Some of the rallying themes of late from President-elect, Donald Trump’s, supporters have been, “You lost, stop whining and get over it!” and “Trump is the President for all of America, so if you don’t like it, get out!” These have been coupled with demands to give him a chance and that not respecting the President is unpatriotic, at best.
Now, I don’t profess to speak for all Americans, but I can share from my perspective, as an African American, why it’s going to take more than a little time to just get over it and forget the unprecedented amount of disrespect President Obama and his family endured for eight years, some of which was undeniably attributed to nothing but the color of their skin.
Don’t remember what that was like? Let’s take a look below for a little trip down memory lane, shall we? Hard to look at these? If not, I guess that’s a whole other issue.
You see, it’s one thing to disagree with a President on policy issues. That’s to be expected in a multiple party system. But this is not that. This is downright derogatory, vitriolic bigotry on the sole basis of the President’s (and family’s) ethnicity. As a voting American citizen, I will certainly exercise my right to disagree with legislators’ policy stances and will even call them out when I see what constitutes character flaws (in my opinion), but what I would NEVER do, is berate, belittle and dehumanize another human on any aspect of their being, let alone their ethnicity. Some of the EXACT same people demanding respect for Trump are the EXACT same ones who spewed this kind of hate.
You may say, “Well, I didn’t say those things or generate those memes.” That may be true, but if you were not just as loud and disavowing of the level of personal (not policy disagreement) disrespect shown to President Obama, then you are nothing but hypocritical to now denounce criticisms of our new President-elect.
If a Harvard educated lawyer, who has ascended to the highest elected office in the country and arguably the most powerful position in the world, can still be reduced to a sub-human caricature, based solely on his ethnicity, the rest of us are in a world of hurt. If I’m wrong and any of these memes or pictures represent valid, educated policy disagreements, I’m open to enlightenment. Please enlighten me.
So, to be clear, the election results are in. Donald J. Trump is America’s President-elect. So, the next time you feel compelled to tell me to stop whining about election results, save your breath because you’re clearly missing the point (and I’m guessing that won’t be a first); I get it. Got it at 3:00 a.m. on November the 9th, as a matter of fact. If you feel the need to block, hide, unfriend, mute me or whatever other social media filtering methods you have at your disposal, then have at it. Because if you’re the type of friend, colleague or acquaintance who can’t understand why it’s not going to be easy for me, as an African American, to just ‘get over’ eight years of this kind of bigoted vitriol (reiterated and reignited during the Trump campaign), then who needs enemies?