So You Want to Wear a Safety Pin

It’s not enough just to be an ally – be an active ally, and arm yourself with ways you will choose, every day, to defend those who are being victimized.

What a Witch


Great. This is a necessary behavior in the face of the election of the most overtly racist, sexist, xenophobic, anti- gender and sexual minority candidate in the history of the modern United States. You know the rhetoric of his campaign was wrong. It was the very worst thing about America and you want to do what you can to combat the result. Good. Do that.

But don’t do it without a plan. Because the very last thing a tense situation needs is someone full of good intentions but with no knowledge of de-escalation tactics or self-defense. Your intentions are not a tangible shield. If you don’t make a plan, you will get yourself or the person you are trying to defend very killed.

Let’s avoid that.

So make a plan.

Some of you can stop reading now. You have, or know how to make a plan and you don’t need…

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I am traumatized. As I sit here listening to the NPR newstream, waiting for Hillary to address her supporters following the dismal 2016 election news, I am and have been literally speechless (in person, in speech; not in writing). Though in writing a bit, too. I really don’t know what to say. I never believed that Trump would win. Even saying those words makes me cringe. I knew there were horrible people in America, but I thought love would trump hate. I thought kindness and goodness would win. I thought it must. Instead, we face a nation with uncertainty. No one knows what Trump will really do as President. He didn’t give many if any clues during the campaign, and he is a pathological liar. Even when video evidence directly contradicts him, he has now proven that if he says something loud enough and nasty enough, people will choose to willfully believe him over actual evidence. Now that I think about it, it’s probably why we also have people who choose to ignore science and believe in the bible. I mean, I guess that’s how this happens. But how does THAT happen? How do we raise so many people who cannot think critically, who either are incapable or unwilling to believe in what can actually be proven?

Oh god. The Supreme Court. That’s that NPR is talking about right now; a potentially 30+ year conservative-majority Supreme Court. I was hoping Ginsberg could finally retire. With the Senate, House and White House red, and with the Supreme Court turning that way – what will happen to our country? Will hatred and bigotry reign? Will some Republicans sense a rising tide of equality, or will they feel a secret relief that straight, white men can once again rule comfortably and securely?

I’ll be honest. On the train this morning, I wanted to hug the Black woman sitting across from me. I wanted to say that I’m so sorry. I wondered: does this victory make some men feel more secure in treating women like second-class citizens? Should I be afraid? Should I have deference? Is this the new world I need to accept? Or will we revolt and rise?

This victory just took us backwards. It told women and minorities that haha, they don’t win. White nationalism wins. Anti-immigration sentiment wins. The rich will get richer, the poor will get poorer. Yet what does Trump care? The poor are not a voting majority. I feel heartbroken for Hillary. She worked so hard for this. Her entire life was tracing a trajectory towards becoming the first female president in US history – something that is more than a long time coming, especially considering how the US is supposed to compare against other countries. We are behind. I thought America was better than this, but apparently we’re not much better than some of those countries I considered our enemies.

Good lord. What do we do? Do we honestly prepare to leave the country? I’m glad we applied for legal benefits this coming year, as we need to protect ourselves, K and I. Planned Parenthood defunded. Same-sex marriage and Obamacare overturned. Are we going to have buyer’s remorse like the Brexit voters, or will people STILL be blind to what Trump represents? How scared should I be? Right now I’m numb. I cry easily. I haven’t felt this depressed since the months after my child died. Yes, I feel nearly as awful as I did after my son DIED. That’s what this means to women, to minorities. Clinton won the popular vote, but lost. She lost. It’s unthinkable. Unimaginable. Yet now I have to somehow think those awful words, that that person is president. A reality TV star. A misogynist. Someone who should really be locked up, someone we should build a wall to keep out.

Yet. America has always made some suspect choices, and I guess if we saw the ratings for shows like The Apprentice and all the other disgusting stuff that is in the American mainstream media (Duck Dynasty, for example), we should have or could have seen this coming.

NPR is talking about the possibility of Clinton contesting. I would love that but I don’t know if that would help much. We are a country divided. She was going to bring us together, by loving everyone, by fighting for everyone. He is going to drive us further apart, economically and socially. But a contest would take away that moral victory for her, as much as I want it. A contested Clinton win would just stir up the violent and ignorant elements of the US society who may now be either emboldened by a Trump victory or will settle down now that their man has won. I hope the latter. I fear the former. This is awful.

My rights are threatened. I am so sad for my son, for my future children. I am terrified for all of us. I want to get out. I want to stay and fight. I feel like giving up. I know I can’t. I know I was on the right side of history, but what does that matter if civil rights are disappearing, if we dissenters are facing persecution? I don’t want to be a martyr for the cause; I just want to live the life I was living and enjoying under Obama. WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED? Really, what the hell? Maybe this will inspire a new wave of women. It certainly proves that we are not a post-racial society, that we are not “over” feminism. Rather, we need them now more than ever. This is crazy. Thank God we live in Chicago, but that also meant I was out of touch with the pulse of rural America and truly did not see this coming. Clinton won the Chicago area in a landslide, over 90%. Wow. I wonder if establishment Republicans are just as much at a loss for words as I am.

Clinton is being introduced now. I’m off to listen. And cry for her.