trumpsupporters

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Please  the  and  in your  and  to post this on their  to take a  against the  of our . #onecountry

#accountability #maga #trumptrain #racialjustice


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In post-apartheid South Africa, Truth and Reconciliation Commissions were established in order to bear witness to the atrocities of the era, to give voice to the victims of discrimination and violence, and ultimately to reconcile and move forward as a nation.  Similar processes have been used successfully in post-conflict situations.  The United States never had its Truth Reconciliation Commission, despite 250 years of enslavement of African peoples, despite genocide and confiscation of land of Native Americans, despite the discrimination and vigilante terrorism of lynchings in Jim Crow South, despite ongoing institutional racism.  Perhaps now is the time for such a process.

Indeed, in the not so distant future, the Trump Era will be over.  Whether an impeachment, resignation, indictment, the deploying of the 25th Amendment, or simply being rejected at the ballot box, the Trump Era will come to an end.  Perhaps the support of Trump is a the final straw of needing to come to terms with a sizable group of white folks who thrive on bigotry and disdain for their fellow citizens who don't look or talk like them.  Trump has lifted whatever veil some of America had that progress was perpetual and inevitable.  There are many in America who are way too at ease with xenophobia, racism, and misogyny.  Indeed way too many folks do more than turn a blind eye, but hold such beliefs and act on them in their lives.  A truth and reconciliation process would bring those sentiments out and suggest different paths moving forward.  It would make clear that moving forward, this country will not tolerate bigotry and will take affirmative steps to end institutional racism.  We would put racists and their apologists on the spot, demanding a change in behavior, and an apology for judging others by their skin color or ethnic heritage.    

Maybe it is time to finally come to terms with a brand of Christianity that allows for bigotry.  The same brand of Christianity that supported slavery and Jim Crow, now finds itself as an apologist for the behavior Donald Trump, the very same behavior that they have castigated politicians on the other side of the aisle and denounced from their pulpits since for generations.  This blatant hypocrisy is turning younger people and people with any decency away from those churches.  It took until the 1990s for the Southern Baptists to apologize for Jim Crow and it will be high time for the conservative Evangelicals to apologize for their support of such an amoral, indecent human being who is contray to every teaching that Jesus provided as to how to conduct oneself in the world.  

And maybe it is finally come time for the GOP and Trump supporters to apologize for allowing no progress on what the majority of Americans want to see to make all of our lives better, including those who stand in opposition:

  • Raise the minimum wage and put policies in place to reduce grotesque economic inequality.
  • Act on climate change.
  • Provide universal health care.
  • Put sensible gun control measures in place

All of these have the majority of Americans support and Republicans block based on an ideology that cares little for others, rather promotes greed as the primary value in which to base public policy.

I'm not fully sure how a Truth and Reconciliation Process would work, but I know that when the Trump Era comes to a close, he will leave in a more disgraced state than he has already done to himself and to the nation.  Anyone who touches him heaps this disgrace upon themselves.  As indictment after guilty plea deal in the Mueller investigation become known, it is clear that Trump is in the crosshairs beyond his usual amorality but was likely breaking the law like so many of the associates around him.  The writing is on the wall, and now is the time to turn away from Trump the pathological liar, Trump the sexual assaulter, Trump the greedy, Trump the racist, Trump the xenophobe. 

Time for a better path.  Time to jump off the Trump wagon.  Time to realize you made a mistake.  Time to apologize to the rest of us.  Time to atone so it doesn't happen again.  

We accept your apology.  Let's work together prioritizing goodness over greatness to form a more perfect union reconciled finally from these division through eliminating the oppression that is division's root cause.  

  change

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Stephen Rockwell  shared his view on . While is important, don’t bang your head against walls of and . Extricate yourself from with those who to engage .

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This is the second in a three-part series on Trump and his supporters.

When evangelical Christians decided that they would back Donald Trump for President a number of commentators rightfully pointed out that the cynical hypocrisy of such an endorsement. The Religious Right stood for a certain type of morality that focused on personal behavior.  Trump has a lifetime of behavior that is completely antithetical to the brand that evangelical Christians have built for 4 decades.  Indeed, Trump does not live up to the any interpretation of the teachings of Jesus, whether you are a conservative, centrist or progressive Christian.  Evangelicals made a choice to associate with someone who clearly has spent a life away from the church focusing on satiating his greed and an ego that he is never quite able to fill.  Through cheating on wives, divorces and clear utterances of misogyny and disrespect of women, he exemplified everything Evangelicals have decried in public life.  Refusing to walk away from someone who says he just walks up to women and "grabs them in the pussy" is evidence that evangelicals were willing to walk away from the values, for...well for what exactly?  I assume their support was predicated on the promise of more conservative judges who will restrict abortion rights.  Losing your soul to potentially make progress on a public policy is a most cynical political decision that seems so out of character with the moralizing that we've heard from the evangelical community. 

