Social Issues

Why We Hurt

  • I have a friend with a transgender brother who has already been beaten up once and who worries that we just elected a President that supports the NC bathroom bill. Legislation like that promotes fear and hatred and those things encourage violence.
  • I have a Muslim friend who has been called “terrorist” randomly in her life and now worries the new President will follow through on his Muslim database promises.
  • I have several friends raising black sons who worry about the lack of criminal justice reform in a system that disproportionally and negatively effects black men. The new president openly supports an increase in law enforcement power like stop-and-frisk that has proved to be ineffective in actually combating crime and negatively targeted poor minorities.
  • I have a few friends who chose to terminate pregnancies when their health was at risk. While they were all traumatized by the situations leading to the decision, they all felt blessed to have had that option when discussing with their doctors and their families and they ache to think that might not be available to other women in the future.
  • I have gay friends and family living in a state without discriminatory protections and are grateful for Obama’s executive order mandating that government contracts not discriminate. Huntsville is full of government contractors so it’s especially poignant here. What if that protection is removed?
  • I have friends who have preexisting conditions worried about losing health insurance.
  • I have gay friends and family that are upset we have a VP opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and who did say he would support federal funding for programs like conversion therapy. (That was back in 2000, I’m holding out hope the years have changed that opinion even though he hasn’t come out and denounced it yet.)

These are just the few things I’ve been in direct communication about with friends and family. Email, texts, face-to-face, FB messaging…my inboxes have been filled with conversations about these fears as I’ve always been open about my views and so people know they’re safe reaching out to me. There is real pain in these fears and my simple request of Trump supporters would be to allows that pain to be heard. Unless you can provide some sort of concrete “proof” that Trump has promised not to do the thing they fear (although even then, it’s hard to trust a Trump promise) then you need to just allow them their place for pain. Telling them to get over it, or quit being dramatic is not going to do an good.

“But we were all scared about Obama’s presidency, and nothing bad happened.”
– Yes, but Obama didn’t have the majority support of all three branches that Trump will have after nominating a conservative judge. Trump has the balance of power on his side and Obama didn’t. Also, Obama didn’t campaign with such aggressive intentions. Building walls? Blocking refugees? Registering Muslims? These are very aggressive actions that trigger fear unlike anything Obama campaigned on.

“But what Trump said was just words…he won’t actually do that stuff!”
– Yeah, but Obama haters were freaking out saying he was going to take their guns when he got elected in 2008 and he NEVER EVEN SAID HE WOULD DO THAT. Trump actually said he would do a lot of the things people are scared about, telling them that YOU don’t believe he will doens’t help.

“But he’s our President now. We have to work together.”
– Progressives have been trying to get stuff done for 8 years that the Republican establishment has thwarted at every turn. Please don’t talk to use about how we should work together. Obama couldn’t even pass low-level gun control legislation after Sandy Hook, if we couldn’t work together on that? Don’t expect Progressives to now be ready for teamwork just because you asked us to.

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