Tag Archives: hatred

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?


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.

We Do Not Deserve Trump

1 Nov

So first and foremost I want you all to know that I am incredibly, incredibly stressed about this campaign. My stomach has been acting up in ways it hasn’t acted up since college and every mention of the possibility of a Hillary loss sends my heart dropping through my feet with such speed and intensity that it blows a hole through the ground beneath me and just keeps falling on and on forever. I have been #withher since the early days and proudly so. And no, this is not because she is a woman although that certainly helps. It is true that I have asked my close girlfriends repeatedly where we all want to be watching when the first woman is elected President of the United States of America. The significance, you see, is not lost on me. But the significance of the Rise of the Matriarchy, as we have begun to call it, is also not what made me support Hillary from the jump, even over the perceived Messiah Bernie Sanders. I have simply just believed that she is the best person, not the best woman, but the best person for the job. That does not mean, however, that I think she is perfect. None of us are. She has made her fair share of mistakes. So have I. But 30 years of public service shows me that she has the work ethic and the desire to do the job to the best of her ability and I honestly believe that her ability is of a higher quality than anyone else’s at the current moment. I cannot wait to vote for her next week. I’ll probably cry. And I cannot wait to sit somewhere, with my friends, and watch as she wins the election. I will definitely bawl. And the next day I will celebrate, and maybe the day after that. But then the work will begin anew because for me, the election of Hillary is not the ends. It is just one step in a long, long process that will never end but will hopefully, bit by painful and hard-earned bit, bring us to a better place than we are today. A better place for everyone. And so, with that out there, I have something to say.

We do not deserve a President Trump.

Did you all read that? Did you all understand? Because time and time again on my timeline and on the timeline of my friends, as well as in newspaper columns and magazines, I have read as people have said that maybe we should get a President Trump because we deserve him. And time and time again I have looked up the person who uttered those words and that person has been white. Oftentimes male, sometimes female, but basically always white. And here’s the thing. Among all people, straight, white cis males will be least affected, although by no means unaffected, by a Trump Presidency. The rest of us though? We will be massively impacted to varying degrees. A Trump Presidency more or less means a Pence Presidency and Pence is a scary dude. And Trump, for his part, has traded almost exclusively in hatred, bigotry and lies. This is a less safe country than it was at the beginning of this campaign season and I don’t think the unease and violence will end with the election of a President Hillary Clinton. What Trump has done throughout this campaign has been to empower the people who we least want empowered. He has made David Duke national news again. He has tapped into white supremacist groups that regularly use racist, bigoted, misogynist and anti-semitic language. He has made them believe that their language, their hate, is welcome in mainstream politics; he has released them all from under the rocks and from deep within the caves where they have long been hiding. And what’s really scary is that as the language seeps out from the depths of the internet where it’s been alive and well, albeit somewhat cordoned off, from the majority of users, what we become accustomed to begins to change. My fear is that a Trump Presidency will mean that that vitriol will leak drip, by drip out into the mainstream so that what we will just shrug our shoulders and walk away from shaking our heads are the things that get us red-faced and angry today. I’m afraid we will become  increasingly numb to the ugliness among us. And that petrifies me.

So I guess what I am saying is that I wish people wouldn’t be so irresponsibly glib. We should all think about what we’re saying. We deserve a President Trump as much as Germany deserved Hitler; as much as Columbia deserved Pinochet; as much as England deserved Thatcher; as much as Syria deserves Assad; as much as The Philippines deserve Duterte. Which is to say not at all. What we deserve is to be a better country for everyone than we are today and a President Trump would be better for no one, not a soul, not even Donald Trump himself.

So get out there, friends. Vote. Volunteer. Donate. I know a lot of you don’t like Hillary Clinton and I understand that, that’s okay. We all have our own opinions. But one thing that I can say for certain is that no person will ever be perfect, no person will ever be the ideal President for every single person. But this is not an election between the lesser of two evils. This is an election between an existentially dangerous showman and a highly qualified person. We don’t deserve a President Trump. We deserve the best that we can get and as far as I’m concerned, that’s Hillary Clinton. And if you don’t do it for yourself, if you don’t vote for you, vote on behalf of all the people who are being kept from the polls through questionable practices and intimidation; vote on behalf of the women who want control over their reproductive health; vote on behalf of the people of color living in inner cities who have heard their communities blasted as hell holes throughout this entire election; vote on behalf of the millions of people throughout the world who still see America as a beacon of freedom, safety and possibility. Vote on behalf of them. Because a President Trump doesn’t just fuck us, he fucks the world. And the world doesn’t have a say in our elections but we certainly do. So let’s do the right thing here.

Let’s bring Trump down and send those of his supporters who traffic in bigotry and hatred down with him. We have room for a lot of people here in the United States of America, but we don’t have room for that.

That Time I Looked like Groucho Marx.

15 Jan

When I was in grade school I got this assignment to write an essay about a word.  Just one single word that each of us were able to pick.  I picked the word “hate.”  I picked the word hate because I used it all the time in all sorts of different occasions.  To describe my feelings about steak and asparagus, about this kid in my class who told me I had a mustache (thanks for years of insecurity, asshole), about the three weeks in school when we had to line dance in gym class.  My grandma, Bama to us, always said to me, “Bekahboo, hate is a very strong word.  Just say that you dislike line dancing in gym class very strongly.”  I tried it.  It lacked a certain, how you say, panache.*  So being a stubborn jerk sort of since birth, I decided I would write about hate and prove Bama wrong.

