Week One Under Trump

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It’s been just over a week since America chose Donald Fucking Trump as the next leader of the free world. As to be expected, shit is already off the rails as protests, violence, and hate crimes have erupted across the country.

Oh yeah, and Trump appointed a noted misogynist and anti-semite as his Chief Strategist.

In the wake of the election, I came across a Twitter post which consolidated tweets from individuals all across the country, outlining a number of incidents which occurred in the direct aftermath of Trump’s victory.

Testimonies range from observant Muslim mothers entreating their daughters not to wear their hijabs, for fear of violent retaliation; the destruction of property of people of color, with pejorative and threatening language written on car windows and dorm room doors; and women recounting the gleeful cries of menacing groups of men shouting “grab her by the pussy!” and then attempting to do just that.

I read through these, and simply burst into tears.

And that’s just the half of it.

Since the election, there has been a surge in racist graffiti all over the tri-state area. Swastikas and hate speech have appeared on everything from public transportation to people’s homes. It got so bad that the New York City Mayor’s Office felt compelled to tweet the following: “Acts of violence in our beautifully diverse city will not be tolerated. We are all better than this.”

Shall I continue? Two government officials from Clay County, W.Va., displayed their penchant for some extraordinarily racist comments directed at First Lady Michelle Obama.

On Facebook, Pamela Ramsay Taylor (who was director of Clay County Development Corp. before this very incident inspired her removal) wrote: “It will be so refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady back in the White House. I’m tired of seeing an ape in heels.”

The Mayor of Clay, Beverly Whaling, commented on the post “Just made my day, Pam.”

Under scrutiny for their behavior, both women later apologized and insisted that their comments weren’t “intended to be racist.” With Whaling issuing a statement to the Washington Post insisting that “Those who know me know that I’m not of [sic] any way racist!”

Perfect! Because everybody knows that claiming that you’re not racist in the face of evidence to the contrary is exactly how we heal the deep racial wounds of America. Wrong.

Pro tip: if you have to preface what you’re saying with the precursor “I’m not racist, but…” or if you rationalize a previous action by saying that all your friends think you’re not racist…then you’re definitely fucking racist.

So there you have it. We’re totally and supremely screwed. What the actual fuck?

I am not suggesting that Donald Trump made people hateful and ignorant, or that he caused an otherwise peaceful and perfect country to nose-dive into horror. It’s obvious that these sentiments were present all along; however, what Donald Trump’s candidacy and win have done is legitimize otherwise unacceptable and shameful acts of hate. People feel emboldened, because Donald Trump has sent a message that their anger, fear, and violence is justified.

It’s not.