“Not all Trump supporters are racist, but all of them decided that racism isn’t a deal-breaker. End of story.”
This was a tweet from Charles Gaba following this year’s election. I think more than anything else I’ve seen, this sums up my feelings about people who voted for or supported Donald Trump. I’ve had a really hard time sorting through my feelings about the election. How to approach family and friends who supported Trump, how to feel about different issues and laws that Trump is proposing, and most difficultly, I’ve had to analyze all of this in the terms of my own privilege. How do my rights and privilege shape the way I am able to look at these issues? It’s not easy for anyone to admit privilege because we feel guilty for having it. What I’ve tried to come to terms with the fact that there is nothing that I can do about having privilege. What I mean by this is that I was born as a white, middle class woman and there is no way to change that or the privileges that come with that. I should not be guilty for having privilege because I have just as much control over it as someone who does not have privilege. However, the other thing I’ve come to realize is that we must not let our privilege go to waste. As people of power, and at this point we all need to accept that white supremacy is real and that skin tone does hold power, we need to advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves. By this I don’t mean that we need to pretend to be saviors, I mean if there is a law or an act that our government commits that wrongs a minority group, we need to use our voice and our power to put a stop to it. Now, returning to the tweet about racism, I have had a number of people I know vote for Donald Trump. All of them say that they voted for him not because of his hateful words and discriminatory speech but because he isn’t “political” and has some good ideas. To that, I’ve never known how to respond eloquently without “getting emotional” about human rights. But now I know I can use the wise words of Charles Gaba. It doesn’t matter why you voted for Trump and I’m sure there are many Trump supporters who are really not racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. However, by voting for a man that portrays hatred through his words, all of those people are making the conscious decision that they will put on blinders to the hate in order to get what they want. To any Trump supporter out there, I don’t hate you. At this point, there is no more room left for hate. But you cannot deny this post and what it means. We all have to look at ourselves in this moment and really evaluate the choices we make and what our deal-breakers are. Mine is hate. It is causing a large population of the country to live in fear while us silent majority sits back and does nothing. Own up to what you did. Don’t make excuses or fall silent because right now our morals need to be stronger than ever. We are a country that has done a lot of fighting, a lot of reform and a lot of revolution and now is not the time to stop.