Wednesday, November 09, 2016

November 9, 2016

posted to Facebook this morning in response to the results of the US election yesterday.

Dear Canadians,
Okay people. Yes, be grateful you live in Canada, and have Tim’s coffee and poutine or whatever. But remember that we are not immune to what happened to our neighbours last night! We are always a few years behind the trends in the US, and I for one don’t want the Canadian version of Trump ruling our election cycle at all ever thank you very much.

For those of you who don’t believe that it could happen here, please look to what is happening in Alberta right now. Two very smart, and qualified women were just grossly bullied out of the PC leadership race, people are calling our Premier a “c**t” and threatening her life, racists attacking cyclists, and citizens brandishing confederate flags at an anti-carbon tax rally. And in terms of our federal politics, we need look no further than Kellie Leitch and her “values test”. The US rewarded a racist, misogynist, bully with no political experience, with their highest elected office, and racist, misogynist, bullies everywhere are cheering. We can point fingers and wring our hands all we want, but the truth is, it could happen here.

Now, my privilege allows me a little bit of a step back here, but there will be people who are immensely effected by this who can’t just “ignore the bad stuff” and have the strength to abide the things they can’t change. My privilege also affords me a little more wiggle room in how I can respond to this. This is not a time to just complain and be complacent. We must take action.

Start by donating whatever you can to organizations in your community who fight for things you believe it. Whether they be political organizations, grassroots, community assistance programs, or whatever! Not only do our most vulnerable people need charity during these tough times, there are organizations in a position to oppose the hateful, divisive politics and ideas that people like Trump espouse. And if you can afford to help them out, please do so in whatever way you feel most comfortable. We vote with a ballot as much as we vote with our dollars and with our voice. Please ensure that those organizations that best represent your values get your support, in order to continue doing their good work.

Call out racist and sexist and other–ist shit when you see it! Do you have a racist uncle-cousin-high school friend, telling rape jokes, and cheering for the bully? Don’t let them get away with that shit! If you feel safe doing so, call them out. Ask them why they think it’s funny, ask them why they support those positions. Our silence emboldens them, and makes them think that everyone feels the same way they do. Well, I for one don’t and I am not afraid to say so. If you don’t feel safe confronting them (in person or online), please don’t endanger your safety…you don’t owe anyone that.

And finally BE KIND TO PEOPLE! Don’t call someone an idiot just because they voted a different way from you. This election was about fear. Fear for jobs and the economy, fear about the war happening in Syria. People voted the way they did because they thought it would help them, and they don’t deserve your condescension because that looks a different way than what you wanted. We need to work together if we are going to make it out of this alive, but please keep in mind my point above. Remember that some people voted the way they did because they hate women and couldn’t stand to see one in the White House. And remember that some people voted the way they did because they hate black people, and want to take the country back to a time when POC and women weren’t allowed to vote, had no rights, and were treated like property.

When a man like Trump sees the success he has, it emboldens the darkest corners of his supporters. And they have come out swinging, literally, at POC, at women, at gay & trans people. At anyone who doesn’t look like them (straight white American males you’re probably still doing okay!), and anyone who doesn’t agree with their hateful message. Be kind to minorities, to immigrants, to people of colour, and to LGBTQ+ in your lives and in your communities. They are going to feel the brunt of this decision, and things are going to get a lot worse for them real quick. They need allies, and support, and love right now.

If this election cycle has taught me anything, it is that there are elected officials out there who are still full of love and hope for their country and for their citizens. And I intend to do everything in my power to make sure those people hear my voice and have my support up here. We’ve got our work cut out for us. Love Trumps Hate. 

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