In the process of writing the paper, I realized that Bama was right.  Damnit.  In order to hate someone, like really actually hate them, you have to dehumanize them.  It’s what I always come back to whenever I read about the horrible things people do to other people.  In order to treat someone terribly and feel no remorse, you have to hate them.  You have to think of them as somehow less valuable, less human.  It is an emotion I never want to really, truly feel.  I never want to get to a point in my life where I dislike someone so intensely that I am able to cause them extreme pain, be it physical or emotional.  I don’t ever want my heart to go there.  But I think that for me, coming to an understanding about the word hate has been helpful, especially considering that I got both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in international affairs.  I spent a lot of my time, and still do actually, reading about how people are shitheads.  The only way for me to grapple with some of the truly awful things people are capable of was to put it in the context of that long ago written paper.  It doesn’t make my stomach not turn, or make me not want to throw my computer against the wall, but it offers up a starting point and I guess that is something.

So the whole point of this was not to give you a rundown of my fifth grade assignment (or whenever it was), although to be fair I would love to read that paper now.  (Hey, mom, do you think it is in one of those cardboard boxes of things from my yoot?)  Maybe if I find it I will even type it out on my blog somewhere for all of our amusement.  I will even leave in all spelling errors and grammar issues.  I think it could be fun.  I really hope that somewhere in the paper I talk about the kid who told me I had a mustache.  I am actually still mad at him about that despite the fact that I haven’t seen him since my high school graduation, lo these many years ago.  I hold a grudge.  Learned that from Bama, also.  Kids can be really mean, you know?  The mustache thing is actually a funny story.  So there I was, with a ridiculously thick head full of hair (as I still have today), and no idea that I looked like a young, female Groucho Marx.  And this jerk came up to me and was all

“Rebekah has a mustache, Rebekah has a mustache!”

And so I said,

“Whatever, idiot, only boys have mustaches!”

And I ran to the bathroom and looked in the mirror and *gasp!* there is was!  I spent the rest of the day walking around the school trying in vain to cover my face from my mouth to my nose.  Obviously, I looked foolish.  I didn’t want to talk to my mom about it because she had red hair and clearly knew nothing from mustaches so I went to the source:  the Frank side of the family.  We all have dark hair and, I would venture to guess, we all have a little ‘stache going on.  Except maybe for my sister.  I feel like my sister does not have a mustache.  Anyway, so I went and I talked to Bama and my Aunt Mindy about it and they told me to bleach it.  Of course, they didn’t realize how explicit they had to be, or how good I have always been at pretending like I know what someone is talking about, because I thought that I had to take Clorox to my face and that sounded like a terrible idea. I wasn’t a stupid kid.  There was no way in hell I was putting that shit anywhere near my mouth.  So instead I suffered through another few years of looking like Groucho until at the pharmacy I discovered Sally Hansen bleach.  So that’s what they meant. I bought some and for the next few years instead of having a dark mustache, I had one that was blondeish-orangeish that really showed up in the sun.  So, that was pretty fun.

Anyway, I wax it myself now.  Sometimes.  At this point in my life I don’t really give a shit about it.  It’s hair.  It isn’t going to like, jump off my face and gouge someone’s eye out or anything (although that would be an amazing super-hero power).  And actually, I don’t think it’s even all that bad.  There is this old lady on my street with a SERIOUS mustache and I gotta tell ya, I think she is sort of amazing for just not giving a shit.  I like to imagine that if I was as great as her when I was in grade school I’d look at that kid and be all,

“Yea, well you don’t have a mustache.  Prepubescent wuss.”

And then I would secretly have a complex but at least he would have one also.  Until he went through puberty and started growing facial hair and then found me in the hallway and rubbed his creepy little boy mustache in my face.  Not literally, of course.  I guess by that point I would have already discovered the bleach, AKA facial hair highlighter.  And I’m sure he would have found something else to pick on me about.  I feel like he used to pick on me a lot. Not often, but he would just kind of materialize out of nowhere and say something mean that would stick with me and then he would disappear again. Like the time it was hot in school and I was wearing a long-sleeved grey shirt and I had some sweat in my armpits and he came over and was like “you have sweaty arm pits!”   And I was like “so?” because that was all I could think of and then he laughed in my face and then for years I was afraid of wearing long-sleeved shirts.  Whatever, my body is very efficient at cooling itself.  Fuck you.

Well, this blog post went in a surprising direction.  I’m not actually sure how to tie this whole thing together because not only do I not hate the guy who used to poke fun at me growing up, I don’t really even dislike him very strongly.  I’m just a little mad at him.  He was just an asshole kid who, odds are, grew up to be a very nice adult.  I wonder if the internet knows.  Rabbit hole, here I come.

*Did you know that in Canada they use the word panache to describe antlers?  Or as a synonym for antlers?  Or something?  I love writing.  Always learn such interesting and largely useless things about words.  Oftentimes that you have been using them wrong.  Kind of like my use of panache.