I am scared today. I found myself freezing in panic when two white men pushed me out of the way in a coffee shop this morning. And maybe their actions were not intentionally malicious or any different than they would have been on Sunday or Monday.
But, post-election I have a different narrative to filter that experience, and it’s generating a lot of fear.
Because now I am asking: “Do they think it’s okay to push me because I’m a woman, and they’re allowed? Do they think I’m sub-human? Do men I know secretly think that?”
And, really, nothing has changed yet in the White House. Logic tells me I’m being dramatic. I’m not afraid of politics. I’m not afraid of government changes yet. And ultimately, I’m not even mad because Clinton lost.
I’m scared because I don’t how to interpret actions I’ve seen when people are quiet or defensive.
I’m afraid of people. Christians, in particular — even if I am one.
And I’m white. I don’t even know what this climate feels like for people who aren’t white or who are in the LGBTQ community.
Choosing a president is not like eating a salad. When eating a salad, I can pick out the cucumber or the onion or the blue cheese. I can set it aside and not eat it. Politicians are whole packages, and I can’t take just part of them, leaving the rest behind. Voting for her or him is choosing her or his whole platform, even if I only stand for a portion of it.
Politicians are more like spaghetti sauce. I don’t care for Italian sausage. But, if the plate of spaghetti sauce is set in front of me, I have two choices: eat it or not. I can’t pick the sausage out of the sauce, and even if I try, Italian sausage makes everything taste like sausage anyway.
I can understand being hungry and needing to eat. I get digging in for that.
The problem is unless something is said explicitly otherwise: no one knows if I ate the spaghetti sauce because I was hungry or because I love Italian sausage or both.
I can’t trust that people inherently think racism or sexism or xenophobia is a problem. Especially when they say wait and see what Trump will do, and don’t tell us definitely that racism and sexism are not okay with them or that they will stand with us IF it all implodes.
Maybe that feels yucky, and I’m not blaming. Like I said, I can understand being hungry, and I can understand thinking Trump is the best option for you.
But, unless actual words are said and actions are shown, no one knows how you feel about them. And if you don’t speak the words and hold hands with the hurting, it’s really hard to give the benefit of the doubt.
That’s why the articles on logic and reason about Trump’s presidency aren’t helpful. Because really what we’re scared of is not Trump or the government, but each other.