11 November 2016

To Anger or Not to Anger. To Unite or Not Unite.

We get one day to mope and then we have to get to work.

That's the comment I left in many places around the internet Wednesday and also in person, over the phone, in texts, anyone I was talking to.

But as the day wore on and I listened to more analysis and I read more reactions, I became angry. I'm trying not to be, and I'm going back and forth on whether or not it's okay for me to be. Which I hate, that I can't feel comfortable having this emotion, let alone expressing it. I think my anger is going in a different direction than many people assume, however.

Trump supporters voted for him because they are angry. Those of us who didn't vote for him are now expected to remain calm and work together and find unity. But we have a right to our anger as well. Trump supporters felt things weren't going their way so they got angry and they did what they thought would change things. We have the same right to be angry and work to change things as well. And we will change things, for the most part legally and peacefully, because the Constitution gives us the right to do so. There will be some fiery bursts of anger that may lead to violence from some, but unlike the Trump side of things, we will condemn violence rather than condone it.

I expect that if I'm taking one day to mope and then get to work, that Trump supporters will take their one day to revel in victory, and then work to keep their candidate in check. You voted for him but your job isn't over. Your world isn't going to magically change now.

One thing that bothers me among all these calls for unity is that I feel like we are expected to be good losers while Trump supporters are allowed to be bad winners. In order to make this country work they have to be gracious winners.

Many of them are not being gracious winners. Many of them have taken the win by Trump as a free pass to be even more racist. For being publicly racist if they were privately being so before. President-elect Trump, this really is your problem now. You have to reign in your supporters and call for them to knock this shit off. You wanted to be the law and order president. You have to instill that over your own supporters now who are assaulting blacks, gays, Muslims, and Mexicans since you won this election.

Among people I know who voted for Trump I'm seeing a lot more calls for Hillary supporters to calm down and unite than I'm seeing comments condemning these violent, racist actions. Sitting quietly and waiting for it to blow over isn't an option anymore. We saw this in the aftermath to Brexit and it's what many people feared would happen here as well. I've said this a few times over the last couple weeks, that it's not the policies of a Trump president that bother me per se, because we have checks and balances. But all the policies in the world mean nothing to the people who were beat up yesterday by celebrating Trump supporters. It's happening just as many of us feared it would. And Trump himself, alongside all of his supporters who are not racists or sexist, have to speak out against this. Ellie Wiesel said, "Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."

I am tired of calling for calm and unity. Calls for unity from one candidate gave us the other candidate as our president. The people calling for unity from the Trump side now certainly didn't unify under President Obama. They unified against him in order to try and block a good deal of his legislation.

Be angry if you want to be. But understand that anger and Facebook posts don't amount to real change. Find a way to support your community. Keep active in local elections. Call out racism and sexism when you see it. Send actual letters to your senators and representatives, not just tweets. Donate to the ACLU and NPR because we need watchdogs more than ever. Subscribe to newspapers to keep good journalists in business.

And scrutinize this president. For all the scrutiny the Obama administration and the Clinton campaign came under these last eight years, let it be known that a Trump presidency will be under just as intense a microscope.

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