Donald Trump Hijacked My Holidays
But why the absence of hope? For me, the obvious answer is Donald J. Trump. In the month and a half since the election, I, like so many Americans, have been inundated by a groundswell of mixed but primarily negative emotions. PTSD, if you will: "Post-Trump Stress Disorder."
But these emotions are about much more than Trump the individual. They are related to Trump as an idea — what he and his followers represent. How could so many Americans harbor such regressive, dangerous, and ill-informed ideologies that they were willing to ignore Trump's innumerable ignominies, outright lies, political missteps, flip-flopping, and other scandals and vote him into the highest office in the Free World?
As an American who is black and gay, I experience Trump and his followers as a double existential threat. For me, Trump's win, which CNN commentator Van Jones on Election Night labeled a "whitelash" after eight years of progressive policies under President Obama, is a pushback against my very existence as an African-American. On the day after the election, in North Carolina, the state of my birth, Durham residents discovered two graffitied walls, both proclaiming, "Black lives don't matter and neither does [sic] your votes." Did this hateful speech encapsulate the sentiment of the majority?
AFAIK, they never did catch the particular individual who wrote that graffiti, but I suspect that it wasn't a Trump supporter. But more to the point: since when did graffiti become national news? Only when it references Trump? Think about how much graffiti gets painted every day in cities across America. Much of it with a "hateful" message towards somebody. And then how can we be sure it was written by a Trump supporter and not some sort of real-space troll?
The main reason he isn't going home for the holidays though isn't even something Trump did:
Last week, things further came to a head for me as a queer man when the state of my birth reneged on its promise to repeal an odious anti-LGBT piece of legislation, House Bill 2, which among other grievances forbids transgender people from using restrooms that correspond with their gender identity. The state did so even after the city of Charlotte reversed its local non-discrimination ordinance so as to make way for HB 2's much-needed demise. In last Wednesday's special session, the North Carolina General Assembly made it clear that I would not be going home for the holidays. For LGBT people and their allies, "North Carolina remains closed for business," declared Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.