To my family who voted for Trump: I’m trying.
I’m trying to understand how you can cast a vote for a man who has denigrated a huge part of who my family is now, and somehow, that’s okay, because you voted for the candidate whose policies you felt were the best for the American people. But I ask you, which American people, exactly?
I want you to read this:
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists…and some, I assume, are good people.”
Give yourselves a minute, and read it again.
Did you think, Wait, no, I don’t think this about Oscar and his family.
Oscar is a good hardworking and kind man, and we know him well. The Velez family are good hardworking people, we don’t think they’re bringing drugs, or crime, or anything other than a desire to work hard and make a decent living.
Next, I want you to read this:“You know, it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful, piece of ass.”
And this:“Grab her by the pussy.”
Say it out loud. Say those words. Grab. her. by. the pussy.
Does it make you feel dirty? Ashamed?
I gave birth to sons. And I will do my damnedest to make sure words like that NEVER, EVER come out of their mouths. They will understand that a woman owes them nothing, and they have to earn her love, and work hard to keep it. They will not be able to grab any woman “by the pussy.”
Did you think, “I’m not saying that. Just because Trump said it doesn’t make it okay.” But see, here’s the thing–hundreds and thousands of men now think that this is okay. “Trump said it, and he was elected president!” Trump also said many, many other horrible things, and people all over the country are now vindicated by these statements.
One of my best friends, a person who I love, appreciate and care for, got married this year. I wish him and his new husband all the happiness in the world, because they deserve it. They deserve to be happy. And now, I fear for their happiness. I have black friends. I have Muslim friends, and you’d better be damn sure I have Latino friends. Nope wait, scratch that–Latino family.
Let’s talk about another aspect of Trump’s presidency that scares me. Chief strategist Steve Bannon. Just as a reminder, Bannon used to be executive chair of Breitbart News, an online publication which he openly admitted to Mother Jones attracts racists, homophobes, and anti-Semites.
One more time: The man Trump has appointed as chief strategist in the White House admitted to being a part of an organization who attracts racists, homophones, and anti-Semites.
This man actually believes you can spank the mental illness away in a child. Aside from the fact that there is ample evidence that spanking increases defiance, anti-social behavior, aggression, and mental health problems and cognitive difficulties, this man genuinely believes this is okay behavior. He’s also a horrible misogynist.
These things are just a few reasons why it hurts my heart to understand that someone who claims to care about me, my family, and the other people I love can excuse or embrace these things without a second thought.
Whatever the reason, whether it’s because his “agenda” or “values” better align with yours than Hillary’s or voting third-party, please believe me when I say, respectfully but firmly, that that’s bullshit.
This may be unfair. We live in a democracy, and I respect and do not take that freedom for granted.
However, by voting for Trump, you’re voting for an America that hurts my heart. That says to my children, “You don’t matter.” That says to my friends of color, “You’re probably lazy and want to take my money.” That says to my gay friends, “your marriage doesn’t matter, your love doesn’t matter.” You’re voting for a white, middle-class, straight, Christian America.
I am white. I am middle-class. I am straight. I can’t change these things.
But my children are half-latino. They may be gay. They may be straight. They may grow up and decide to follow the Muslim faith. They may marry a black man or woman.
Here’s what I know. I will never stop teaching my children to love and respect everyone. To educate themselves so they can do and be whatever they want to be.
Let them love who they want to love, let them do what they want to do.
Someday, with enough hard work and enough love, I believe this is possible. And that is why, adamantly and emphatically, Trump is #notmypresident.