Breaking Down Legalizing Discrimination in SB 145 and HB 24

Now that the Alabama bill to allow for religious-based agencies to deny LGBTQ parents (SB 145 and HB 24) is getting more traction, I want to try to step back a little and walk through it to explain where those of us against it are coming from. Now – if you believe LGBTQ people should not be parents? Then move along. We are too far apart on this debate to even remotely approach each other.

But – if you’re undecided on this legislation for legal or moral reasons, let’s continue.

Protected Classes And Why They Exist

Let’s start first with the Civil Rights act of 1964. That’s basically where we defined “protected classes” of people who can not be discriminated against for that trait and that trait only: Race, Color, National origin, Age, Sex etc. There are other groups like people with disabilities who became a protected class with other legislation like the Americans with Disabilities act. These laws are how – at a federal level – our country takes control of BIG items to protect BIG groups of people. For example, because of the Civil Rights Act, states can’t decide to discriminate against race with things like Jim Crow laws.

Basically, our federal government acknowledged that some people’s unalienable rights were being denied for things they could not control. (Although religion is a protected class too and that’s a little tricky, but everything else is of the “can’t control” variety.) And the Federal government protects the constitution so they needed to step in. This way, instead of fighting this with tons of small state laws across the country in the judiciary, they made a larger federal ruling.

Now…let’s take those protected classes and introduce one of them to a similar situation. Let’s say a religion said that African Americans were unclean and unfit to parent white children. (Civil Rights Act was only passed in 1964, this is not that archaic of an idea to fathom.) So, obviously this religion could not send white children to those terrible black people. The government would step in and say, “No. Race is a protected class, you can’t discriminate on that basis alone.” Of course, now the agency could just say, “His home is not safe because the windows are painted shut,” instead. And essentially hide their discrimination. But at least the law would keep them from outright denying someone because of their disability.

And honestly? This happens all the time. People in marginalized communities often know there are deeper reasons when they’ve been denied something that relate more to race or sex or disability than anything else. But unless they can prove it, they have no case.

Fast Forward to the election of 2016 when LGBTQ groups were gearing up to win the white house and finally draft legislation protecting LGBTQ people in a protected class instead of constantly fighting legislation in every state trying to legalize discrimination.

And we lost.

So we’re back on the defensive again.

The one debate I would never enter, is if a person didn’t believe sexuality or gender identity should define a protected class. That’s usually where I start these discussions now that I’ve broken this law down a little. And the few times I’ve discussed this with people, if that’s where they stand, then we’re coming from two different places and while I acknowledge their stance, I could never understand it. And hopefully they can say, “Oh – we disagree on this law because we don’t even agree on who should be a protected class.” And then we walk away and can still be friends 🙂 BUT, since I believe they should be protected, then – just like how freedom of religion DOES NOT ALLOW people to discriminate against race – I don’t believe a religious freedom should allow people to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

Legal v/s Moral & Ethical

BUT – maybe you would support it! Maybe you hope some day gender identity and sexuality can be protected classes. But you believe that since they are not protected now, then these laws should pass because religious freedom trumps discrimination for non-protected classes. Then we can move forward with our discussion.

Let’s step back one more step further. The Civil Rights Act was needed because there were attempts to legalize discrimination, especially in the Jim Crow South. Now, because the CRA was not in place, none of those segregation laws were illegal, but that doesn’t mean they were right. That’s why people fought to draft the Civil Rights Act…so they could attack discrimination with a giant blanket draped across the nation.

So, the next thing would be to say, “But just because you might be able to prove the discrimination is LEGAL because of freedom of religion, is it RIGHT?” Jim Crow laws were legal but were they ethical? Or moral? Because what this law would be doing is legalizing discrimination. Right now? Faith-based adoption and foster agencies can deny applications for a million other reasons if they want to be secretive about why they’re discriminating, and they DO. But once it becomes legal, they can be BOLD and UP FRONT about the WHY of the declining of applications. They have emboldened those views and every kid in that agency knows: LGBTQ are not fit to adopt or parent us. AND GOD FORBID any of those kids grow up questioning their sexuality or gender because they have been told at a young age that LGBTQ people are less than.

