"You are going to get people upset." my husband said to me after reading my last blog post.
He went on to name friends of ours who voted for Donald Trump. He gave rational reasons that they voted for him, he practically forced me to acknowledge that there are a lot of angry people in this country. He reminded me that some people, while not happy about it, felt he was the best option. I told him I already knew that, and that he didn't make me feel any better, or regret my words.
I explained to him that I was as gentle as I could be while still making my point. I told him that I simply wanted people who voted for him, to hold him accountable, and speak up when he is making choices that could harm the country. I told him that he should have read my first draft (now that was mean). I told him I pulled myself together and was (for the most part) speaking in love. I told him that I really wanted to encourage people to speak out against Trump's choice of Steve Bannon as his chief strategist. He said that maybe there is a better way to go about that. He told me that I am at my best when I speak from the heart. I told him that's what I was doing. He shook his handsome head in that 'I'm disappointed and I think you are wrong' way of his. I told him he was a jerk, and that he was mean and unsupportive. And for the 8th day in a row, I started to cry.
He muttered something that sounded like "You're insane."
I channeled our president-elect and pointed my finger in the air and said, "I am the least insane person you'll ever meet."
Then today, I had a fight on Facebook. With a stranger.
The long and short of it is this, a friend posted a pro-Bannon video. I nicely asked this friend to help me understand why I should not be worried about Bannon, because his ties to the alt-right, really and truly scare me. I wanted to hear something reassuring. So this other guy (not the friend I was addressing) comments, and lists all the reasons Hillary is evil, how America is better with Trump and how I needed to STOP BEING A VICTIM and that NOTHING HAS EVEN HAPPENED to me. He was internet yelling at me! I was calm. For real. I am completely deflated and have no desire to have a Trump vs. Clinton evilness debate. Trump won the election. I'm trying hard to move on (which is hard because I am really frightened about the future). I responded throughout the course of our conversation, that I was really hoping to hear from our mutual friend some words of wisdom, because I have grave concerns about Bannon being in the ear of the leader of the free world. Again, he kept blasting me. Hillary is evil. Huma Abedin is of grave concern (mocking me with my own words!). He let me know that the one thing he does not have grave concerns about is America now that Trump is going to be president.
I then basically said, "I'm really happy that you feel like America is on the right track. I don't share your optimism. I have two black teenage sons. I am worried what Trump's America is going to be like for them. I think you were callous saying that I am being a victim and that nothing has happened to me. You don't know me or my family."
And then that stranger surprised me. He told me that he was really sorry for his previous comments and that he hoped God would bless me and my family. And for the 9th day in a row, I cried.
I thought two things:
1. My husband may have been (somewhat) right about speaking from my heart.
2. Maybe this is how we heal. We disagree but we try hard to understand each other.
Encouraged, I logged back onto my computer to re-read our conversation. It was gone! All my replies were under his comment and that stranger deleted the whole darn thing. So maybe he is a jerk. Or maybe he just felt uncomfortable about our conversation being out there. Either way. I still felt a bit lifted by our conversation.
So allow me to begin again. From my heart. Hello, my name is Alison and I am really concerned about Steve Bannon. I have two sons that I love with my entire being. My sons are black and look more and more like men each day. This scares me because this country is often unfair and unkind to black men. I am worried about the rise in hate crimes since the election. My worry keeps me awake at night (and I am basically a world class sleeper). I want them to be safe. I don't want our president's chief strategist to be a guy that hate watch groups are worried about. I don't want anyone to feel so emboldened by the words of our president elect, or anyone he appoints, that they that feel it is okay shout racial slurs at them, or tell them to go back to Africa. Or something even worse. This is what is happening in our country and I know this isn't okay with you either. I am hoping that you will take a minute to call your representative to say that you are against this appointment. Thank you for caring about me and my family.
If I loved you before, I love you still. No election can change that. If you loved me before, I hope you love me still. It's a crazy world, and some scary stuff is happening, so I'd like us to stick together. Okay? (you can just google the number of your representative)