Dear Mom and Dad,
I know we frequently disagree on political matters and because we care for one another, we tend to not bring up politics around each other. Generally speaking, that’s a good policy; but there are times when it’s important that we DO discuss matters that have great impact on us. This is one of those times. I hope that you will read this with an open heart, follow/read the links, and attempt to understand where I’m coming from.
I and my immediate family are aghast that Donald Trump won. He has represented nothing but hatefulness from the beginning, mocking the disabled, behaving abysmally to Latinos, threatening to make a registry for people of a differing faith (Muslims) and export them, lying and committing fraud (and being caught in the lies/fraud) more often than telling the truth, and he’s an admitted sexual predator with multiple victims going back for years. He was even endorsed by the KKK.
Since the election, there have been MANY hate crimes against the very people that Trump has acted badly toward. Just within my circle of friends (and only the incidents I know about):
- a woman in a wheelchair was told she didn’t deserve to live
- a woman was harassed/threatened for “looking like a dyke”
- a man was harassed/threatened for appearing “too gay” because he was in a suit
- a man was harassed/threatened for being gay
- more than one woman was groped because the assailant figured it was no problem now that Trump was elected.
In each of these cases, Trump was mentioned by the perpetrators; not one of them reported to the police. Keep that in mind when you see reports of how much hate crime is being committed, as many won’t report. There have been SO many incidents against Muslims, Jews, black people, Latinos, women, and others since the election, and hundreds of them mention Trump by name.
Trump only speaks out against the violence against others when pressed to do so, yet he seems more annoyed about the cast of a Broadway show asking Pence to be fair to all Americans than people committing violence in his name against people he already disparaged.
On the day Dad’s pacemaker was replaced, I was in the waiting room with Mom when she asked me about the safety pins my son and I were putting on. I thought, considering how the two of you raised me to care for my neighbor that she would be proud when I told her it was a non-partisan way to let people who now feel unsafe because of the way the election went and the ways that some of his supporters have been deciding they can harass others know that we are safe people to be around and that we will stand up for them if we see them being mistreated by others because of who they are. No, Mom instead gave me a disgusted look, though a lady in the waiting room who didn’t even know us thought enough of the effort that she took a safety pin from me and immediately put it on.
We all have to stand up for each other, regardless of political affiliation, gender, ability, nationality, religion, or whom we love. Saying, “I won’t sit by and let you be mistreated in my presence without objection,” is not saying one agrees with everything about that person, just that we won’t be part of the problem that allows this to continue. I was particularly shocked when I heard Mom, a sexual assault survivor herself talking to another sexual assault survivor, saying that Trump’s talk about grabbing women by the genitalia was just “locker room talk”. REALLY?? No, that’s rape culture. Good men don’t do that. Men who don’t assault women don’t brag about not waiting for consent. Don’t make excuses for a sexual predator who has emboldened would-be assailants to go ahead and harm women. I do not accept that.
We’re supposed to have a right to freedom of religion in this country, but Muslims and Jews have been targets a lot lately with Trump being cited as reason they are unwelcome and should be scared.
I also want you to think about this; you may not agree with the science that says that one’s sexual preference is not a choice, but you have more than one relative who is in the LGBT grouping. Every bit of legislation that diminishes the rights of LGBT people is against parts of your family. Are you okay with that? I’m not.
If that’s not important to you, consider that my son and I have both been diagnosed with autism. Trump is terrible toward people who have differences, including spreading oft-debunked lies about vaccines causing autism.
Disabled people who count on the ACA because they were denied health coverage before will now be at serious risk, especially since Paul Ryan and the Republican majority want to slash Medicare and Social Security. You were talking about retiring, Dad? Be aware that this has implications for you in addition to us; we rely upon those to get by.
Oh, but he wants to keep refugees from pouring into our country. Considering how difficult it is to get into this country as a refugee, I’m really not worried about it.
Christians should also welcome them.
Hebrews 13:2, ESV Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Deuteronomy 10:19, NLT So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.
Jeremiah 22:3, NLT This is what the LORD says: Be fair-minded and just. Do what is right! Help those who have been robbed; rescue them from their oppressors… Do not mistreat foreigners, orphans, and widows…
Leviticus 19:34, NIV The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.
“But I’m not a racist/misogynist/xenophobe!” you might say. Okay, but apparently those things weren’t deal breakers to you. You were perfectly fine with voting for someone who endorsed prejudice and assault because he gave lip service to something else you cared about. You were willing to ignore that he is a provable liar and bigot.
Trump has already begun to appoint white supremacists like Steve Bannon to his cabinet. He’s already showing us that he is no friend to people who aren’t in the extremely narrow group of people he respects. I’m not asking you to suddenly change all your views and become people you aren’t. I AM asking that you consider how terrified some of us are about being targeted now that fascists are about to be in office. This is how Nazi Germany started out. As an autistic woman of a bit of Jewish descent who cares about people who aren’t like me in various ways, I implore you to consider that this may not be a happy occasion for many of us.
I know this is a difficult time to be sending this message, but I need you to understand. I love you very much.
Your loving daughter