The following actually happened. I’m not going to say who, or where. But it actually happened to me. I am not paraphrasing; this is as close to verbatim as I can get it while still obscuring the identities of the other people involved.
“I don’t know why people are whining and protesting,” they said. “Trump’s president, it’s over, they’re just sore losers. They were afraid of what we’d do if we lost.”
“Maybe it’s because people are horrified at what he’s actually doing,” I said. I wanted to say more, to remind them that Trump supporters literally stated they’d have an armed revolution if he lost. I wanted to tell them why we marched.
But I didn’t get a chance.
They claimed that hundreds of thousands of people were rioting on Saturday.
There was some small amount of rioting on Friday – 230 people were arrested. This is roughly comparable to a lot of sports riots (which happen all the time and get completely different reactions).
And beside the point, that wasn’t the Women’s March on Saturday, a completely separate event where literally millions of people across the world marched, and there were no arrests.
I wanted to point out that they were mixing up the numbers of people who marched on Saturday and the people they were thinking about were Black Bloc anarchists.
I didn’t get a chance to say that.
“Oh, and that guy got punched in the face!” they cried.
“He is a Nazi,” I said, perhaps a bit emphatically. “My grandfather fought Nazis. I am not okay with Nazis.”
“Oh, what’s he done? How is he a Nazi?” they demanded, clearly disbelieving.
“For starters, that guy wrote articles asking if we need a Black race and if there should be a “Black Genocide”.”
“Ugh,” they sighed. “Don’t turn this into a Black and White race thing,” and the few people left in the room walked out.
Let that sink in for a moment.
I got told to “not make it a race thing” when stating that a guy is a Nazi because of what he actually said.
Last time I checked, the person calling for racial genocide is the one who made it “a race thing”.
We are only a few days into this administration, and the normalization has already begun.
I suspect the people who said these things won’t read this post, and almost certainly won’t read the links I’ve provided to source material.
But you have.
And we must continue to speak. We must continue to be our nation’s bad conscience.
Please share this story – and your own stories – widely. Speak the truth. Refuse the lies, no matter what they call them.
Silence still equals death.