There’s a lot of chitter-chatter online about the protests that are breaking out in many major cities across our vast nation. And, I’ll admit, burning flags does seem a tad extreme… not to mention the “Not My President” signs. After all, Trump won fair and square, right?!
For those of us who didn’t vote for Trump, we are still licking our wounds and pulling our jaws up from the astonishment that a person in America could use the type of hate language he used and still be supported by half of our country.
Another whole article will be written about how the Dems didn’t do their jobs to earn the mid-America vote. The message has been received and things must change. We hear you loud and clear. For today, I’m focused on something else…
I have friends, good friends, who are Trump supporters. I sincerely pray that this issue will not divide the love and relationships we share. I don’t want to be un-friended. These people have been by my side through health issues, financial issues, family struggles… they show up to events for my kids, attend milestone celebrations, and are a safe and loving community. Simply stated, I want to grow old laughing and cutting it up just like we’ve done for many years.
I’m trying really hard not to succumb to pack mentality. I know that participating in a losing battle of “we vs. they” will end badly for everyone. There has to be common ground. And pretending nothing is happening and avoiding the elephant in the room isn’t going to do anyone any good.
There’s so much to consider. Let’s face it, a blog post is too short to attempt any great feat. So, I’ll focus on two issues that have pulled at my heartstrings today.
First, our children have seen a man elected as President who said horrific things about almost every minority group. Unapologetically. We are told that we shouldn’t be upset about the Trump comments and how they affect our children because we can’t rely on the government to raise our kids.
Second, the protests. Are the protestors overreacting? “Eventually, they’ll have to stand down, right? I mean, how bad can it be?!” This has become the question of the day.
Regarding the kids… It’s true, our government cannot be held responsible for raising our children. It’s up to us to raise our kids and teach them right from wrong. That being said, when the newly elected leader of the most powerful country in the world is not held to task over his comments (we all know what they were) it shows our children that it’s ok to make fun of groups of people who are different (and perceived less) than us.
By taking no action, we become bullying bystanders like the kids on the playground who didn’t throw rocks but watched the whole thing happen. Not acceptable. Because it’s our responsibility to raise our kids WE MUST STAND UP AGAINST THE HATE RHETORIC whether it’s about Mexicans, Muslims, Fat People, Women, African Americans, LGBT, Special Needs, or any other segment of human beings who are different from us.
History teaches us that bad things happen if we don’t speak up for those who are pushed to the margins.
Living in a place of BOTH/AND is the only safe space…
Our government cannot raise our kids AND we have a responsibility to call out unacceptable and dangerous comments and actions when we know they are happening. Turning a blind eye on what we watched unfold is not an acceptable go-forward strategy.
As the days, weeks, and months unfold, please consider listening with a close ear to the words spoken by the leaders of our county. Whether or not you voted for Trump, we can agree to stand up and speak out against hate rhetoric. Our children are watching and are learning, from us, how to play in the sandbox.
Now, on to the protests…
These aren’t just small groups of confused individuals without a real cause. These are citizens who represent the other half of America who fear that a Trump presidency will impact their freedom of speech; equal pay for equal work; women’s health rights; environmental issues; LGBT; and basic human rights for every race, gender, and religion at the collective table of the United States of America.
Trump promised to be President to all people. However, before tossing the protesting out as malarkey, please consider what Donald J. Trump did within a week of the election…
He appointed a known white supremacist and leader of the alt-right movement, Steve Bannon, to be his chief strategist and senior counselor. Don’t take my word for it, please research it for yourself:
If you are still reading… Thanks for not giving up on me yet.
WHY WOULD A HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL NEWLY-ELECTED PRESIDENT-ELECT MAKE THIS ANNOUNCEMENT WITHIN ONE WEEK OF HIS ELECTION?
What message is this sending?
Can you see now why there is protesting in the streets, folks? The fear is real. When people of color and diverse backgrounds hear that a white supremacist has been appointed, their fears become a reality. This is scary. Whether or not you voted for Trump is no longer the issue. And, we cannot be bystanders and simply watch hate unfold.
Please try to understand why people are gathering to collectively share their concerns in a public forum. Public demonstration has lead to many great changes over the course of our American history, and folks are acting within their constitutional right to let their opinions be known. (Granted, there is a huge difference between peaceful protest and dangerous rioting. The latter is unacceptable and should not be tolerated or encouraged. At the time of this writing, riots were the exception, not the norm.)
Please pay attention to what is going on in Trump’s cabinet and let your representatives know that this is an atrocity. At this point, he is actually fueling the anger and legitimizing the fear that so many in our country are taking to the streets in protest.
Good people on all sides of the political spectrum must find common ground. We can debate guns and abortion later… but for today, I think we can agree that we must take a stand against hate and let our collective concerns be known.
Standing up for unity in a divided nation.
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