I am a game developer. I am an interactive fiction author. The games I create do not spring from the empty air, but from my experiences as a human being surrounded by human beings. For that reason, I need to write about being a human today, rather than game development.
Game development, and the love of gaming, stretches across political lines. I am fairly sure that there are Trump supporters reading this post. I hope that, through my writing and games and correspondence, you know me as a person and perhaps a friend.
Today, Donald Trump is the president-elect of my country. He did not win the popular vote (under the current count, 0.02% more people voted for Hillary Clinton) and I did not vote for him, but he did win the electoral college. There is every reason to believe he will be sworn into office on Friday, January 20.
Dear Trump supporter: Against all odds, you won. If there is a way to make your victory a utopia instead of a dystopia – I don’t know what it is.
I have to hope that you do.
I hope that, when you voted for Donald Trump, you voted in spite of the hateful things that he and his running mate Pence have said about Muslims, immigrants, refugees, people of color (particularly Latinx and Black people), disabled people, LGBTQ people, women, and other minorities. I hope you cast your vote because you believed there was a Trump-led future that included hope for everyone, even the people Donald Trump was speaking against.
What frightens me is not Donald Trump being president, specifically, but that his litany of hate has been effectively endorsed by 47.5% of America.
I’m afraid because two days after Donald Trump’s nomination, there have been related sexual assaults in the subway. I’m afraid because a Muslim student was assaulted by two Trump supporters in Louisiana. I’m afraid because the KKK is openly recruiting in Birmingham, Alabama. I’m afraid because trans suicide hotlines have been so overwhelmed with calls that many have gone unanswered. And I’m afraid because Mike Pence wants to nullify my marriage.
If you cast your vote for Trump, but you didn’t mean to cast a vote for hate – then now is the time to act. There are Trump supporters who cast deliberate votes for hate, and there are millions of people who are just as afraid as I am.
There’s a post going around (by Caitlin Rosberg) that begins:
- If you wear a hijab, I’ll sit with you on the train.
- If you’re trans, I’ll go to the bathroom with you.
- If you’re a person of color, I’ll stand with you if the cops stop you.
- If you’re a person with disabilities, I’ll hand you my megaphone.
- If you’re an immigrant, I’ll help find you resources.
- If you’re a survivor, I’ll believe you.
- If you’re a refugee, I’ll make sure you’re welcome.
- If you’re a veteran, I’ll take up your fight.
- If you’re LGBTQ, I won’t let anyone tell you you’re broken.
- If you’re a woman, I’ll make sure you get home okay.
You can do those things, too. It will make a world of difference if you do.
If you voted in hopes of a future for everyone, then fight for that future. Fight against harassment, and brutality, and sexual assault, and poverty, and cruelty. Defy the voices that tell you to hate people who are not like you.
There are lives at stake and you have the power to save them. Use it.
Bravo. I’m both apolitical and non-American, so you’d think I wouldn’t much care about this, but I do care about the “litany of hate” as you put it. It seems unbelieavable in today’s world; the last vestiges of justification for that used to be ignorance, and in this modern age not even that is an excuse.
BTW, the link about 8 trans commiting suicide seems not to lead anywhere meaningful, FYI. I wanted to see for myself whether these suicides were, as you imply, directly linked to the election results (I like checking facts for myself, nothing against you, of course – especially when those facts seem extreme).
It used to lead to reporter Zach Stafford’s assertion that he’s heard about 8 trans suicides from his trans suicide hotline contacts. Here’s his update:
“Update: as we continue to investigate the reported suicides, I’ve spoken w/ GLAAD and we feel it best to take down the original tweet (1/3)” https://twitter.com/ZachStafford/status/796811858569216001
“…until families can come forward & we have better facts. Currently there is fear of suicide contagion due to the social media (2/3)”
“So please bare with many of us as we continue to report this out. (3/3)” https://twitter.com/ZachStafford/status/796811896632524800
Updated the above with a link to https://www.buzzfeed.com/azeenghorayshi/crisis-hotlines-post-election instead.
BTW, as you say, the problem is not the election but the number of people supporting the hate – and through all the links you posted, what stands out is not the Trump administration, which has hardly had time even to exist, but that people feel entitled to bring back the hate. The feeling of “All right, he’s one of us and he’s the president, now we can do whatever the fuck we want!” – that’s what causes KKK fliers to be distributed and women to be assaulted. It’s like people were waiting for an excuse, and now they have one, and THAT is what I find terrifying.
I also have to add (this is the last comment, I hope! I find it hard to stop, as you know!) that Zach Stafford’s tweet coverage of the anti-Trump protest is as meaningful as the election results. Possibly even more so. People are not even rallying against him, but against all the negative things he’s bringing. It’s not an Anti-Trump protest; it’s an Anti-Racism and Anti-Hate protest, and from the coverage it seems to have been monumental (is it still going on? I dunno these things). It is, in fact, not an Anti-Anything protest, but a Pro-protest. A Pro-Tolerance and Pro-Equality protest. It is as heart warming as the election results were heart rending.
If there’s a bright side to all this, it’s that people who are scared and horrified by what Trump stands for are banding together and supporting each other.
I think her name is caitlin roseberg, not 100% sure. But i think she wrote that, if u wear a hajab ill sit with u.
Ah-ha, thank you! Looks like you’re right: https://twitter.com/crosberg/status/796832707250704385
The stuff listed above is easy, compared to liking the sort of people who DON’T do any of that stuff, or who do quite the reverse. And, perhaps, these are the people who need the loving, the hugging, the sitting next to, etc., more than anyone else.
All we’ve been OK with, so far, is going to the bathroom with such people.
Be nice to haters. Set a good example. Hating back helps no one, least of all ourselves.
We have to look for the best in all people: leaders, followers, even people we completely disagree with. Forces in opposition just turn into solid ridges that do not improve anything.
The people we disagree with are not stupid. They are not horrible people. In every person, the actual person, is not a bad person or a buried unknown, but an intensity of all that is good and most able in that person, minus that person’s pain and dramatizations.
Address the best in the person always and the best in the person comes out and meets the best in us. Sounds a little preachy I know, but it really does work.
We could all benefit by digging out our Dale Carnegie and doing a refresher course.