And yes – LGBTQ people can go somewhere else – but do you know how long it takes to work through the application processes? And what if they are trying for a specific child who would be a good match. Maybe even trying to legally adopt a relative that is in the foster care system, or a friend of the family. What if the specific child they want is being cared for by an organization who is legally allowed to turn them down? And why should they have to go somewhere else? Should the black family go somewhere else to avoid the racist agency?

So I would allow you to maybe argue the legalities of it since LGBTQ people are not protected yet on a federal level, but I would not understand why you could support it on a moral level. I’ve allowed you to say, “But it’s legal!” And acknowledged that you are right, in a way. I still don’t think it’s moral or ethical and since people fight against laws on the ground of morality and ethics all the time, we can agree that stance is nothing new. Look at all of the Pro-Lifers, they argue against the legality of abortion all the time on moral and ethical grounds, there’s plenty of precedence.

The Necessity Of Laws

Then I also ask: But is it necessary?

Show me some statistics where faith-based agencies denying LGBTQ families has helped the children? A lot of times legislation is drafted JUST to please constituents, NOT because it’s necessary. This is one of those things: These representatives can come out on the side of Religious Freedom which is the big rallying cry – even from the President right now. If your state went D.T. this election, then “religious freedom” legislation is totally going to win you favor with all of those voters. I live in one of those states where if someone can run and say, “I passed SB 145 or HB 24 which was a religious freedom law!” then they win tons of bonus points.

But is it necessary? I mean – with and without this legislation – which hurts the children more? If we leave things as is and faith-based agencies have to hide why they’re denying LGBTQ couples? Or if we make it LEGAL for them to point-blank deny based on sexual identity or gender? In which situation do kids get harmed the MOST?

Obviously the answer is that if you legalize denial for gender identity and sexuality, then the children lose most of all. Either because they’re denied a possible opportunity at a safe and loving home, or because they grow up believing LGBTQ people are somehow less than. So even if you can argue the legalities of the law – stop and ask yourself, “Who is it hurting and who is it helping?” No children are harmed when a faith-based organization can’t discriminate against LGBTQ people, so we are passing a law that is not necessary to protect children, and can actually end up hurting them by removing loving families as options in their adoptions or foster homes.

My family

I don’t know my kid’s plans in life. I know he wants to get the hell out of Alabama when he graduates in May. So this probably won’t affect him. But damn, he’d be a great Dad, and the bottom line of all of this is that I find it terribly unjust that someone could deny him and someone he loved the right to foster or adopt simply because they were in a homosexual relationship. I can talk a powerful legal/moral/ethics game and can argue protected classes versus religions freedom until I’m blue in the the face. But in the end? I’m just sad that someone wants to make it a legally protected action to tell my kid – the kid who practically helped raised his siblings – “Nope. You can’t adopt or foster this child because you’re gay.”

And now we slow our tears and lock arms.

I almost titled this, “And now we stop crying and FIGHT!” – but that felt off.

Partly because the hurt runs deep and I’ll be honest…I’m still crying. But also because I’m not the run-through-the-fields-screaming-into-battle type. Today I do feel different…and ready to act. But maybe I’m just not the type to run into battle with a weapon drawn. Instead, I guess I’m here to protect the people I’m fighting for. That’s more my jam. I’m going to hug you and shield your eyes from the war around you. I’ll stand strong with my weapon drawn in case they come for you. I’ll lock arms with capable people around you – people like me with little to lose – and I’ll build my own wall to protect you.

But I’ll probably still be crying while I do it, if that’s okay. I told myself I could cry for 24 hours and then I had to stop. But who am I kidding? I still think about that OnStar commercial from many years ago when the girl’s Mom was having a seizure and I cry. I’m not going to stop crying about this election over night.

