Over the next few days, I’m going to share the thoughts of friends and acquaintances as they process the reality of a Donald Trump presidency. Some will be from people willing to share their identity. Others will be anonymous. All will help us to understand that we’re not alone in our grief and struggle to understand “what’s next.”
Installment Two is a two-part installment, both from friends who wish to remain anonymous. The first is from a white lesbian who lives in mid-Michigan and the second from a straight white man living in the Chicago area.
This short essay was sent to me after I posted on Facebook about finally succumbing to grief over the results of last Tuesday’s election:
“I’ve found reaching out privately [to people on Facebook and by email] is making more headway. Unfortunately many people in my family in southeast Ohio (cousins, mainly) are part of the ‘get over it that you lost’ crowd. I’ve engaged them in private conversations as opposed to on their Facebook pages — that just seems to make them more defensive. I think I’m starting to make some headway. They’ve admitted they don’t know, let alone are friends with, any African American, Hispanic/Latino, or Muslims.
“To say the area of Ohio I grew up in is sheltered and lacks diversity is an understatement. Just makes me more thankful my parents and grandparents were die-hard Democrats and I personally grew up in a supportive, spread your wings home. It helped that my dad’s mom was a part of the suffrage movement, her husband supported her, and one of my fondest memories of her is when she made me promise her that I would never take my right to vote for granted… ‘My friends and I fought too hard to give you that right,’ she told me. I was about 5 years old.
“I think she’d be happy with what I’ve done with my life.”
This essay was posted in response to an article titled “A White Nationalist Who Hates Jews Will Be Trump’s Right-Hand Man In The White House“.
“If you voted for trump and are trying to understand why many of us are angry with you, I’d like to help you to understand it.
“Many of us believe, to one degree or another, that you just elected Hitler. That may sound extreme but that’s why many of us are afraid. If you look at history you can see that the same themes and scenarios played out back then. A highly partisan government that isn’t getting anything done. A man promising answers to all the problems. Themes of bigotry, xenophobia, nationalism, and militarism.
“So, when we see that Trump is making a white supremacist part of his government, it all reminds us of why we are concerned. Why we are angry with you. Maybe he isn’t what we fear. Maybe our institutions are strong enough to prevent that. Maybe your vote didn’t put us all in danger.