or my understanding. I am tired of trying to 'understand' hate and bigotry. I refuse to let racism, homophobia, transphobia, and other manifestations of hate go if I see them.

I will not be this quote:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

—Martin Niemรถller

Hey guys. How are you all doing? 
You can email me if you need someone to talk to. 
Are you guys speaking up or out, or doing other activism? 
If you're not, because you need to self-care or otherwise protect your well-being or safety, 
that's okay. 
What are you guys thinking right now? 


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