Tag Archives: election

These are scary, scary times

10 Nov

Friends. As many of you already know, today I am embarking on a journey. Today I leave, my trunk full of clothing and books, my heart heavy, and head down to New Orleans for a short but important new chapter. A time when I can reflect on who I am and who I want to be in this world. I time when I can just sit back, far away from family and many of my friends, far away from where I have called home for my entire adult life, and start building. I want to start building a me that makes active choices and decisions for where I want my life to go and becomes a more vocal person within my community, where ever that community may be. This is more important now than ever.

I thought that I, along with one of my closest friends, would be driving South in a different America than the one we find ourselves in today. I thought we would be driving in the spirit of celebration and safety, not feeling as though we are in a high-speed train, breaks failing, hurtling into the darkness. Clearly we, along with millions of others, were out of touch with the degree to which people are hurting all over this country, to the degree that people feel ignored and left behind, to the degree so many disdain the cities and the people that live within them. And I get it. Shit is hard. And I am sure I am going to be seeing a lot of hard shit on this ride – a different kind of poverty and destitution than I see day after day in my beloved New York City. And that is unfair. I truly believe we all deserve opportunity, that we should all feel as though we matter. But more than anything else, I feel as though we should all feel safe and at home here in our America. In our beautiful, diverse, America. And so, in keeping with my post from yesterday, albeit with slightly less swearing, I have just a few things to say.

I am having so many feelings right now. I am angry, I am shocked, I am saddened, but more than anything I am afraid. I spoke on the phone with my father last night and he who lived through America during the Vietnam War, through the assassinations of JFK, RFK, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, through the on-air killing of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby, through the resignation of Richard Nixon, the impeachment of Bill Clinton, the horrors of the Cold War and September 11th and everything that has come before, in between and after, he told me that he has never felt so unsure or afraid for and about the future of our country. These are scary, scary times. Scarier than ever before. And I remember speaking to my mother in the days and weeks following the 2001 attack on our country, myself in tears and her with a strength she always manages to find, and having her assure me that there are always these moments, always these times, that give us uncertainty but that we must have resolve and move forward and know there is more good than evil out in the world. That although things will never be the same, we will adjust and we will learn and we will get better. When I spoke with her at 10pm on election night, as we were understanding the reality of where we stood, her voice cracked. These are scary, scary times.

And in the past few days since Donald Trump’s election, things have become clear: we are living in a moment where people are angry and this outcome has, for some though certainly not for all, legitimized their feelings of closed-mindedness and has emboldened them to behave in ways that openly threaten those around them. My friend Ashlie shared this story:

Tonight we were at a bar, celebrating Leon’s fantastic film screening. A man came up to our table behind my seated friend and proceeded to, without greeting or warning or any words at all, put his arms around her, hug her, and kiss her cheek. We all assumed it was an old friend, and she squirmed around to see who it was, and it was a complete stranger! I said, “Do you know him?” and she said “no! Not at all!!!” We all started telling him in no uncertain terms that he doesn’t get to do that, just touch and kiss anyone whenever he feels like it, and he responded, “but Trump just won the Presidential Race.”
I am not kidding, lying, or being even the slightest bit hyperbolic. That is what happened, and that is how he defended his actions. So, know that.

Reading through the comments on her post revealed to me that there were many women who had the same exact experiences. Men walking up to them and touching them, grabbing them, kissing them and saying that because now that we have a President Elect Trump it is within their rights to do so. And then, of course, there was the one man, the one white man, who called all these women liars. These are scary, scary times.

And my younger sister, a graduate of Wellesley University, shared with me a story recounted by Sydney Robertson:

Today, Wellesley women, like a lot of America, were in mourning.

Edward Tomasso and Parker Rander-Riccardi, two students at Babson College, decided to drive around our beautiful campus with a Trump flag in a pick up truck. They laughed, screamed and sped around campus. Then, they parked in front of the house for students of African decent, and jeered at them, screaming Trump and Make America Great Again. When one student asked them to leave, they spit in her direction.