BUT I HAVE MANY THINGS I NEED TO DO AND SAY! So I’ll wipe away the tears as they fall and try build my plan.

First and foremost: I was hurt by people celebrating yesterday…but I expected that. I mean, I have people in my family who openly hated Hillary and supported Trump and openly hated Obama and are so thrilled to see him gone…so OF COURSE they’re going to celebrate. And that hurt, for sure. But I think what hurts most is the “middle” people. The ones who I think might have the same ideals I do, but don’t voice them, and are just annoyed at the political talk. They’re like, “Time to work together!” or “I thought the political talk was going to stop!” Things like that. And I’ll be honest…it’s always people like me: Cisgender, White, Middle Class, Heterosexual relationships.

We have nothing to lose. So of course we’re all, “NBD. Let’s just work together!”

But here’s the thing…if Trump follows through on his campaign promises and we all have a reason to fight. And we don’t really know right now, but there are a ton of easy things he could do early on. For the environment alone he could pull funding from climate protection programs with the UN (supposedly to “pay for infrastructure” which sounds great but we are further behind efforts to protect our climate, than we are to improver our roadways, it should not be a one-or-the-other game) and he push forward on the Keystone Pipeline that Obama blocked in acknowledgement of the protests. That’s just the environment. He could also remove the executive order protecting LGBTQ workers and he’s DEFINITELY NOT going to continue to support the directive regarding Transgender students that Obama pushed in the wake of the North Caroline bathroom controversy.

So…I would really like my privileged friends to quit asking me to stop talking politics and to work with Trump supporters. If there are big issues we can team up on? I’m not against it. But right now I need to figure out how to protect the people that Trump’s campaign ran on hurting. Wesley said there was a Mexican girl crying about Trump at school yesterday. Maybe she’s a citizen but her parents are not and she was hoping Obama’s executive action would have helped her parents become citizens. Which, of course was already thwarted when SCOTUS deadlocked over the Texas lawsuit against it…but imagine a child citizen with illegal parents. You’ve been holding out hope and now Trump won. Maybe it’s okay for those kids to be upset. And maybe those of us wanting to fight for them will continue to talk politics awhile.

Some of us are not willing to just “let this one go” – which I did fine for the Bush elections. Well, not FINE, but I sucked it up and went about my business. But this is different. It’s different because I’ve been spoiled by 8 years of moving in the right direction, and the President Elect is not Bush. He’s Trump. Bush I could fall back on as having experience and education and I felt like he was a good person at heart. I still stand by his Housing First initiatives as being revolutionary in tackling homelessness.

With Trump it’s a whole other story. I don’t want to hear, “I sucked it up with Obama, you can suck it up with Trump.” Obama didn’t get elected into office by saying he was going to take away rights that people were already enjoying. Maybe he supported gun control but he was NOT going to remove the 2nd amendment. AND – because of the GOP control of Congress, he couldn’t even push mild gun control legislation. So the fear Obama Haters had can not equate the fear Clinton Supporters have of losing their rights to their own bodies, or their rights to not be fired from jobs because they’re gay, or their rights to medical coverage even with pre-existing conditions. Trump won based on promises to remove those things…so there’s a lot more to fear than I ever felt with Bush and that anyone (who had factual news sources) should have felt with Obama. Also? Obama didn’t have a Democratic Senate/House and a Liberal SCOTUS. My conservative family could at least hope for the balance of power to help keep Obama “in check” – but we don’t have the luxury right now. The GOP essentially controls everything and now Trump will probably nominate the 9th judge on SCOTUS.

So please don’t minimize my fears or the fears of the marginalized. Thanks.

If you’re with me and need to know what to do now…here is my plan as it stands.

