A common theme popping up on my social media this morning among my right wing friends is that protesters gathering in the streets in the major cities across this country proclaiming that DJT is #notmypresident are nothing but babies. That they need to accept reality and the protests that broke out in major cities across this country yesterday evening were futile and childish and nothing more than a temper tantrum.
Here’s some of the comments (unedited except to omit names):
“Those people rioting in the streets, breaking windows and obstructing traffic are a direct result of parents failing to teach their bratty children that they must #1obey the law, #2 respect authority. #3 learn how to deal with defeat in a positive manner. These people are probably the children at Wal-Mart that kicked and screamed because they didn’t get that candy or toy they wanted until finally the parent or parents caved in. This is the result from some parents being failures as good role models for their children.”
“Grow up America, put on your big boy and big girl pants and get over it #GrowupAmerica.”
“You’re an ignorant dolt. The philosophy of most 2nd amendment supporters is that the 2nd is meant to protect the 1st, so please go suck start a shotgun.”
“Get over it. If you can’t that’s your problem, but if you make it mine, I’ll deal with it accordingly.”
“Poor D***** I know it’s difficult to admit defeat. Just get on your knees and admit defeat. Your girls a thug criminal along with Obama. It’s about time scum like them get their walking papers! And for all those who swore to leave the country get the fuck out now we don’t need scum it’s time to rebuild what the left fucked up! Quit crying like a damn little girl and take your Medicine like a man.”
Needless to say, I spent some time in dialogue with them about how organic protests such as these show that people are willing to utilize nonviolent resistance to what they deem to be unjust. Most who responded took issue with two things in my comments–whether the protests were nonviolent and whether the election was unjust. So I elaborated.
For the second time in 16 years, the popular vote winner (mistakenly and repeatedly called a popularity contest by one who was agitated by the protests) has lost the electoral college. It had only happened two times prior (both in quick succession as well). It has happened 4 times in 45 different presidents. My fear is that this phenomenon will grow in frequency and continue to highlight the deep divides in our country and the havoc which third party candidates can wreak on our elections. It is hard to feel that the election was just when your candidate won more votes and doesn’t win the election. I openly acknowledge that I understand the electoral college process and that I accept the outcome of the election. But gloating and demeaning half the nation who has been stung for the second time in a generation, dismissing their concerns, and calling them babies for trying to find a way to send a clear message to the president-elect that he has a job to do when it comes to working for ALL Americans is counterproductive. It further divides us rather than unites us. Name calling solves no problem. It advocates for no one or no message. It does nothing but further destroy.
On the notion that the protests are violent rather than nonviolent–yes, some have turned violent. But they did not start violent. Some have escalated to rioting, but NOT MOST. Tonight’s report from ABC News says that tens of thousands of protesters have marched through major cities across the U.S. One hundred twenty-four were arrested. In NYC, the numbers cited were 10,000 protesters and 64 arrests (that’s .0064 percent). News organizations jump on the strife and miss the message of the events.
This is what the protest at Union Square in NYC looked like:
Not a riot to be found in this photo from Getty Images.
Yet the silence from my right wing friends on the outbreak of acts of prejudice against women and people of color in past two days is deafening.
A Muslim teen in Woodland Hills, CA–only a short drive from where I live–was attacked verbally and physically at her high school. She said a male student at her school came up behind her. Then, “He like grabbed me by my bun and my hijab and tried to pull it off,” she said. “He was like, ‘You shouldn’t be wearing that, you towelhead. You’re not American. This isn’t America. This isn’t what America stands for.'”
From middle schoolers in Michigan chanting “Build that wall!” to Confederate flag bedecked cars to the Ku Klux Klan holding a victory parade for DJT to vandalism, it’s easy to understand why protesters want to make their voices hear loud and clear. And for my right wing friends, it’s time to quit calling people babies and get your own house in order. The divide in this country is real. And until we are willing to sit down and listen to one another, it will only continue to deepen. It is our civic duty to be involved. It is not our civic duty to belittle. People on both side have been guilty of bad behavior. But only one candidate ran on a message of division. And that candidate, now president-elect, must decide whether to serve us ALL or to serve only the nearly half that got him there.
Conservatives bemoan liberal babies they are ignoring their own. Liberals shoot snarky, elitist replies while refusing to listen. I won’t say it is hypocrisy. But I will say that it is cognitive dissonance at its finest. It’s a dissonance that we must find a way to harmonize. It is a chasm we must bridge or we are doomed to a very rough road filled with chug holes the size of Montana for the next four years. If you want to stop the protests, you will have to stop the prejudice that is spawning it.