I guess the "grab them by the pussy" comment answered the question that what would Trump have to do lose the support of his core voters like evangelicals.   Maybe he was right. During the campaign, Trump said he could should someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and not lose his supporters.  I'm sure Fox News would find a way to let us know that Trump was simply standing his ground against his unsuspecting victim.  They've done it before (Trayvon Martin). 

The last few days provided more evidence.  He introduced "shithole" into our lexicon in describing Haiti and African countries in a way that those folks felt was really racist.  So did the rest of us.   Most evangelicals and Trump supporters writ large did not condemn the racism or the cursing. I know evangelicals generally shy away from such language. Some commentators and friends decry the use of "shithole" on TV rather than denouncing the racism which is misplaced.  Most of us care about the racism and not so much about the cursing.  But even with the cursing, the media is blamed as opposed to the man in the Oval Office who used the term.  

There was also news the following day that Trump's lawyer paid $130,000 in hush money to a porn star (Anyone else look her up? Your kids probably did Trump supporters).   Paying off a porn star during a campaign would have ended most political careers and certainly would have drawn forceful denunciations from religious right types.  For Donald Trump and his supporters now, it is just Friday.  

To Trump Supporters I would say this:

Many, if not most of you, are decent hardworking people.  I understand that you may live in an environment where Fox News and other media, folks at church and in your community, affirm the choice you made to vote for Trump and supporting him now.  I must say, though, defending this man now may actually be an exercise that corrodes your decency and our collective sense as a nation about what kind of behavior and sentiments we will accept from our leaders and that which will we   This is not about the election, though Trump frequently talks about the election.  Many of you proudly cast your vote for him. Are you proud now of that vote given his Presidency is really the question. And given that you voted for him do you hold him accountable for his racism and misogyny?  If so, how?  Are your concerned about the women who have come forward and those that apparently have been paid off. 

Some of you may want to challenge the sentiment that the President is racist.  That's a difficult position for me to accept. Some inquiries for you to consider: 

  • Do you think saying there are good people amongst neo-Nazis racist and anti-semitic? Which among the chanters saying "Jews will not replace us" are good people?
  • Do you think saying all Haitian immigrants have AIDS is racist?
  • Do you think saying an American born judge of Mexican heritage could not be fair in a case because of that heritage is racist?
  • Do you think having an almost all white workforce in the White House, cabinet and amongst the GOP congress racist?
  • Do you think calling Haiti and countries in Africa shitholes while saying you want immigrants from Norway racist? The African Union demanded a retraction and an apology.
  • Finally, as a white person who isn't subject to racism, do you think you are the best judge of what is racist and what isn't?

On that last point, I try not to be a judge on what's racist. I listen to the folks most affected by racism and let that be an important guide to my view. The African Union issued an unprecedented joint statement. They felt the recent statement was racist. The Haitians felt the same way. The Norwegians felt similarly. African Americans in Congress denounced the statements as racist. Many Republicans did as well. The broad judgement of much of the world is that Trump has indeed made multiple racist statements. It is perhaps you who is either naive or willfully choosing not to listen to voices of those most affected an truly at this point almost the entire country and world who believe Trump is a racist based on his racist statements. My question to you again is how do you hold Trump accountable? Perhaps first though, you should be holding yourself accountable to listening and learning from folks who don't look like you, who find themselves the victims of racism.

If you have confined yourself to a certain range of content/media because you we hear the talking points that these outlets use to defend terrible behavior from the President...something about criticism coming from those "whom don't want America to succeed."

Many of you want us to look past his words and tweets but rather judge him by his actions. Do you judge all leaders in that way? Why do you tolerate behavior in from the nation's leader that you would not tolerate from your children or from anyone in your community? In my view, part of leadership is how they use their voice, but are you suggesting that we ignore the racism and pettiness that comes from the President on a daily basis? If you want me to judge him solely on his policy, what policy accomplishments can you point?  Unfortunately, there's a lot of policies that Trump pursues that are likewise racist in nature.  

In this most recent incident, if every nation in the African Union is offended by Trump's comments, should he apologize and retract? What would you tell your child who called his or her friends' homes shitholes? On some level it comes down to basic human decency doesn't it?  Don't lose your soul and your own decency by defending Trump's lack of morality or decency or his dehumanizing of others.  You voted for him, but don't lower the bar,  Hold him accountable to living into our American ideals, basic human decency, and the moral values that every religion lifts up.   

Most of you are a lot better people than Trump.  Show it.   

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This is the first of a three-part series on Trump and his supporters. 