Amplify Important Voices

People click links on Facebook and Twitter. It’s actually one of the biggest ways people get information. I am determined to continuing amplifying messages delivered from people smarter than myself. I’ve always had a VERY well-curated Twitter feed. But I also curate a few Twitter lists, some are for local stuff, but I have one called “Important Voices” that I update/add to regularly. Now, it’s predominantly writers from the Black Lives Matter movement because that’s how the list got started. I needed voices I would not hear in my normal circle of influence. This means I find myself bristling a lot to hard to hear messages but I find they’re all very important. I try to amplify their voices in my community because they’re delivering messages my privileged circle of influence might not ever hear otherwise. I’ve learned there are always lessons to be learned when I am uncomfortable. I used to fight that discomfort, I would immediately get defensive. But not anymore. Now I bask in it and try to learn from it.

Share great messages all of your social media because I have been told time and time again that links I’ve shared have help shift people’s perspectives. If no one cares? No harm done. But if you can help ONE person see the plight of the marginalized differently? It’s worth it. Especially important messages like this that could honestly save lives:

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Do you have any voices you think I should have on my list?

Educate Myself so I can Educate Others

We have two months before Trump officially takes office and we need to be ready. We need to be educated and we need to educate others. I’m very educated already about LGBTQ issues as those issues directly affect my family. If you are not, I suggest you get on a mailing list for PLAG or The Human Rights campaign. Educate yourself on Transgender language issues. Learn about the horrible statistics relating to crime against members of the Transgender community. Learn the painful numbers about suicide in the LGBTQ teen community. And imagine yourself as a teenager as you read all of this.

On the other hand, as I’ve become more involved with the Black Lives Matter movement I’ve been amazed at how little I know about the systemic racism our friends of color have faced. My beautiful internet friend Leah wrote a good piece A White Lady’s Guide To Systemic Racism that is full of her own lessons. Follow the links and learn. One of the most SHOCKING things for me to learn was about A) how much our country desperately needed Fair Housing legislation due to ACTUAL LEGAL DECLARATIONS keeping black Americans (including vets) from getting home loans and then B) how poorly it was enforced when we finally got it. Nikole Hannah-Jones wrote a lot at ProPublica about it – here’s a good primer if you want to read. Living Apart: How the Government Betrayed a Landmark Civil Rights Law. If you prefer to listen, she was also part of this podcast which is what prompted my journey into educating myself. You learn a lot about the roots of systemic racism when you educate yourself on struggles we didn’t know existed.

I also learned (painfully) a lot about how there was no open invitation or mutual support of Women of Color in the efforts to gain the right to vote. Here is a good piece here that makes me sad and makes it difficult for me to revere Susan B. Anthony anymore. Also? How did they not include this in the history books? That white women felt the ONLY way they could get the right to vote was if they kept black women who wanted to HELP THEM FIGHT, in the shadows. One of my favorite voices is Stacey Patton who wrote all of these suffragette quotes on Facebook and they broke my heart. Educate yourself, learn to be comfortable in the discomfort. We must know our history if we’re going to prevent it from happening again.

And then, educate yourself on our current criminal justice system. Watch “13” on Netflix and learn the tragic story of Kalief Browder. Watch John Oliver’s piece on the Municipal fines and how poor people are being screwed over by our system and getting stuck in a hell of fines that leads to jail time.

Those are just the ways this white woman found she was severely under-educated over the last year. So I’m going to re-up my own education so I can be prepared to fight for reform where we need it.

President Obama really tried to increase mental health services as part of our federal budget. He was thwarted in many ways. Why is this important? So middle class white ladies like me can go to their therapist and talk about their feelings? NO. Because it should not be the Law Enforcement community’s job to be the first line of defense in a mental health crisis situation. We should have resources in our communities where a police officer could send someone to a mental health facility instead of to jail. But so many communities lack that so mental health cases wind up booked in jail and we bog down our police and our system with non-criminal activity. We are having to focus too much on training our officers in mental health cases when we should instead build stronger systems in our communities so our police could deal with crime. Our country has been closing down mental health facilities left and right because it’s just not a pretty line item in our budget. If you really loved the Thin Blue Line, you would fight for funding for mental health facilities in your area.

