I’m Not Going to Shut Up.

We all know what I’m writing about today.

I’m disappointed. I’m heartbroken.  I feel like I woke up in a time travel story, and we failed to stop the Bad Timeline from taking place.  It feels like the way-too-dark season finale of American Politics, 8 Eastern /7 Central on Fox.

Not because Hillary lost, although I liked her as a candidate.  Not even because Trump won, although considering his stance on climate change that scares the shit out of me too.  I’m hurt because the “minority” community (immigrants, POC, LGBT, women) just got a huge slap in the face.

Imagine this: you’re 17 years old. Back in high school.  Two people are running for class president this year: a somewhat-bitchy cheerleader whose mom is on the PTA and may or may not have had sex behind the football field with some less-than-savory folks, and a rich guy whose entire platform is based on bullying you.

The cheerleader’s kind of annoying. Nobody really likes her.  But the rich kid’s talking to entire tables full of people about how you–you as a human being— are the cause of all the problems in the school.  He’s talking about how much you deserve to get beaten up, raped, how you should be constantly grovelling for everyone else to accept you.  He spends a disproportionate amount of time telling people how awful a human being you are and how you don’t deserve happiness in your life.

And he’s done this before. You know he’s hurt people.  You know he’s followed through on these threats, on a personal level, because he brags about it.

Feels personal, right?  And dangerous?

So imagine how personal it feels when people tell you they’re voting for him because “well the cheerleader’s worse.”  The cheerleader isn’t personally attacking you.  She may not be good, but she’s not telling you to your face that you’re less than human.  She’s not actively encouraging people to hurt you–in fact, she’s encouraging people to be nice to you, even though they write it off as “she’s trying to be PC”.

And then the school overwhelmingly votes for him, for reasons totally unrelated to how he treats you.  Most of them don’t care about what he’s said about you at all, actually.  Some are so upset about other things that they write in votes, or don’t vote at all, rather than try to help you.

What message does that send, when they don’t care?  How would you, as an individual, feel if the entire school voted for someone who openly bullied you, and told you to shut up and stop whining about how you’re treated?

This is a pretty transparent metaphor, but it’s easier to understand on a smaller level: voting for a bully tells the bully it’s okay to be a jackass.  Protest voting tells the victim that their life is worth less than what you’re protesting.

Zoom out.

Actions speak louder than words.  This is what my country told me.

On Tuesday, 59,704,886 people told me that they think I am less than human.  6,095, 128 people told me that my life was worth less than their disillusionment through protest voting.  44% of the country didn’t vote at all.

Yes, I understand that #notalltrumpsupporters hate women and LGBT people and people of color, but their vote says that hating us is okay.  That it’s presidential behavior.  Yes, I understand protest votes were valid: I wanted Bernie too, and I hate this system too, I get it. But there are so many more effective ways to do that.  Get involved in local politics.  By protesting now, in something so crucial, you voted against yourself.  You may as well have voted for Trump: see point #1.

It’s personal, guys.

We’re upset.  We’re hurt.  We know it wasn’t personal for you, we get that.  It was personal to us, and you didn’t care.  You don’t give a shit about us, so stop telling us to calm down and take it.  A country divided against itself cannot stand.

So stop dividing the fucking country, because we’re not going to stand around and take the abuse.

I’m not going to shut up.

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