Thoughts

What happens after 539? The Story of a Trump Presidency

Matthew 18:21-22 “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?”Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

So Trump is President elect. So he’s going to be President. So… yeah. I woke up the morning that he won to a lovely text from one of my best friends telling me that we are powerful ladies and nothing can take that away. I didn’t even know who won yet. After I knew, my first thought was that we needed to be forces of good. My first thought was that we the people still have power and I have faith that we won’t let the awful things Trump has proposed happen. But then they did. On the first day after his win we saw a massive hike in hate crimes. (Please read the article.) The school just down the road from me had to call the police and the mayor had to visit to quell an overflow of violence and hate. Slashed tires of black male, girls being groped in the hallways, name calling, spitting on people, telling people to go back where they came from, and marching through the school with a Trump sign saying ‘white power’. This is all at school just down the road. When asked why they were groping they replied: ‘it’s our right’. When asked why they were calling people nigger or jap or wetback they replied: ‘because they’re going to be gone soon and we won.’ These are children. It’s not in our minds. It wasn’t all in our minds and the media didn’t make it up. This is what each of us who didn’t vote for Trump knew would happen.

I made an impassioned plea directly to friends and family who voted for Trump to come out and say that this is wrong and this isn’t what they wanted. Not a single one could just say it’s wrong with making some excuse or point that Clinton’s people have burned flags. Not a single one. Even speaking with my mother in law on the phone, she just says that she’s against all crime and she doesn’t approve of burning the flag either. Like a child in trouble for standing in a crowd of people who bully and doing nothing, she and the rest of his followers point the finger over there at someone else saying, “yeah but they burned a flag.” I don’t give a crap about the burning of a symbol. I give a crap about the burning of people’s dignity, their bodies. I don’t care about flags and symbols, I care about people.

There is no understanding that Trump has brought this about. That people are doing this because Trump has told them to. Though many of these same people cry out repeatedly that Muslims need to disavow ISIS, an organization halfway around the world that they had nothing to do with electing, they see no need to connect this violence to the name the committers call out or disavow it though they voted for the person inciting it. My mother in law assured me that Trump is a good christian man, and he will make it right. So what did we hear from this good Christian man in his speech about winning, not one mention of God. What do we now hear from Trump about the hate crimes perpetrated in his name? Nothing. What do we hear? It’s so unfair that people don’t like him. Somewhere in his gold gilded room, he sits on his very expensive leather chair and thinks to himself-I am the victim here. While Muslim women are getting mugged as his followers cite his name as proof of their right to do so, Donald Trump sits in safety and wealth and opulence and thinks himself a victim.

Since the results have come in there have been a range of emotions. Disappointment, determination, sadness and yesterday after much meditation even a little peace, then there was fear. As the videos rolled in of children yelling white power, of children chanting ‘build that wall’ as Latino students walk through the lunchroom, as pictures of children’s restroom at school vandalized with ‘no niggers allowed’ graffiti, there was fear. Fear that my son may go to off to school and hear this and so much worse because Trump is still silent. If this is allowed to continue how much worse will it get? I want to raise my son to stand up to people, and for people but I grew scared for him. My husband told me, as I’m sure if I didn’t say this many would, to stop watching the news and looking at facebook, but I won’t. All I can think is that it is the height of my privilege. I can shut off my facebook, or tv and go about my day normally. But African Americans cannot take off their skin, Latinos, and Asians can often not hide their ethnicity, and Muslims must decide between their own personal safety and their personal beliefs. Is this the freedom that Donald Trump wants to bring? Is this what makes America great as so many of the perpetrators have claimed while beating and stealing from minorities?

Nothing has been made more clear to me this year and last that in this country, money and property are what matter. People can flit past hundreds of stories of people being shot, raped, assaulted, spat on and stop to be outraged only at a flag burning. A symbol? When the young man who vandalized a  police car was charged a much longer sentence than the police officer charged with murder, we knew it. You can beat, and burn, and shoot black bodies, Muslim bodies, minority bodies, but don’t you dare fuck with our shit. This is our country now. We have been told that now Trump is our pilot and to hope that he fails, is to hope for own demise. Let me tell you a secret. If this is Trump’s great America, if this is us being great, I hope we crash. I hope our country goes down in flames so that our hate doesn’t rob someone else of life. If this is greatness; I hope we are least, the lowest, the poorest country in the world. Greatness doesn’t bring goodness. And I want our country to be good not great.

I have no closing words of encouragement. There is no hope I can offer you today. All I have is an exhortation. If you voted for Trump and don’t want this to be your legacy, be vocal about it, don’t make excuses, accept that this is happening. If you didn’t vote for Trump, don’t be violent, but don’t sit down. The New York Times made a comprehensive list of Trump’s nasty words, it’s long my friends. 282 people and things were on it, most multiple times, some hundreds. He has surpassed the times Christ told us to turn our cheek. What now?

 

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