On November 8, the glass ceiling didn’t shatter, the balloons didn’t drop, though the champagne was consumed anyway, right out of the bottle, for different reasons.
It hasn’t even been a week since the election, and there’s already an uptick in racially-motivated verbal and physical violence, with Trump-lovers tearing off Muslim women’s hijabs, scribbling slurs on public and private property and going on anti-Semitic rants. As someone who once moderated a Facebook page for an official U.S. Navy Command, I’ve never seen as much trolling as in the wake of this election and following it. And let me say, that Navy Facebook page saw some brutal content, what with people swearing like sailors and outbursts by enemies of the state.
Even our bubble-protect blue coast isn’t immunte. Cause it ain’t all blue.
For two straight nights after the elections, my Trump-supporting downstairs neighbors have passed out drunk in my hallway, broken glass, threatened to cut my family into shreds and screamed “Donald J. Trump is our president, so better fucking deal with it!!” I was relieved at that moment to recall that he carries a knife on his person and has a gun at home to protect against some invisible enemy living in our quiet town, as everyone knows alcohol and weapons mix so well.
Fortunately, the neighbor didn’t reach for his gun or knife, but only for a glass jar, which he smashed against the wall while summoning my husband to fight him. It’s equally fortunate that he kept slipping on his abused wife’s vomit while trying to climb our stairs.
Having sobered up by the morning of day three, the neighbor promised to burn the building down and, pounding, demanded to know why this work-from-home mom isn’t at her fucking job even though Donald J. Trump is our president now.
I’m guessing you guys didn’t like the organic pumpkin bread my toddler and I baked for you the other day?
Drunken assholes will always be drunken assholes. But emboldened by Trump’s rhetoric, the bullies are slithering out from their lairs as if the entire country were their KKK parade sprinkled with Confederate flag confetti.
President-elect has yet to demand tolerance. All he has recanted, to date, are videotaped statements he made about forcing himself of women and grabbing them by the pussy, which obviously made everyone feel better because he got elected anyway.
Equally disturbing is denial by conservative-leaning friends and relatives – morally forthright as they are, who voted GOP for their own reasons. Some write off this surge of hate as “liberal propaganda,” the “Jewish conspiracy” or “Hillary supporters are protesting too, so deal with it,” which is pretty much blaming the victim and being complicit.
Here are just a few things you can do to cope:
1. Practice abstinence. From social media.
2. Breathe in synch with this.
3. Learn creature comforts from the Russians, who’ve had their share of political abuse. My 94-year-old Russian-Jewish Democrat-voting WW II veteran grandfather said the day after the elections as I tried to suppress tears over the phone: “We’ve lived through Stalin. We’ve lived through Brezhnev. We’ll live through this. Just keep close to home and hug your children.” When the Soviet Union crumbled in the coup of 1991 and millions faced uncertainty, Russian women say they tried to do two things: knit and make soup. Or blintzes.
4. Soothe yourself with four whopping hours of baby music. Warning: addicting.
Or with this playlist from Kveller.
5. Sign petitions, like this one.
7. Join peaceful protests and social media groups where people discuss their experiences without being shamed by a well-meaning uncle with that sign on his lawn.
8. Report hate here.
9. Continue practicing civility, regardless of which box the others have checked. True liberal and conservative values do not support bigotry. Odds are, our loved ones are not acting like chauvinistic bullies even if the person they voted for is one.