Dear Trump voters,
I’m not writing to berate you, question your reasoning, shame you, or otherwise attack you for the choice you made in this election. I respect your right to choose whoever you thought was best suited to lead this country, or more accurately for many of us: which political party. There are a multitude of reasons why anyone would vote for either candidate, and I don’t believe that it’s a simple good guy versus bad guy thing, as much as we all enjoy turning politics into a moral fight of good versus evil. The vote is over; and so should the time of mocking and belittling each other over who we selected to vote for.
But I’m not writing about our differences of opinion and position.
No, I’m writing with a request.
People need to hear from you now – specifically the people that didn’t vote for Trump. They need to hear from the Republicans. Non-Republican people need some reassurances that can really only come from you.
As much as you can’t fathom how anyone in their right mind could possibly vote for “Crooked Hillary,” those who did can’t understand how anyone who cares about unity and the great value of each human life could possibly vote for Trump. But let’s not waste time and energy questioning each other’s intelligence. And let’s not waste time and energy defending why we voted for our candidate of choice. Now that the vote is cast, and the president-elect is declared, those that refused to vote for president-elect Trump need to hear that they are valued from those who did vote for him.
We need to hear from you that you don’t endorse the message of hate, fear, and division that have been staples of Trump’s campaign. We need to hear that most of those who support Trump don’t support groping women, beating up people of color, abusing or vilifying immigrants, harassing non-cisgender people, mocking disabled people, and insulting veterans.
It may seem obvious to you that you don’t align with Trump on these things, or that you just assumed it was all an act on his part, or that the media was biased and hyped all of those things, but it isn’t obvious to non-Trump supporters. And hyped or not, Trump has said all of those things. He said those things, and half of the people who voted support him. It really isn’t that big of a leap to assume that those who voted for him also agree with him.
The possibility that over 50,000,000 fellow Americans believe that violence toward women, people of color, LGBTQI, immigrants, disabled, and veterans is acceptable – that possibility is terrifying.
In January 2017, the new leader of our country will be a man who has built himself the reputation for viewing all those people – people that are different than him – with disdain and hate. And he has modeled that it is acceptable to be vocal about it, and has even encouraged his followers to carry out physical acts of violence against them.
We are all seeing acts of violence in the news in the aftermath of the election. None of them are acceptable. In my Facebook feed I’m seeing Trump supporters sharing the acts of violence done against Trump followers, and Hillary supporters sharing the acts of violence done against Hillary followers. It’s just more finger pointing and belittling each other. And it’s silly because I have a sense that we would all agree that all of those acts of violence are deplorable.
A very generalized distinction that I see between them is that the anti-Trump acts of violence are motivated out of fear for a man that represents hate, whereas the pro-Tump acts of violence are motivated out of hate for non-Whites.
Some are attacking an ideology of hate, while others are attacking people out of hate.
And it’s all deplorable.
It isn’t fair for anyone to be attacked on account of a political or ideological view. But I believe it’s even worse for anyone to be attacked on account of who they are – their skin color, their birth place, their gender, the very structure of their body, or anything else that they consider to be a part of their identity (including sexual orientation/identity and religious belief).
For those attacked on account of who they are, it is an attack on their very right to exist.
And all of those who are like them are afraid.
Which is why I’m writing this long-winded letter. They need to be reassured that not all the people who voted for and/or support Trump agree with his hate-filled views.
They need to hear that you believe that they are your equals, your fellow Americans.
They need to hear that their safety is important to you, that you are willing to stand up to those who would harm them.
They need to hear that you will not participate in conversations of hate about them. Even better, that you will stand up for them by actively shutting those conversations down.
They need to hear that you will oppose any ways in which Trump, and any other government officials, attempt to codify hate and injustice toward them into law – that you will protect their rights. And not just their rights as Americans, but their rights as human beings.
They need to hear that you are also appalled by the hateful things that Trump said while he was campaigning.
They don’t trust Trump, and his desire to see a unified America contradicts the message that he has been declaring to America these past 2 year. They need to hear a desire to see America united again from you. Not from Trump.
They need to hear that you care that they are afraid. They need to see that you care about them.
(a White guy that is concerned over the well-being of the people of our country, especially non-Whites, and more specifically non-White guys)
Jeremy Martin-Weber is the proud father of 6 inspiring girls, and is 20 years into a love story with his partner, Jessica Martin-Weber.