Those are just a few areas I’ve been working on educating myself. There’s also the environment but there are SO MANY different ways to educate yourself about the environment. Unfortunately, the easiest and biggest way we could all help the environment is to Stop eating meat but I’ve learned that’s a touchy subject so maybe we just continue to fight against pipelines for now? I’d love some more environmental education sources so I don’t have to keep saying, “Just stop eating meat!” as my only opinion.

Do you have any resources for educating yourself you’d like to share?

Donate. Donate. Donate.

Maybe you don’t have time to educate yourself. Jezebel made a list of good resources of groups fighting for the people who might be affected the most from a Trump presidency. These are all organizations doing what we might not be qualified to do ourselves. Stand in court. Offer professional services. Rally lobbyists. Etc. They need our money.

I also am a big proponent for funding good news sources. I am a regular contributor to MotherJones as I want to continue to support non-Profit news sources. I also really like ProPublica and of course NPR. I find that news sources that profit are more likely to be skewed for media hype and clickable headlines. No news source is ever going to be unbiased. But if they’re not making money off their headlines or their news tickers, they’re going to be motivated by a little more pure intentions.

Where are you sending your money?

Finally…I’d like to include a link I just stumbled upon this morning. It’s a beautiful letter written by Aaron Sorkin to his daughter. My adult child was in shock about the election. He actually consoled ME at one point which made me more motivated to PULL MY SHIT TOGETHER. He did get a cat. He’s calling it his “therapy cat” which I think we all need right now.

I can not tell you how much I love you all. I had so comments and emails from people that were basically virtual hugs. Every one of them made me stronger. We are still very much open to moving, but we also know that our state doesn’t have a lot of voices here for the marginalized, so until we move, we’re going to do what we can to be part of the change because we are, as always, Stronger Together.

And then I cried some more…

I cried myself to sleep around 10pm last night. I was sobbing so hard I think my husband started to worry when he should do something…call someone…shoot me with a tranquilizer dart…something. I woke up around midnight and cried some more. This time even harder, but he’s finally asleep so he doesn’t know he should be worried about me. I’ve not cried this hard since my Dad died. I had forgotten about crying-induced headaches. They’re very real and I very much have one right now. I started writing this around 12:30 but my internet went out and I had to come back to it. As of this writing at 1:46am, the election has officially been declared a victory for Trump.

I can write my thoughts down and it will count as a blog post for NaBloPoMo. That’s something I can hold onto, right?

I have people who are big parts of my life…posting about their joy for President Trump. Do you know how hard that is? The last 8 years have brought healthcare to friends and family abandoned by systems who could deny them coverage, it brought marriage to people denied the right previously, it brought stability after an economic collapse, it brought potential to children of color everywhere who could finally see themselves in the White House. And yet…yet…these people who say they love my gay child…they are celebrating an “end” to those terrible year and excitement and joy over what Trump can bring them.

I am looking at the red/blue map and thinking about begging my friends in blue states to find me a job and help me move there. Before Obama, my goal was to get the f*ck out of Alabama and the South. But after he was elected I was able to enjoy being a liberal voice in a red state…knowing the country was led by MY President. But now? Now I don’t have that balance. Now I feel like I’m knee-deep in red and I need to find a blue oasis somewhere. Can you help? My husband (the one sleeping in the other room, unaware that his wife is losing her shit on the other side of the wall) is a software developer with management skills and I have a web developer/marketing background. Will you hire us in your blue state?

I am sobbing, thinking about how I’m going to talk to my daughter in the morning. How am I going to explain to her that her country just elected an unqualified bully. How am I going to explain that we will not have a Madame President after all?

I texted E last night before crying myself to sleep and when I woke 2 hours later he had responded with a message of love. He’s the one at risk for losing his rights and he’s comforting ME. He is too good for this state and this country.

I know I need to fight. I know I need to stand stronger and taller than ever before. I know the country needs people like me now more than ever, a non-marginalized citizen to fight for those who Trump campaigned against. But it’s hard because I don’t know where to start. And it’s hard because I can’t stop crying.