This is not my America, this is Trump’s America filled with hatred and bigotry. This is what he has provoked. Please help us get these faces out there, they cannot get away with this.

And this is just the tip of the ice burg. There are women afraid to leave the house in the hijab; women making appointments at Planned Parenthoods to get IUDs before our access to birth control, and our rights to choose, are further threatened; one member of the North Carolina LGBTQ community woke up to find a note on his car that read “Can’t wait until your ‘marriage’ is overturned by a real president. Gay families = burn in hell. Trump 2016.” And this is just the beginning. This is just 36-hours in. These are scary, scary times.

And so I head south. Away from a New York that no longer feels safe and into the unknown. I’m sure I will be fine but still, the nervous butterflies in my stomach are a little more active than the were just 2 days ago. Things seem less certain, more foreboding, and just, I don’t know, more treacherous. We all need to be more careful because a dragon has been awoken and that dragon has found his and her voice within mainstream media and our government, on the streets of our cities and our towns, and things will be a lot less safe for all of us. Every single one. Because if there is a Trump supporter who is reading this blog, and if that Trump supporter happens to be a white female (as so many maddeningly were) or a person of color, let me just tell you this:

Your vote will not save you. You cannot wear your vote as a badge of honor or protection as you move through your life. You might feel as though you are one of them but you are not. You are not part of their America. You are not equal. You are not free. And you are not safe. And so, though I might be angry and though I might not be ready to try to love you and embrace you in order to move forward, I hope that this horror blows over soon for all of us. Although honestly I doubt it will. We have a long uphill battle. And though on November 8th and the days immediately after you never thought you would be walking alongside us, you will be. Your pussies are just as grabable, your ethnicity and patriotism just as questionable, your skin color just as threatening.

I know that not all Trump supporters are awful or full of hate or voted for anyone else but who they believed would be the best person for the job. But the loudest ones, the ones in the corners of the internet, the ones touching women and threatening people of color, they are full of hate. Those are the bad ones. And so for those who voted not from a place of hate but from a place of fear and hurt, a fear and hurt that so many of us have been experiencing, you know what? We will be here. We will be here waiting for you because no one, no one deserves to be treated as lesser than. And we are, truly, stronger together.

So I’ll be seeing you, New York. Stay safe out there everyone. No matter where, or who, you are.

Last Night was Fucked.

9 Nov

I was going to write a post about how the work starts tomorrow. About how I will cry today, as I have been on and off since 9pm last night when I first realized this wasn’t going the way it should, but that tomorrow we lift ourselves up and we continue on our never-ending slog forward. That tomorrow we grab ourselves by the pussies and we keep on keeping on as we always have and as we always will. I was going to try and write a post with some modicum of hope buried within the words, something about love and hope and whatever. I hear you guys. And I see you guys. I see you writing that we need to combat this with love and I get that and that’s really nice and inspiring and in so many ways I want to agree with that so hard. But do you know what I think right now? Do you know what I want to say to all the people who voted for Trump?

FUCK YOU.

Seriously. Fuck you. Did I say it loud enough? Do I need to say it again? Because I will. Fuck you. I will say it over and over and over again. Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you. And in fact I wish I had a word stronger than fuck that I could hurl at your because honestly? I have no love for you. None.

Over the past few months I, along with most of my friends, have been absolutely appalled by the language that has come from our soon-to-be-President. As a Jewish woman and a sexual assault survivor, I have never felt less safe. The person that I will soon have to call my president, the leader of my country, shares anti-semitic posts and photos and talks about his long history of sexual assault against women. His ex-wife accused him of marital rape. He rages about suing the women who are bringing legitimate claims of sexual assault and misconduct against him. He calls our inner cities war zones, completely disempowering and belittling the people who have made their homes there, raised their families there, for generations. He is a hero of the ultra-right. Do yourself a favor, open up an incognito tab and go poke around some of the darkest corners of Twitter and Reddit. Read what they are saying because those people make up a good portion of who we heard from last night and who we will continue to have to fight against for the years to come. We have empowered the most disgusting version of our country and we have put them in charge of the government. And for those Trump supporters who don’t think their hero is a racist and an ableist and a homophobe and an antisemite and a misogynist? Then they simply don’t know what racism, ableism, homophobia, antisemitism and misogyny are. It means they don’t know who they themselves are, they don’t understand the rhetoric that they will tolerate, the people they will disempower, the fear that they sow.

