Within the last year, I made a point to delete Facebook friends that I would surely never talk to again. This included people that I had met only once or twice, people who were in college classes but I never kept in touch with, or people who had added me because of a mutual friend but that I never actually met. Because manually sifting through a list of over 1000 connections was an impossibly mind-numbing task, I removed connections as they popped up in my Facebook news feed. Eventually, a couple people that I barely knew began posting statements justifying Donald Trump’s behavior. These people were removed.
All the people I deleted from my Facebook connections were people that I didn’t really know, though. Since clearing out the people with whom I’d likely never cross paths again, I made a conscious decision: I would not delete people I knew based on their politics. Instead, these people are canonized in my connections as long as they don’t delete me. Because I want to see your beliefs, and I want you to see mine. I want you to know that women who march for the rights of ALL people are not hippies or raging, violent protesters. I want you to see that I am educated, tolerant, and speak real facts (government-issued lies are called propaganda, Sean Spicer).
I encourage anyone who disagrees with what I or anyone else believes to not delete us as connections. I encourage you to keep us in your news feed, to learn what and why we believe. For this same reason, I will not delete you for your beliefs. I want to know what you’re thinking, posting, feeling. The more well-educated I can be about your side, the better I can share with you mine.
I grew up in Christianity, and I still cling to my faith. One of the most important things I learned as an attendee of Christian school K-12 is to know your scripture and beliefs inside and out, challenge them, and be deeply acquainted with all the arguments against your faith. This makes you a greater witness to others, able to answer the questions that they have and the problems they raise with your beliefs. The same is true of political beliefs and thoughts on civil rights. Educate yourselves. Do not create a virtual echo chamber of your own beliefs.
Today I want to begin by addressing the numerous posts I’ve seen to “get over it,” that “he’s our president now so accept it.” I do accept that he is our president. Because he is. But when during the inauguration did a law pass that I am forced to accept what he believes in? That law does not exist, and I am not going to be quiet about my beliefs.
Millions of people (women, men, Christian, Muslim, atheist, black, white, bi, gay, trans, agender, Americans, Australian, South American, Asian, European, African, visitors of Antarctica, immigrants of all statuses, disabled) around the world stood together, and with a few abhorrent exceptions, the groups were peaceful and energized and firmly principled in their morals. Walking through the SF Women’s March was likely the most inspiring experience I’ve had in person.
I do not agree with any of the protesters who damaged other people’s property or acted violently in any way or who intimidated pro-Trump protesters of the protests. They do not represent what millions of other human beings stood for yesterday and believe every day. This is just like how you, if you are pro-Trump, probably do not identify with the small pockets of people who have literally grabbed women’s ‘pussies’ and have said, “I can get away with that now!” I’ll bet you also don’t appreciate how a group of white supremacists support Trump, including actual Nazi Richard Spencer. I bet you know that Obamacare and ACA are the same thing. You probably know “alternative facts” are lies and that inauguration turnout for Trump was very significantly lower than it was for either Obama inauguration and that Washington, DC, didn’t have a shortage of dresses for sale and I’ll bet you think that Meryl Streep is an extremely talented actress.
I vow to not write you off as a racist, as a white supremacist, as a person who doesn’t believe in my rights. I want you to do me the courtesy of knowing that I am not smashing windows of a Starbucks, I am not refusing to listen to your beliefs, and when I say participate in a “women’s march” I am not ignoring the rights of so many other groups.
It is your right to voice that I should “get over it,” but I want you to know that you saying that is not enough. You are not effecting any change by just saying “get over it.” I can promise you I will not get over it until I see factual evidence that I am somehow in the wrong on my beliefs. It is my constitutional right to protest as long as I do it legally. It is my right to free speech. It is my right to want tolerance for people in hijabs or with more melanin than me. It is my right to care — deeply — that I can make decisions for my own body and health. Try telling a woman who suffers from endometriosis that she can’t access the birth control pills that she MEDICALLY needs. (I support the right to BC no matter what, but in this example, you can’t argue moral implications.) Imagine a person who was sexually assaulted hear their attacker say, “There’s no way I assaulted that person, because they are not attractive enough.” Now try to take a guess why I am not going to just “get over it.” I’d guess there are some things you don’t agree with in this (or a past or future) administration, even if you voted for the person who champions those things. I beg of you: don’t ever get over it.