Maybe You’re Not a Racist But You Sold Your Future to One.

Photo illustration by Beatrice Alcala.

Division. Man, I have hated that word since my second-grade teacher introduced that concept to us. I didn’t understand. Why are we trying to divide something? Why can’t we keep adding to the equation?

After the election of our new President Elect, Donald J. Trump, I find myself thinking about that same idea as I did in second grade. I see people who used to call each other brother and sister doing the same thing my second grade math problems did. I remember struggling to understanding that concept. Boy, do I understand it now.

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

— Donald Trump

American voters, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike, who voted for Donald Trump have come under fire in recent days for choosing to elect someone who openly disparages and paints minorities as criminals and terrorists. They say that just because they voted for someone who says these heinous things, doesn’t mean they believe those same things. They will tell you, “I voted for him because he wants to “Make America Great Again,” not because he is a rampant racist.

“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” — Donald Trump

And I believe you. Listening to Michael Jackson doesn’t make you a pedophile. Liking Mel Gibson movies doesn’t make you antisemitic. Being a fan of The Cosby Show doesn’t make you a rapist. It is unfair to classify all Trump voters as racists.

“Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.” — Donald Trump

The difference with the examples above is that these men didn’t use their hate to ascend to a position that allows them to continue their offenses, all the while opening a door behind them for all the hideous racists and rapists to come out and behave the way they do.

Trump did.

This is a candidate who came out with a bigger message of division than my second grade math teacher. “Let’s divide the Mexicans from the rest of this country and build a wall across the border.” “Lets divide the Muslims from our country and not let anymore of those potential terrorists come in.”

And then he wins the White House and calls for unity? No, you don’t get to call for unity when your entire campaign called for division.

“It is about terrorism and not about religion. It is about Muslims from countries that support terrorism.” — Donald Trump

And now your friends and family, the ones who will be affected by Trump’s ideals and policy, are un-friending you and cutting you out of their lives. You’re telling them that it’s fucked up and you’re not a racist. Just because you voted for Trump doesn’t mean you hate or fear minorities. You voted for Trump because he promised to improve your life.

“Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!” — Donald Trump

Well guess what? You should always be leery about potential promises made from seriously flawed people. Voting Trump into office is the political equivalent of dating someone you know is crazy as fuck, but letting it slide because you think they will change once you are together. Do you remember how that played out for you? Exactly.

“The United Kingdom is trying hard to disguise their massive Muslim problem. Everybody is wise to what is happening, very sad! Be honest.” — Donald Trump

So, now we are left with someone as our president who promised to improve your life, even though having a track record that shows he has actually done the opposite for people in your position, while vowing to destroy so many others.

You chose to improve your life, at the cost of your fellow Americans.

You chose a man who embraced a demographic that wants to bring America back to Jim Crow. You elected a man who is filling his staff with openly racist politicians, like Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state whose Immigration Reform Law Institute drafted Arizona’s most racist legislation, SB 1070, also known as the “Show me your papers” law. Or a vice president who compares gays to arsonists, worked to ban gay marriage, and endorses conversion therapy. Or a press secretary who told the Daily Beast in 2014, “I’m a Leninist. Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” You voted for a man who thinks my family members and I are “criminals and rapists” and don’t pull their weight by paying taxes.

I can tell you that none of my family members have been accused of rape and all have all paid their taxes. Guess who hasn’t paid taxes and recently had a pending rape case open…

And that is how we ended up here in our current predicament…

So, now we all must accept that a racist and sexual predator was rewarded with a presidency for his extreme views, which sent a message to racists that this behavior is not only okay, but it defines the meaning of Trump’s “Make America Great Again.” To these racists, it means to cleanse our country of minorities, non-Christians, Jews, and anyone else who isn’t white.

And how has Trump reacted to this uptick of hate and violence? A responsible person in his position would have loudly condemned this hate and violence. Trump, however, is not a responsible person. Here is a excerpt from his 60 Minutes’ interview:

Lesley Stahl: Do you want to say anything to those people?

Donald Trump: I would say don’t do it, that’s terrible, ’cause I’m gonna bring this country together.

Lesley Stahl: They’re harassing Latinos, Muslims —

Donald Trump: I am so saddened to hear that. And I say, “Stop it.” If it — if it helps. I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: Stop it.

So, here we are. Lines have been drawn in the sand by President-Elect Trump. And you better be damn sure that Americans who believe in equal rights for all people, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, and religion, are going to stand up against the tyranny that you may or may not have inadvertently unleashed on this country.

This isn’t about accepting a loss to a candidate from another party that we don’t agree with.

This is about refusing to allow our country to fall back into the dark ages at the hands of a demagogue who encourages a time when my girlfriend would be called a “chink,” or my best friend lynched for being a “nigger,” or my family members rounded up because of the color of their skin.

This is not my America.