So you know what? Today I am not going to reach out with love. And I probably won’t do it tomorrow or the next day either. As I said, I have no love for any of those people. The people who looked at their own struggles, and I believe those struggles to be real, and turned and pointed the finger at everyone else. Because we are all struggling. That struggle is far reaching and all-encompassing and we should be working to overcome that struggle together but instead, instead, we are setting ourselves back decades in social and economic policy and don’t even get me started on the environment. They are pointing the finger at women who might lose the right to choose; at Muslims who now fear for their safety more than ever; at the Black community who have had to get through every single day under the weight of deeply institutionalized racism; at Latinos who fear deportation; at the LGBTQ community who won a hard-fought battle for marriage equality and who work, day after day, to get the same respect afforded their neighbors; at Asian people who, inexplicably, get left out of conversations time and again, as if they aren’t here and haven’t been for a very, very long time; at Jewish people. Oh, the Jews. The canary in the fucking mineshaft. When anti-semitism, always bubbling under the surface, comes out unchallenged and unquestioned into mainstream conversation we pretty much know we’re fucked. Anyone who hates always, for some reason, hates the Jews. They just don’t oftentimes have the guts to come right out and say it but we’re there now. We’re here. We’re here and in a matter of weeks Donald Trump is going to be our president.

I hope you’re happy. And fuck you if you are.

So to all my friends who are with me today, who are let down and crying and trying to see the silver lining, maybe there isn’t one. We lost the presidency, the house, the senate and I bet all of a sudden that Supreme Court seat is going to get filled. I bet all of a sudden government is going to start getting shit done. These next few years, especially the first two, are going to be horrible. And I am terrified. But we will persevere. We will get through. The same as we always do. And to my friends living in Trumpland, please stay safe. There are a lot of us who love you, who walk alongside you and who will, if given the chance, protect you. Because there are a lot scarier things to be right now than a Jewish woman.

Oh, and while I’m at it, just real quick, can I stay an extra special, extra loud, extra bombastic FUCK YOU to all the white women, educated and not, who voted for Trump. Great fucking job. I’ll be thinking about you, and I’ll be cursing you, when I, along with many of my friends, get an IUD before we lose our healthcare and potentially our right to choose. You have no idea what you have done but you will, soon enough. We all will.

Okay I am going to stop for the moment but this is not it from me. I am going to be writing a lot more in the coming years. But I will never forget this feeling, this day, and I will never be more disappointed in my home, this country that today I barely recognize, the United States of America.

Please, #bewithher

26 Jul

I remember January of 2008 I was sitting at a packed bar with my boyfriend at the time watching as Barack Obama, the first Black president, the new face of our country, took the oath of office. I sat on my knees on that bar stool so I could see over all the other people whose eyes were glued to that same screen, I covered my mouth with my hands and tears just streamed nonstop down my face for over an hour. I was just so proud. I thought back to my tears of anger and frustration when, four years before that, John Kerry gave his speech acknowledging that once again George W. Bush was to be our president. We had another four years of that man. But all of a sudden there we were in a moment of hope and change and I felt, for the first time in my adult life, as though I could travel abroad with pride. I felt as though we had someone representing our country who I could get behind, who I agreed with, and who was an in-the-flesh representation of just how far we had come. I didn’t even have words. It was one of the best nights of my life. Last night, watching the Democratic National Convention, I was again brought to tears when Barack Obama’s wife, the First Lady of the United States of America gave one of the most moving speeches I have ever had the privilege to listen to. It was everything.

And then this morning I looked at Nate Silver’s website and discovered that, as of that moment, he was calling the election for Trump.

Donald Trump.

