I am a wild feminist who lives in Chicago and runs a musical theatre company. My friends and family are every color, religion, and orientation. I surround myself with people that celebrate diversity and inclusiveness. Okay. Do you get the picture? Super Liberal. Super Progressive. I live in the brightest blue bubble and I’d like to stay there, thanks.
After the election I read all the same articles that you did about how staying in our bubbles cost us the election. I read about the poor white families in the Rust Belt and how we needed to try and understand where they were coming from. I read that we were to blame, sitting in our towers in our cities (I don’t live in a tower p.s., Trump does) wasting our time on identity politics and political correctness.
I bought into the narrative for a time. I unhid all my hidden friends on Facebook. I started following a couple of conservative papers. I tried to actually listen to the white people that feel disenfranchised, that feel like America has left them behind, rather than instantly bristle at their pro-Trump rhetoric.
And that’s all well and good. It’s great to reach out to people that have opposing views. It’s great to compromise. It’s great to find common ground. That all sounds great, yeah?
The problem is this. I will not bend when it comes to certain things; not even an inch. You want to talk about fiscal conservatism? Okay. Are you more hawkish in your views of war than I’d like? Fine. You’re pro-life? I think we can have a conversation at least. Maybe.
What I will not tolerate? The complete indifference and detachment for our fellow American’s basic human rights. I actually do NOT think that every Trump supporter is a crazy misogynistic islamaphobic homophobic racist. I don’t. What I DO think is that by voting for him, actively or not, you endorsed those ideas. It might not have been why you voted for him, but your vote supported a man who spreads hate about those groups of people. Living in a city and working in the arts and having a multiracial family, you are co-signing hate toward the people I love.
And no matter how hard I try to sympathize with the plight of the disenfranchised white folk, it always comes down to this. You have put my loved ones in danger. You have decided that your life is worth more than others. And I can’t abide by that. It’s a deal breaker for me and I don’t think I want you in my life.
Sound harsh? Well. I don’t know what to tell you. This was not just another election for many of us. We are in a fight for our basic rights. Some of us are in a fight for our lives. Telling us to get “over it” is ridiculous. We are at an impasse.
So, let the unfriending commence. Let’s hide folks with great aplomb. I will unfollow celebrities, news sources, and people that don’t value all human life and won’t feel bad AT ALL. I will enjoy my New York Times and Washington Post. I’ll keep watching Samantha Bee and Rachel Maddow and throw some John Oliver in their for fun. I’m done trying to convince you that humans should be treated like humans. Why is this an argument!? I’m done going to battle with internet trolls when I can spend my energy on more productive pursuits.
So how do we stay in our liberal progressive bubbles and not let this happen again? We surround ourselves with inspiring people that are taking action to change the world for the better. We get involved. We organize. We donate. We march. We build up new leaders. We gain wisdom from our political heroes. We run for office. We nurture all those little girls who woke up the day after the election and asked “why did the bully win and not the girl?” We raise them to be strong and pissed. We remember that we are on the right side of history, that change is inevitable, and that these are the death throes of the patriarchy. We remember that there are actually more of us and that if we can unite, nothing can stop us.
So, I’m going to stay in my bubble. This is where the artists are. This is where the scientists are. This is where the economists are. This is where the journalists are. This is where the activists are. This is where anyone a shade darker than ecru is. This is where the future of America is. I won’t be convinced otherwise. And instead of popping our bubble, we will reinforce it. We will make it unbreakable. We will make it bigger and bigger until it envelops our country.
But the one thing we will not do? We will not lay down our guard. We will not underestimate you. You have shown yourselves now. We know what we’re dealing with and we will be victorious.