When Trump won the election over a year ago, I pledged to engage white Trump voters with whom I disagree to better understand their position.  My personal pledge reflected a consensus media narrative that white folks left behind from the economic disruptions of a globalized economy had taken their anger out on the system through an imperfect candidate, but a person who channeled and spoke to their frustrations.  Such a broad brush of Trump voters never really painted the full picture.  Yes, there were plenty of folks who voted from an economically aggrieved position AND there were significant elements of racism and xenophobia evident at Trump rallies and amongst some subset of his supporters.  Indeed, in my own family there is a real spectrum of Trump voters ranging from:

  • Folks who couldn't bring themselves to vote for either candidate - Plenty of typical Republicans/conservatives were so disgusted with Trump's behavior that they could not bring themselves to vote for Trump.  Likewise, they could not bring themselves to vote for Hillary Clinton (the reasons for which we can address another time). On election night, Michael Moore noted that there were 90,000 votes in Michigan where folks refused to vote at the top of the ticket and yet voted in the down ballot races.  That switched reliably blue Michigan to a gain for Trump.  
  • Folks who are genuinely feeling economic pain who felt left behind - White working class folks have a real economic ax to grind that has been left largely unaddressed by Democratic policy makers (though in fairness moving on such policies have often been blocked by the GOP).  During the Bush Tax debate in late 2012, I suggested that President Obama do a bus tour from Pennsylvania through the Upper Midwest to make the economic case as to why we needed higher taxes for rich people and to make the case for how progressive policy is helping people in their daily lives.  Democrats would be well served to follow the example of Bernie Sanders by adopting a truly progressive economic agenda keep going to communities from West Virginia and other less urbanized areas of the country to make the case consistently and with passion.  
  • Upper middle class and wealthy folks voting for their economic self-interest - Largely missing in the media conversation about Trump voters, there are a lot of upper middle class and wealthy folks whose investment in the GOP and thereby Trump continues to pay off in tax cuts to income and inheritances.  While they're votes aligned with the previous group, their economic interests are not.  Right wing media does its best to align these two groups through use of racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, and anti-poor rhetoric combined with a the GOP economic promise of lower taxes.
  • Outright racists - No one in my family is a KKK member (at least that I know) but you can see from their social media posts and from the conversations we've had that they are clearly racist.  Some have used the n-word and anti-semitic language in different family functions over the years.  They like Trump largely because he gives license to their racism and addresses their fears about a diversifying American population.  And or course, actual members of the KKK and Neo-Nazi groups have adopted Trump as their standard bearer and he has given the love back assuring the rest of the country that they have good people amongst their ranks. 

Even as I've divided these audiences, it is important to note that there is a good degree of overlap between these groups.  A Trump voter can have legitimate economic grievances and at the same time hold internalized or overt racial hostilities and both sentiments affirm a vote for Trump given what he represents.

In the last year, I struggled with this pledge of engagement.  With each succeeding episode of blather coming from Trump's lips or his thumbs on twitter, it has become increasingly difficult to engage folks who defend such vile, egomaniacal, and racist utterances.  There are of course folks who know better, but because of political expediency or lack of courage, refuse to condemn racist statements from the President.  

Nonetheless, I believe that such engagement is important, especially for white folks such as myself that have Trump supporters in your networks.  We must always challenge racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, xenophobia and other forms of oppression where we see, even within our families and communities.  For whatever frustration and disconcert it brings to our lives, it often pales to what the victims of oppression must contend.  My white male privilege demands my engagement to address of those who perpetuate and defend systems of racism and oppression.  

That being said, I'm not suggesting you bang your head against the walls of ignorance or vehement racism.  I understand the frustration. Ultimately, you have to extricate yourself from conversations with folks who refuse to engage responsibly without insults and move on to the next challenge.  I leave those conversations with some fairly simple advice to them:

1. Spend a lot more time speaking with folks who don't look and think like you, and;

2. Read and consume content from a wider range of views.

From within the right wing media vortex, it is tough to hear different viewpoints and even to get basic facts on the table (see climate change as the debate only exists amongst the right wing of US, while the rest of the world has accepted the basic science and facts on the matter).  If folks' self-identity or their frame of reference is so caught up in the years of right wing propaganda, talking right now might not help.  In those cases, you can only offer the opportunity for learning and engagement.  

If some segment of Trump voters spends the time listening to folks who are the subject to oppression and learning some of the basic facts of policy that it will change their minds and perhaps more importantly their hearts.  Not many will open themselves to such learning because it requires the humility, not a strong suite of Trump and many of his supporters. There will be some, eventually.  We are planting seeds and playing a long game.  

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They are not coming for your . They are coming for your internet. may not understand this message tip of hat to on fb.

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