I guess you have some questions about why I unfriended you. I don’t owe you an explanation, but I do want you to think about why I don’t want you in my life anymore.
No, its not the guy you voted for.
I mean, I don’t agree with your choice, but I thought I could understand it. We don’t need to agree on everything; I learn from people presenting me with new ways of looking at things and being respectfully challenging to me.
When I was young, I believed that people had the capacity for great Love, and that they resorted to hate out of fear, and insecurity, and because they were hurting.
and that made sense. I believed that Love could save the world.
I get that you voted for an economic ideal that didn’t have anything to do with the racism, the bigotry, the negativity that resounded throughout the Trump campaign. I get that you wanted an ‘outsider’. I get that you disliked Hillary’s ‘insider status’, that you thought the email scandal actually held water, or that you were convinced that she was just as bad as Trump for how she supposedly treated Bill’s mistresses.
And that makes sense, though I disagree with you on these things, which is why I didn’t unfriend you during the campaign when you made your position clear .
When I was a young woman, my dad told me that I was too idealistic. He said, “the reason we’ll never have peace in the world is because there are bad people in the world who want what you have and you have to be able to defend yourself against them,”
And that made sense. But I thought Love could save the world.
You said you didn’t believe the rhetoric. You said you got behind your candidate because you believe he’s changed and that he was the godly candidate. The allegations were old, and people change, and your preacher said he was like the apostle Paul, called.
I find that hard to believe. That a man who says that the solution to our woes is to build a wall. The man who said that he doesn’t trust black people to count his money, and who has been sued twice by the justice department for refusing to rent properties to black families. The man who refused to disavow white supremacists during the campaign. The man who refers to minority groups as “the blacks”, “the muslims”, and “the gays.” As if we’re all interchangeable, that any one of us is representative of all of us, and as if that’s the only characteristic worth noting about us. I’m gay, yes, but I’m also a mom, an employee, a blogger, an artist, and a shower/car singer. In fact, my lesbianism is probably the least interesting thing about me. But when someone refers to me as one of “the gays”, they’re dismissing all the things about me that are unique.
“But,” you said, “that’s not why I support him.” And, even though I felt that your vote meant that you valued ideology over my well-being, I could respect that you genuinely believed that you were voting for the candidate you believed was either the best, or the least worst, in the running: more importantly, that you didn’t believe this would affect my well-being.
And that made sense. You aren’t someone who has ever displayed openly racist, misogynist, homophobic, or anti-muslim/antisemitism around me; you wouldn’t have been on my facebook page all this time if you had.
We aren’t close, you and I. You’re a family member I haven’t really seen in a long time. Or you’re someone from my hometown that I knew growing up. Or your kids played soccer with mine. Or you’re friends with someone I know and so we’d met a few times. We aren’t close. Still, I valued that we could teach each other something about the world, about each other, that we would grow from the exchange of ideas. I don’t need to agree with everything you say to value you.
I used to believe that people were basically insecure. That their choices in religion, ideology, and even simple preferences were threatened when other people didn’t make the same choices that they did. That made sense to me. I felt sorry for them, and thought that Love could fix that.
Then, last tuesday, the election happened, and everything I thought I knew about the world, about justice, and about the basic motivations behind people’s actions and values changed. Immediately there were incidents of violence all over the country, too numerous to list, aimed at persons of color, at gays and lesbians, at muslims, women, and hispanics. The backlash against us took me by surprise, and I realized that the world I thought I knew, the world where my neighbors wanted a safe space for my children and for their children, is not as I’ve understood it all my life.
I used to believe that given the choice between loving and hating, between doing something to help or something to harm, most people would choose doing the helpful, loving thing. The backlash from the skinhead-contingent of the USA shocked me.
Maybe it shouldn’t have shocked me; dad tried to tell me. But, to be fair, he was wrong, too.
Because it seems that people are not intrinsically good while being plagued by greed and insecurity. They’re not lashing out from a place of hurt and bitterness. I don’t need to defend myself from people who want what I have. It turns out that people, given a choice between right and wrong, will as often as not choose wrong. Just because they can. Because Love doesn’t fix everything. Maybe it doesn’t fix anything.
People aren’t hurting, they’re hurters. Not all people, I thought. Not you. But more people than I could have imagined in my darkest dreams. The world changed. MY WORLD changed. I needed time to figure out if Love makes any sense at all.
I didn’t unfriend you because you voted differently than I did. I didn’t unfriend you because you haven’t stood up to the skinhead-contingent within your political party. I didn’t unfriend you because I didn’t like what you said about the candidates, about the election.
I unfriended you because of what you said in the days following the election. You used words like “crybaby”, and “whiner”. You told me to ‘get over it’. I unfriended you because the world shifted under my feet, because I see vulnerable people being hurt and terrorized and when I pointed this truth out, you told me that you were already tired, after only a few days, of protests and fearful facebook posts like mine. You’re sick of us not responding to this election with the acceptance and grace that y’all never once showed Obama during his presidency. I unfriended you because by disparaging my right to express my feelings , by not respecting my need for some time to grieve for the view of humanity I once held, you finally clearly showed me the truth behind your lies about why you voted the way you did. You really don’t care about me-or any one not just like you– at all.
And that doesn’t make any sense. Because now I see that its even worse than I have ever realized. Because yes, even you.