When I arrived at the office the morning after, one of my co-workers said promptly and cheerfully to me, “I saw you on TV last night.”
I was still relatively new to the office, and not yet at a place where I was privy to inside jokes or enough history to make anything more than polite conversation. So I replied, “Oh yeah?”
“Yeah, down at the protest at Trump Tower,” he laughed. “Did you have fun?”
I had not been at the protest surrounding our very own Trump tower, though I had seen the protesters on many of my social media outlets. I’d spent the entirety of the previous night sifting through the news – articles about the woman vote and Trump’s agenda for his first 100 days and tweets about violence directed at non-cis white individuals. And yes, I’d watched footage from the protests too, and been too tired to filter my mixed emotions.
“I got a lot of good pictures,” I played along.
It wasn’t until later, when he made another joke about emails and meticulous record keeping that I realized – he hadn’t been good-naturedly poking at me for being in utter shock on 11/9. He hadn’t been trying to establish a light-hearted dialogue about freedom of speech and protest and the complete 180 our nation is about to be doing. He was mocking me.
I listened as they called my President a Muslim.
I listened as they called him and his family a pack of monkeys.
I listened as they said he wasn’t born here.
I watched as they blocked every single path to progress that they could.
I saw the pictures of him as Hitler.
I watched them shut down the government and hurt the entire nation twice.
I watched them turn their backs on every opportunity to open worthwhile dialogue.
I watched them say that they would not even listen to any choice for Supreme Court no matter who the nominee was.
I listened as they openly said that they will oppose him at every turn.
I watched as they did just that.
I paid attention.
Now, I’m being called on to be tolerant.
To move forward.
To denounce protesters.
To “Get over it.”
To accept this…
I will not.
I will do my part to make sure this great American mistake becomes the embarrassing footnote of our history that it deserves to be.
I will do this as quickly as possible every chance I get.
I will do my part to limit the damage that this man can do to my country.
I will watch his every move and point out every single mistake and misdeed in a loud and proud voice.
I will let you know in a loud voice every time this man backs away from a promise he made to them.
Them. The people who voted for him.
The ones who sold their souls and prayed for him to win.
I will do this so that they never forget.
And they will hear me.
They will see it in my eyes when I look at them.
They will hear it in my voice when I talk to them.
They will know that I know who they are.
They will know that I know what they are.
Do not call for my tolerance. I’ve tolerated all I can.
Now it’s their turn to tolerate ridicule.
Be aware, make no mistake about it, every single thing that goes wrong in our country from this day
forward is now Trump’s fault just as much as they thought it was Obama’s.
I find it unreasonable for them to expect from me what they were entirely unwilling to give.