It is shocking. It is appalling. It is despicable. It is scary. But it is most terrifying to the millions of people who face threats to their lives with promises to deport them all, to build a wall, to block them from entering the fortress of the US. It was working class whites – both men and women — who elected Trump.
But it is up to the rest of us to step forward as allies and organize, to stand with those who face the threats, to surround them with a wall of strength and love, to use our own power and privilege to demand that the racists, the xenophobes, the homophobes, the hate groups including white supremacists back off, to keep their hateful hands off.
The anger of Trumpites and Trumpettes is understandable because the system is unfair and favors the few over the many, but they also couldn’t stand having a Black president so electing a woman president was unacceptable. But the target for their rage should not be ”The Other,” that having brown or black skin, that not having that little piece of paper in hand that says they have a right to be here, that wearing a hijab or even a Sufi turban should not condemn someone to be the target of hateful rhetoric and policy.
Nor should it be aimed at women who stand out as leaders with experience and ideas to deal with the country’s problems, to call a halt to bragging about how many women they have grabbed and groped and even raped, to sexual violence against women. Only we can stop that by organizing together and standing up as a community, as allies, with calls for justice and kindness in the face of hate.
The day after the elections I dealt with the shock and despair by seeking out others who were equally appalled and those who are targets of this hate. I went to a vigil for a Latino man who faces deportation and was scheduled for a check-in at ICE. He spent three years in an immigration detention center and left there in a wheelchair in constant pain as a result of serious injuries from a fall that received inadequate medical attention. He is one of millions who need our support as a community, as allies, as willing to step forward. He was terrified to wheel himself into his check-in with ICE, but emerged with great relief because he was granted a six month stay, six more months of feeling a bit more safe and secure.
I went to a meeting last night and listened to other immigrants speak and cry about their terror, their shock, their sadness. Two women talked about how their kids woke up crying and asked, “What’s going to happen to us Mommy? Are they going to deport us?”
We are all to blame – the media as cowards and money grubbers for profits (the country be damned), the Democrats and Republicans for never believing this would happen, the rest of us for being complacent, but now we have a rapist and demagogue TV star in the Oval Office. So let’s move ahead and keep fighting.