When the going gets tough, the tough get going
Shaylyn McMahon: NEWS COLUMNIST
I used to go to Fargo every year with my mom, auntie and baba for our annual girls weekend, full of shopping, good food and wine. But as my baba got older, it got harder for her to make the four-hour road trip.
Eventually those shopping trips became a sweet memory. They became something we’d reminisce on as we visited my baba in her care home.
Now, I feel sick thinking of them.
I feel sick that while I was blissfully hunting down bargains at the mall and enjoying family time with the most important women in my life, I was blindly doing so among a bunch of racists, sexists and homophobes.
Sixty-four per cent of voters in North Dakota voted for president-elect Donald Trump, the New York Times reports. To be clear, that’s 216,133 people. And it doesn’t even compare to the millions of other Americans who also voted for him.
I understand it’s not fair to label everyone who voted for Trump as sexist, racist and homophobic. People may have voted for Trump for reasons other than his stance against marginalized populations, but they still chose to ignore or push aside that stance for something they perceive as more important.
What is more important than the equality and safety of all Americans?
By choosing to dismiss Trump’s hateful rhetoric and opinions, people who voted for him are sending the message that it doesn’t matter whether someone is racist, sexist, or homophobic.
Apparently it doesn’t matter that Trump said an Indiana-born judge was biased because he was Mexican, bragged about grabbing women by the genitals, and opposes nationwide marriage equality.
If it isn’t obvious by now, I strongly support liberal, left wing politics. I’m not afraid to admit that I’m writing this from a biased perspective, but I’ll respect other’s opinions until they become harmful to innocent people. When it comes to Trump supporters, many of their opinions are becoming harmful.
Since Trump’s victory, more than 700 cases of hateful incidents of harassments in the U.S. have been reported, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
People are spray painting swastikas on buildings alongside messages of support for Trump. People yelling statements of support for Trump are robbing and attacking Muslim people.
There may not be anything people can do to change the fact that Trump will be the next U.S. president, but we can do something. We can stand up for marginalized people, and we can continue to denounce hateful comments and rhetoric.
Do not sit idle and pretend everything is okay. We can’t afford to be inactive right now. Stand up against racism, sexism, and homophobia.
Now, more than ever, is the time to do it.
Shaylyn McMahon is an aspiring communications professional,
an avid coffee drinker and a wannabe world explorer.
She’d rather be cuddling her cat at any given moment,
and if you can’t see her, you can probably hear her laugh.
Follow her on Twitter @ShaylynMcMahon.