I held a little girl, a refugee, in my arms, as she wept. Wept in fear. Her mom was murdered. Her dad was fighting to maintain her way of life. She was only 6 or 7 and rooming with a group of strangers. When people ask me why I did not vote for Trump, why I refuse to give Trump a chance, why I have cried and nearly vomited over this election, my resistance is for the little girl I held in my arms, who taught me that its not okay to put the U.S. first, white U.S. first, because all lives matter.
Recent conversations in my hometown in Texas really shook me and served as a reminder of where I came, the people who were once mine, who raised me, who taught me about the world, the world which I now reject and does not even make sense to me anymore. These were separate FB status, all over the last month.
A Lady: “I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to put a travel ban on these people who want to come here and kill us. People are so brain dead stupid. I pray for people. Its like God help them pull up their heads out of the sand for being so stupid.”
A Guy: “There are all kinds of world war II bases in Europe. Why can’t’ we take care of refugees over there instead of here?”
His friend, “unless I’m missing something and all the fast-food places are about to expand, we don’t have enough jobs for refugees.”
A Guy: “We worked our tails off to make it all these years. We don’t have time for them.”
His Friend: “My little girl is worried. The refugees will kill the cops in Dallas.”
The fast-food worker told me that the democrats don’t like Trump because they want to start a nuclear war, and only Trump can keep good relations with Russia and prevent it.
Woman to a receptionist: “All I know is that God says to use your head. Wait? they aren’t Hillary supporters, are they?
Me: actually, I did vote for Hillary.
Woman: I thought y’all might be, because your young.
Me: Its not that. I could never vote for a man who assaults women and wants to deport refugees.…
Woman: well, my uncle did [X assault] to my aunt, and that is far worse than what Trump did. There are men all over the streets of Dallas who did stuff like Trump.
Me: So? Your uncle and these said men in Dallas shouldn’t run for president of the United States.
Woman: all our presidents have had flaws like this.
Me: Since when has Obama assaulted women?
I hear a guy working on his computer, telling a woman he ran into that “they wanna make men and women equal these days, but they aren’t equal.”
“Half the people at the march didn’t even know what they are marching about” and “the Muslim ban is only temporary.”
Sometimes I ask how I survived this community at all. I was not surprised when Trump won. The pundits from TV would not have been shocked either if they had been raised in rural U.S., and were there in the 1990s when we were told that the Mexicans were taking our jobs, destroying our language, bringing in crime, and destroying our culture. All of these things I heard 20 years ago, long before Trump. The fear, the hatred, the fight to return the U.S. to fundamentalist Christian principles, the plan to defund public education (Betsy DeVos), were all things I learned years ago., and quite frankly, the media should have realized that we were dead serious about bringing these things to fruitation.
The only difference between 20 years ago and today is that this year the logic was hollow to me. It simply no longer makes sense.