I have seen two very different responses from my friends following the election of Trump.
Some are preaching a love and light kind of optimism, stating that only love can drive out hate, and trying to tell people that protests are a waste of time. “Just accept it.” While I do think there is a time and place for optimism and I can appreciate remaining optimistic that things will change for the better, that is not even the beginning of a solution to the problems we face as a country. Optimism is frankly a waste of my time.
Others, myself included, know that as American citizens we have rights that are protected under the first amendment of our constitution. I have a fundamental right to protest and assemble peacefully. I have freedom of speech which means that I can express my opinions, my ideas, and let my voice be heard without the fear of my government retaliating, censoring, or sanctioning me. I intend to exercise those rights.
At one point during election night in 2012 it looked like Mitt Romney might beat Obama in the popular election with Obama winning over the electoral college and therefore the presidency. Here was Donald Trump’s response on Twitter:
Donald Trump’s Twitter 11/8/12
What a hypocritical parallel. Donald trump is downright outraged that Romney could win the popular vote while Obama will be elected as President through the electoral college. Interesting that four years later Hillary Clinton has won the popular vote, however Donald Trump will take the presidency. For once, I agree with Donald Trump. “More votes equals a loss…REVOLUTION. Let’s fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice! The world is laughing at us. We can’t let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty. Our nation is totally divided!”
I’m here to fight against you Donald, just like you wanted. I’m here as a woman who wants to protect my abortion rights. I’m here to protect my rights to contraceptives. I’m here for every woman who has protested and fought against our government for our right to vote. I’m here to support other women and their rights too. I’m here to fight for those who voted for Trump and don’t realize what they will lose under his rule. I’m here to support my trans friends and the rights of trans people across our country. I’m here to support my Muslim friends. I’m here to support my gay friends. I’m here to support my Asian friends. I’m here to support my black friends. I’m here to support my Mexican friends. I’m here to support my immigrant friends. I’m here to fight oppression, classism, racism, and sexism. I’m here to support any minority or any person that has seen, felt, or heard the hate that Trump’s campaign has ignited across America.
Are you still one of those people who thinks optimism is the answer? Love and light. If you don’t believe hate, violence, and sexual assault is happening in direct correlation with Trump’s presidency, open your eyes to first-hand accounts that are pouring in from every part of this country. Look and see for yourself. If you’re one of the skeptics who doesn’t believe these accounts are true, shame on you. What the fuck have you done to make the world a better place? Who are you to sit behind your computer screen and tone-police telling people they don’t have a right to be angry in response to hate, bigotry, and racism? You’re a part of the problem and you are not helping us work towards a solution.
Do you know what Trump wants to do his first 100 days in office? I am also protesting lifting restrictions on production of energy reserves (shale, oil, natural gas, clean coal). I am protesting the Keystone Pipeline. I am protesting the cancelling of payments to the U.N. for climate change programs. I am protesting the cancellation of every executive action or order made by President Obama. I am protesting the cancellation of funding to Sanctuary cities. I am protesting removing over two million immigrants living in our country which will tear families apart. I am protesting the suspension of immigration from “terror-prone regions” and also protesting “extreme vetting”. I am protesting the business tax rate being reduced to 15% and I am protesting the right for corporations to use tax loop holes and safe havens to avoid paying what they owe. I am protesting Big Pharma and the immense and disgusting hold they have on sick Americans who need medication to survive. I am protesting big banks and Wall street and their greed. I am protesting the repeal of Obamacare which will leave millions without insurance. I am protesting the wall on our border shared with Mexico. I am protesting the militarization of police. I am protesting the creation of a task force on violent crime. I am protesting the war on drugs. I am protesting mass incarceration.
Tell me again that I should remain hopeful and silent.
If you are attending a protest, know your rights.
“Do not resist arrest, even if you believe the arrest is unfair. If you are under arrest, you have a right to ask why. ‘Officer it is my right as a citizen to ask why I am being detained.’ Otherwise, say you wish to remain silent and ask for a lawyer immediately. Don’t give any explanations or excuses. Don’t say anything, sign anything, or make any decisions without a lawyer. You have the right to make a local phone call, and if you’re calling your lawyer, police are not allowed to listen.”
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