How do I look at the people celebrating this outcome and not feel pain in my heart? I think the pain was always there. I think knowing they were voting against the things I was fighting for was always painful, but I had the hope of Clinton to help me not look at the pain too deeply. But now? Now the pain is all I can feel and see. And I don’t know how to move past it.

I know this is rambling, but I can’t sleep through the sobbing and the headache and I have decided I’m allowed 24 hours to cry all of the tears and then I have to get my shit together. In the meantime, I’d love any help to move to a blue state, or any help in making a fight plan. Or maybe both. I also need a sedative because there is no part of me that can sleep knowing I have to see the faces of my children in 5 hours and explain this to them.

Love to all of you who were in the trenches with me. Let’s tend to our wounded and rest, and then let’s regroup and make sure that Obama’s legacy is not destroyed, okay? I will be radio silent for awhile, I need some self-care. Please email me (misszoot@gmail.com) if you have anything pressing I need to know about that I might be missing online.

Dear Hillary and President Obama…I’m so very sorry.

Why #ImWithHer

I updated my profile picture temporarily on Facebook this morning. I’m open about my politics, who I’m voting for will surprise no one, but I wanted to make this one last declaration before voting day. This is the text I included with the picture:

  • Because SCOTUS is important. It ruled last year to make marriage legal for all of my children in every state. I want a SCOTUS that could overturn Citizens United, reinstate voting rights, and protect a woman’s right to choose.
  • Because I believe the ACA is not perfect, but it helps us move in the right direction and Clinton’s plan is much better by comparison http://youtu.be/p3mYrOnq2Z4
  • Because I believe we MUST act on Climate change NOW and Clinton had been the only candidate to really address this repeatedly on the campaign trail. http://www.businessinsider.com/clinton-trump-environment-policies-plans-climate-change-platforms-2016-9
  • Because I believe in criminal justice reform so we don’t continue to see young men like Kalief Browder destroyed by a faulty system.
  • Because I want to reduce the number of abortions in this country and global studies have shown making it illegal doesn’t seem to impact numbers like people expect whereas Clinton’s plans to help the poor and improve healthcare, increase access to birth control, and increased medical leave will actually reduce abortions overall.
  • Because we need to improve mental healthcare in this country so that our Police aren’t the only response to people in mental health crisis.
  • Because I believe there is no comparison in tax plans…Clintons is worlds better for our entire country. http://youtu.be/SgicDQHbV3M
  • Because we need a path to citizenship for people who have grown up in this country and know nothing else.
  • Because I trust our refugee vetting process and believe it is our job to continue and expand refugee support for war-torn countries.
  • Because she’s not perfect but she’s willing to admit mistakes and change position if needed.
  • Because I’m a healthy middle-class cisgender white woman in a heterosexual marriage with a white man and I probably have nothing major to lose if the other guy wins. But my Muslim friends…my friends with brown skin…my gay family…my friends with pre-existing health conditions…my neighbors suffering in poverty…my friends of reproductive age who have had to make the terrible decision to terminate a pregnancy…my immigrant friends…they all have so much to lose and to ignore that would be a crime against the people I love.
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If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…

I would have never believed I’d buy #ImWithHer merchandise as Hillary was always a little center for my very-left leaning politics. But the more rampant and vicious the attacks are against her in my online social circle, the more I suddenly feel the need to put on my Wizards With Her t-shirt and not take it off until November 8th.

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When this election is over, no matter what the results, I can proudly say supported my candidate. I was vocal and respectful and I did my part to share the reasons I’m voting for her without bashing her opponent or the people voting for him. (My newest discovery is a a site dedicated to debunking myths.) I kept lines of respectful discussion open while refusing to engage in fear mongering. I did all of this because I’m a Pro-Choice, LGBTQ supporting, Tree Hugging Liberal in a very red state and that has taught me that politics can be put aside and relationships can thrive even between people who vote in opposition of each other.

