I’m going to see about starting White People Wednesday here at Naughty Baptist. I am aware it is Thursday. However I thought of this last night, and White People Thursday isn’t as catchy. Work with me.
Dear Fellow White People:
Please stop telling minorities to not freak out about Trump. You may or may not agree, but don’t jump in and tell folks to stop. And yes, I mean this even if you think someone is going too far. Here’s why:
Republicans did freak out about Obama
I’ve seen folks comparing this to when Obama was elected. “You didn’t see Republicans freaking out!” Couple of things here. First, you weren’t on my FB feed, apparently, but a lot of republicans freaked out. Second, a lot of people started stockpiling guns and joining or forming little wannabe terrorist groups (ie “militias”). So it’s not true to say Republicans didn’t freak out a bit.
If you’re white, Trump didn’t threaten you
More than that, though, Obama never pledged to deport people. He did not have a history of belittling women, minorities, people with disabilities, etc. Trump undeniably does.
I know — You may have voted for Trump, but you’re not racist or sexist. OK, I’ll believe you. But it’s also true that voted for the guy, knowing at some level that his racism and sexism aren’t going to affect you.
Trump is different
I didn’t vote for Obama, but I wasn’t despairing when he won. I wouldn’t have despaired had Romney won (didn’t vote for him either, though). I disagreed with both men. But I didn’t question their character or abilities. I just disagreed with them. Trump goes far beyond that, though, to a lot of people. Folks do question his character, as well as his ability to lead.
Hurting people cry out
Finally, don’t tell people to stop because they’re mourning. If you disagree with someone, or think they’re too extreme, keep in mind that people say crazy things when they’re upset. If you think someone is going too far, try to keep that perspective.
What should you do instead? Listen. Even when you disagree. Especially when you disagree. Try to understand. You may still think they’re wrong, but at least you will understand, and that will open up the possibility of conversation.
I’m upset Trump won. But at the end of the day, it’s easy for me to say, “Oh well, we all need to get over it.” He didn’t threaten to deport me, or ban me, or build a wall around me. I’m a middle-aged white guy who drives a minivan.
Love and kisses,
PS: I really don’t want to be condescending. If I have, I do apologize. Nor do I think I speak for anyone other than myself, especially a minority.