Stop telling me not to be angry about the results of this election. Stop the kumbaya appeals for unity. I appreciate your open-mindedness, and pleas that we are all one—not Republicans, not Democrats, but Americans—but I’m afraid I need to call bullshit. I was born in Couer d’Alene, Idaho, a very Montana-like landscape and community. But when I was eight-years-old, my parents moved me to Seattle’s Eastside, so I could grow up in an ethnically diverse community. I didn’t have many white friends growing up. My Eastside high school was a melting pot of Asian, African American, Polynesian, Hispanic, Indian, and white. I’ve found it disconcerting scrolling through my news feed to see how many of my Montana friends are encouraging us to move on from the election results.
It’s really easy as a white person in a rural state to say that the people have spoken, and that it’s now time to rally. But let me remind everyone of a couple of things. First, yes, the people have spoken, and the people have voted for Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote. Let’s not forget the history the Electoral College and the role that slavery played in its creation, tipping the balance to the rural areas and white conservative voters. But back to all of the Pollyanna pleas that have been filling my feed—that we are all in this together and everyone has a right to his or her opinion. I suppose this is true, being that this is America.
With that said, when people cast a vote for a candidate who ran an openly racist, bigoted, xenophobic, sexist, misogynistic campaign (a “pussy grabber”–Trump’s words, not mine), when they cast a vote for a climate denier when our planet’s oceans, forests and rivers are facing unprecedented threats, and when the climate science is clear, they are putting my daughter and the future of our planet at risk. When they cast a vote that is against my daughter, against my daughter’s Navajo god-mother, Hispanic god-mother, black and Filipino godfather, and all of the beautiful people I grew up on Seattle’s eastside, well, I’m sorry, I’m not that forgiving. I’m angry, I’m pissed off, and I encourage all of you to stop with the kumbaya bullshit. Stay pissed, stay angry. Fight this.
The facts are clear. This man made fun of a brave, courageous, and inspiring reporter who is disabled, something no middle schooler with a conscience would do, and people overlooked this disturbing, bullying behavior? The election of Donald Trump has emboldened acts of racism across the country. The election of Donald Trump has inspired school children to chant “Build the wall,” and “White power.” It has inspired the KKK to announce a celebration in honor of Trump being elected. Don’t ask me, and others like me, to just let this go. Off the Indian reservations, Montana is a homogeneous bubble, and I find it insensitive, offensive and short sighted when people who don’t “get it” tell us to get over it—especially the Republicans, who have obstructed our government for the last eight years and have still, to this day, not gotten over the fact that Mr. Obama is our President? Get over the fact that an electoral college has given us a pussy grabber who calls Mexicans “killers” and “rapists,” mocks handicapped people, discriminates against African Americans, wants to build a wall and deport Mexicans and ban Muslim people from entering the US, and who just happens to be a sexual assaulting misogynist who refers to women as “fat pigs” and “dogs” while justifying the sexual assault of women in the military as a consequence of allowing them to serve our country? Get over the fact that our President-elect calls climate change a “hoax” and has vowed to gut the EPA? Or his waging a war on the Affordable Healthcare Act and people with disabilities—threatening to take away health insurance from millions of Americans and depriving middle and low-income families of the insurance subsidies they depend upon? And we need to get over it in five days, or we are un-American?
Well, we aren’t over it. And I for one, hope we don’t get over it.
My hope is that the election of Donald Trump will indeed inspire change, but not the kind of change his supporters envision. Donald Trump is our president elect, this is a fact. Be angry, be honest, be scared. Be and feel whatever it is you feel, but by all means, be willing to fight. Be willing to fight Trump’s racist, sexist, discriminatory, and environment-ravaging policies with a passionate but peaceful fire. If we offend people, fuck it, they’ve offended us by voting for him.
Don’t let them guilt you into thinking there’s something wrong with being angry. There’s something wrong with voting for a candidate that has no moral compass. Don’t let the cries for unity fool you. Where were those pleas the last eight years?
But do have hope. Have faith that we can and will rise above the hate. And by all means, keep fighting the good fight my friends.
With nothin’ but love, Michael W. Leach