Can’t we just play nice for a few more weeks? You can’t take these words back, you know. On November 9th you can’t erase the time you declared that you couldn’t be friends with people who voted for Trump. You can’t undo that comment you wrote that said that everyone voting for Clinton was ignorant or brainwashed and “what’s wrong with this country.” You can’t make the people around you unsee the time you swore than anyone voting for EITHER candidate must be brain damaged. You think you know who you’re upsetting and you think “I don’t care!” – but did you know there are some people who can never talk about their politics on Facebook due to personal or professional limitations? So you honestly don’t know FOR SURE who all you’re alienating with your political hatred.

You can think the hateful things all you want. Hell, I organized a meal with liberal friends to give me a chance to feel safe for a little while discussing politics without worrying about upsetting my more Trump-leaning friends and family. But the second you spit those words out onto social media, the words do their damage. I can never NOT wonder now if you just think I’m an idiot brainwashed by liberal media. I can never be around you now and not feel like I have to defend myself as an educated voter. I will never STOP wondering if the reason you’re cold to me is because #ImWithHer.

And for you in a liberal bubble not worried about offending Trump supporters, let me assure you: They are just as terrified of Hillary winning as you are of Trump winning. EQUALLY TERRIFIED. I see their words daily and their words of fear (which they can cite with their own sources because they don’t trust yours) are just as strong as yours. You’re not changing minds with your Trump hate. The only minds left to sway at this point are the ones thinking of staying home, or not voting for one of the two candidates. And fear-mongering isn’t going to change their minds because it just makes your side look ugly. Hillary Clinton has a lot of positive things you can promote, without having to attack Trump. I’m not saying you should marry a Trump supporter, but there are silent Trump supporters on your Facebook feed reading your words and feeling their stabs. They’re terrified of a Clinton Presidency and you can either alleviate that fear by trying to share out factual support of her, or you can stoke their fear and alienate them by dishing the Trump hate.

THREE MORE WEEKS. Can we play nice for three weeks? I’ve actually just started finally unfollowing people. I used to say I didn’t want to do that because I wanted to know what they thought of people like me. But now I realize: I know. They hate me. They think I’m brainwashed by liberal media. They think I love killing babies. They think I’m ignorant of sharia law. (Or else I’d be terrified of the Muslims.) They think I’m only educated by celebrities. They think I’m naive. I know that now because they’ve expressed it time and time again, so why subject myself anymore? I’ve been on an unfollow spree this week just silencing voices that hurt my heart left and right. I’m practicing self care. I’m vocal about how I vote, I make myself vulnerable by sharing POSITIVE things about my candidate and refraining from bashing the other guy. As a reward to myself for playing nice? I’m totally silencing those people now bashing me and the candidate I support.

Clinton is leading in the polls in may states. But not mine. I’m still showing up at the polls and voting Clinton even though it’s a 99.6% chance Trump will take the state. You all may log into Facebook and see a lot of Hillary support. I do not. I see memes comparing Bill and Donald, I see support for conspiracy theories, I see declarations that the last 8 years have been TERRIBLE and if we get another Democrat in the office it’s going to just GET WORSE.

(My son can now marry whomever he wants. It’s hard for me to see declarations of 8 years of terror without at least one footnote declaring it’s cool that gay people are almost equal citizens now.)

It’s hard. The country may be swinging towards the left for this election but not my state. So I’m feeling here what it must be like for Trump supporters everywhere else. Maybe that’s why I can’t get on board with the posting of Trump hate on Facebook.

I’m with her. I’ll continue to vocalize that over the next 3 weeks. I’ll provide the multitude of reasons why, not the least being I desperately want Citizens United overturned, Roe v Wade protected, and the entirety of the Voters Rights Act supported. The Supreme Court drives me a lot this election because I’ve seen it’s power used for good and bad over the last 8 years. I can talk about that and not permanently sever ties with my Trump supporting neighbors, friends and family.