On the night of the US election I took to Twitter to share my disgust that it looked like Trump would win. I couldn’t believe it when I saw a tweet go by cheering him on from a woman. I was stunned. Little did I know then that white, educated women in the US would practically hand the Presidency to Trump. Everything I thought about the people voting for him (that they were uneducated, knuckle-draggers) was wrong. (I'm not including the tweet - it deserves no additional air time.)
She decided to give me a pep talk. Apparently I would "see." She promised after all. Geez, I feel so much better.
Like most Canadians, I watched in abject horror as it became clear that Trump would win. Here’s the thing; I was scheduled to fly into the belly of the beast the very next day. I agonized over going.
In the end, I decided I had to. I had to honour my commitments to people I respected but I wasn’t happy about it. I felt ill boarding my plane. This whole US election cycle has been like watching your best friend in an abusive relationship. Why is she dating that jerk?
There is a real sense of fear here. In all my years of visiting the United States, I’ve never felt this energy before. I knew from the vote that the country was literally split in half, but it wasn’t until I felt it that it sunk in.
Democrats use hushed voices and look over their shoulder when talking. They are terrified of belligerent Trump supporters. Belligerent Trump supporters are everywhere, but it’s the ones who hide behind the veil of “they did it for your own good” who scare the shit out of me; the dangerous white female.
Case in point. I met a gay man who can't believe that a long time female friend of his voted for Trump. Their friendship is over. To be fair, how do you continue a friendship with someone who voted for a person who believes the "gay" can be shocked out of you? He shared the private message she sent him. It was dripping with the same condescending tone of my Twitter interaction. It would be okay she told him. He would see.
I heard that a lot in my three days there. Obvious Trump supporters, patting hands, declaring it would be OK.
No, no, no. It’s not.
You do not get to vote in a man like this and declare that everyone should just take a seat.
In one election, the rights of half of the population are being threatened; people of colour, the entire LGBTQ community, immigrants and women. Feminism has been dealt a crushing blow. How can it not be when a large segment of the female population is happy to put their pussy up for grabs?
I’m leaving the U.S. as conflicted as when I arrived. I’m happy I came and was able to offer a sympathetic ear to my friends. It was a reminder, as a Canadian not to paint all Americans with the same brush. When we in Canada say things like “those crazy Americans”, remember that half of them are decidedly not and do not even recognize the country they live in anymore. They are in mourning and need as much support from us as we can give.
It also reminded me that there is a lot of work to be done at home, I’m looking at you Kellie Leitch. Canadians, myself included, have been riding our high horse lately. That puts on a very, very slippery slope. Know thyself, Canada. We have the same sentiment here and it only needs a leader like Donald Trump to embolden them. Democracy is fragile. We are currently complacent with our standing in the order of things.
Finally, Public Enemy Number 1 has been identified and it’s the educated white woman who is so afraid of losing her privilege, she’ll vote for a sexist, racist blowhard. As Samantha Bee so eloquently pointed out, if we demand that Muslims take responsibility for all Muslims, then we do not get to look the other way when white women act like spoiled divas. You no longer get to be tone deaf, because things are definitely not okay.
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