With the recent presidential election has come a surge in emotions, both good and bad. To say that this whole experience has been an eye opener would be an understatement. This election made me unfriend many longtime Facebook and real life friends, and I'm actually glad that true colors were shown. However, in light of the election, I've heard so many of my Republican associates plead their case on why they aren't the racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, sexist that their President Elect showed himself as time and time again. True enough; I know that not every single Republican is a bad person, nor does aligning yourself with the political party automatically make you evil. My good, Christian mother has even tried to explain to me why she doesn't believe all Trump supporters are bad people. However, here's why I can't get down with the idea that most Trump supporting Republicans don't hold many of those truths to be self evident.
I saw how y'all acted when President Obama was elected.
Now, all of a sudden, there's this call to action to unite and give Trump a chance, but I didn't forget the way you all disrespected President Obama. I vividly remember having to have a school wide assembly because students were threatening to assassinate him. I remember my pregnant home room teacher making us read scripture and saying a prayer about the wicked leaders of the world (I went to a Christian school, by the way, lol). She continued by saying that Obama was going to kill her baby even though abortions are illegal after 24 weeks except when the baby is at risk, the mother is at risk, or both, but that's a whole other conversation. I remember everyone at my very predominately white high school going on and on about how Obama was a Muslim and automatically equating that to terrorism. There was a call for his birth certificate and questioning the validity of his citizenship. I remember my teacher being served a death threat when it came out that she voted for Obama. I remember feeling threatened on the basis of simply being black. There was a whole lot of hate, and I remember it whether you want to acknowledge it or not. It's not something I can so easily forget. It's funny that President Obama has been blamed for all of the racial divide in this country when in reality, he didn't cause it, his presidency just exposed it.
I remember when Trayvon Martin was shot and killed, and the way that my white, Republican classmates responded. "He's a thug...he deserved it...he tried to fight him...it was self defense." I remember the way they cheered when George Zimmerman was acquitted. While not all Republicans felt that way, a good majority of them did, and I wonder why. I remember when Mike Brown was killed and the Black Lives Matter movement was revamped and the way that these same people were so quick to retaliate with All Lives Matter. Instead of understanding our movement, they tried to belittle it, label it as a hate group, and tell us to shut up. Then there are those like Tomi Lahren which I will not give her loud annoying rhetoric any shine, but what scares me is that so many Republicans agree with her when she is loud and wrong.
I can only speak as a black woman. This isn't even including the times that people of other marginalized groups felt personally victimized by Republicans. However, when Trump was elected with his lack of knowledge, his horrible rhetoric, and his deplorable ideals, that was the biggest slap in the face thus far. So yes, I know all Republicans aren't bad people. However, please look inside yourself and ask yourself why your ideals are your ideals. See how racist, homophobic, and sexist you truly are. In order to not associate Republicans with those traits honestly must be a privilege because I know how unwanted and hated that some people who align themselves with the party have made me feel. That's the thing, people will forget what you said, and people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
I don't hate Republicans, that's not the point of me saying all of this. I don't think all Republicans are bad people, and I know Republicans choose that party for different reasons. There are even black and latino Republicans, which I don't understand, but that's their business and their right. However, I want you to understand why people are associating you with such horrible traits and bigotry. Honestly, it's hard not to when you've seen those traits play out time and time again. Even if that's not what you stand for, how many of you are calling out your Republican friends and family who do have deplorable ideals? I understand that they may be great people to you and you love them, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be held accountable. What I ask is that you put your pride to the side, stop thinking that marginalized peoples' experiences are an illusion, and understand that our America may be different than yours. If you truly want us to "unite," our interests must be taken into account as well. America will never "be great again" until its greatness takes into account all of its people.