And so here I am, begging you, to please, please vote for Hillary come November. I know some of you (especially my Shrieking Harpies) are already on this boat with me and have been for quite some time. We’ve been with her since the jump. And as time has gone on and the election cycle has played out we’ve been more and more with her. But I understand that many of you are not. I get that. I know that I would have been beyond crushed if my candidate lost the nomination for the Democratic Party but you had better believe that I would have done everything in my power between now and November to try and convince my fellow Hillary supporters to switch their vote to Bernie Sanders. I would have voted for him loudly and proudly. You know why? Because the alternative is too fucking scary and all too real.

Save your protest vote. A vote for Jill Stein is a vote lost. Do you remember Ralph Nader? There is good reason to believe that we ended up with Bush because of Ralph Nader. We all know that Jill Stein is not going to win this election, so why vote for her? Because you hate the two party system? Because, for whatever reason, you dislike Hillary Clinton and think she is not qualified for the job? She is arguably the most qualified presidential candidate ever but, whatever, that’s just details. And honestly, that is not even what I am on about right now. What I am on about is that fact that we need to do whatever we can to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office.

He is a racist.

He is a misogynist.

He is a cheat.

He has, since the beginning, run his campaign like a sick joke and the thing is that if he gets elected do you know who the joke is going to be on? Us. The joke will be on us. Every single one of us. Whether we supported Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton. Whether we wanted to write Michelle Obama’s name in on voting day or wished Michael Bloomberg had gone through with his bid for presidency. Whether we are registered Republicans who supported John Kasich or Jeb Bush or fucking Marco Rubio and cannot understand where and when and how the party went so fucking sideways. And the joke will also be on those who supported Trump. They have their reasons I am sure. They are not stupid. Many of them are angry. And they have reason to be angry. But Trump is not the answer. Trump cannot fix this. Trump, and people like Trump, are part of what got us here in the first place.

So please, please, get on board. If for no other reason than the fact that if Trump is elected, he gets to choose a Supreme Court Justice and we are stuck with those mother fuckers for way longer than 4 years. We all know, even those among us who were die-hard Bernie fans and are still in the “Bernie or Bust” mindset, that Hillary will put a progressive Justice on the Court. We have come so far, you guys, let’s not undo it all. Let’s protect a woman’s right to choose, the right for everyone to marry the person they love, universal access to health care. Those things are huge. HUGE. And they are not guaranteed. As a woman, the idea of a Trump presidency makes my uterus want to run and hide in the closet for the next four years.

So again I say save your protest vote. You want to fight? Fight at the local level. You want to protest? Continue what Bernie started. Fight for income equality. Speak out about access to housing and education. March with the Black Lives Matter movement. Donate money to Planned Parenthood. Do all of that stuff because that stuff makes a real difference. But also, vote for Hillary. Because if nothing else, a vote for Hillary is a vote against Trump. And I know a lot of you have said you would leave if Trump got elected, but people said that after Bush too and we’re all still here. You’ll still be here. You’ll be stuck with him. We will all, every single one of us on this entire planet, will feel the repercussions because the US has a lot of power. Who we elect as president has global impact. This is a big fucking deal.

I don’t even know why I am writing all of this. I am just so scared. Scared at where we’ve gotten, scared at what has been said and scared about the fact that the atmosphere of hate that Trump has managed to drudge up from the bottom of the dirtiest water in the entire word has empowered David Duke to run for the senate. He thinks he can win. And he might be able to. That is what is happening. That is what Trump has awakened. And if Trump is president, it will only get worse. And honestly, I don’t think any of us want to imagine that future. That future is too hateful and horrible. That future is a million steps backwards.

Last night, what those speeches told me, is that our country is already great. It’s been great. But let’s make it more great. Let’s be proud of our country again. Let’s watch those election results come in this November and cry with relief that our nightmare is over. It’s true that things are fucked up right now and of course, we can be so much better. We have a lot of work to do. Every single one of us. But friends? Trump is not the way forward. Trump is the devil with a horrible haircut and expensive suits. It’s Hillary or Lucifer. Please get with it.

And please, #bewithher. This is all too fucking real.