No Thank You, Trump America

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It was quiet in front of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC on election night.

It saddens me to see so much racism and bigotry erupt within days of Donald Trump’s election. Even more disgusting is the way Washington insiders and business luminaries, people who fought so hard against Trump, have flip flopped and suddenly support his presidency, essentially ignoring the intense xenophobia, bigotry and misogyny we have witnessed over the past year. Of course, these people have political and business interests at stake.

I do not. Even if I did have interests at stake, I would not sacrifice my principles and would continue to fight Trump.

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A woman texts and clutches the fence separating the White House and Lafayette Park on election night.

And yet Trumpers say, Give him a chance. We must come together and support him, they say. Worse, some are insistent that people should not protest.

No thank you, Trump America.

Though Trumpers keep trying to stymie public dissatisfaction with the election, more and more protests break out. And with good reason. Telling people to be silent and endure is the beginning of a fascist state. Silence the opposition, and force them to get in line.

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No thank you, Trump America.

I have experienced similar push back every time I have published a photo from election night or a protest photo depicting a scene that is not pro-Trump. The below photo received an extra amount of angst and misogyny on Instagram and in a private Facebook group. In other cases I have been trolled online by pro-Trumpers telling me to move to a different country, or shut up, or to read the bible, or some other form of bullying.

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In all cases I have simply deleted their comments. This is not dialogue, this is more xenophobia, bigotry and misogyny. It borders on fascism and violates protesters’ civil rights.

Not My President

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A despondent woman outside of the White House on election night.

This hateful orange buffoon now elected president is someone I must suffer. The acts of the people he has inspired are Deplorable. I will not give him an open mind because he has given me enough data to make a conclusive decision about his character. He is not my president.

It is unfortunate that so many Americans felt this disenfranchised that they were desperate enough to take this risk on. Our political parties were so weak that they could not come together and meet our country’s needs.

But Trump is a liar. He has lied about bringing back manufacturing jobs, building the wall, kicking out immigrants, and making fat cats like himself pay more taxes. Even if the Trump risk pays off — which it won’t — the impact on civil liberties will create a dark stain on America’s fiber for decades.

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Protest in San Antonio.

After all of Donald Trump’s behavior and deceitful acts over the past year, and continuing lies and backtracking, he needs to earn my respect, not the other way around. His election has destroyed the prestige of the Presidency. Until he behaves his way into a more mindful and respectful disposition for a significant period of time, I will continue to assess Trump as a dangerous narcissist that hoodwinked America.

At the same time, he will be in power for four years. It is what it is. My best recourse is to fight for the protection of civil liberties, and continue to actively seek new and better politicians than what either party is currently offering.

We Must Be Vigilant

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San Antonio protesters.

When George W. Bush won the oval office there was unease in Washington, but things settled in relatively quickly. Then 9-11 hit, and the rest was history. By the time Iraq occurred any pushback against W. was labelled as Un-American, Liberal, or Un-Patriotic. Eventually people became outspoken in spite of W.

Donald Trump and his presidency do not deserve the opportunity that W. got. I have seen more swastikas in the past week than I have in the past decade. I have seen more reports of hate crimes in the past week than I have in the past year, and that’s in spite of Trump’s caustic presidential campaign and the many reports of police violence against African Americans.

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Protest in front of the White House on election night.

Islamic Americans are wondering if it is their turn to flee. Mexican Americans — some who have been here for generations — and other Latin American immigrants — legal and illegal — fear the potential impact on their lives. Women wonder if they will have to fight off pimply white males assaulting them. On and on it goes. It is time to stand up to hate crime at every opportunity.

Trump and that small group of supporters who are using this election as an endorsement of xenophobia, bigotry and misogyny cannot be given mulligan after mulligan. We will lose everything that makes America free and inclusive if we allow that to happen.

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Two men waiting for a Hillary party that never happened in front of the White House.

A word of caution to those who disagree with Trump: We cannot fight hate with hate. Violence destroys the message. Protestors have invoked the swastika as a method of protesting against Trump. I have been the subject of persecution in my past. My relatives in Europe flee-ed the Nazi threat. This is not a casual reference. In fact, it is a hurtful one, one that inspires as much fear and hate in protest as it seeks to combat. The more mindful we can be about our use of symbolism, the more impactful our message will be.

We must say no, we must raise our voice, but we have to take on the principles of Henry David Thoreau, Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King. Peaceful protest is the way. We cannot hurt others to save ourselves. This is something that we must repeat over and over again. Civil disobedience must invoke peaceful change.

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Protest in San Antonio.

Given the amount of vitriol I have already received from hateful pro-Trump supporters, I have closed comments on this blog post. Please continue the conversation with me on social networks.

Fear and Loathing the 2012 Social Election

While I appreciate great political social tactics and analysis, I can’t take the 2012 social election.

This week’s RNC already produced an amazing amount of vitriol on Facebook and Twitter. I tuned out completely during the evenings.

Next week’s DNC promises to add more.
Continue reading

CForward: There Is No Profit without Nonprofits

This week marked the launch of CForward, a 501c4 — a Political Action Committee (PAC) — committed to better inclusion of nonprofits in political economic agendas. In spite of nonprofits vital role in the nonprofit sector in every community across the country — representing 10% of the overall U.S. economy and workforce — the economic contributions of the sector are an afterthought… A way to address cut social services programs.

In fact now, the nonprofit sector is endangered by our local, state, and national politicians clamoring for their jobs bills, economic stimulation, and government cutbacks. Part of the agenda includes cutting vital nonprofit services, the same services that create social sector jobs (usually low paying ones), invigorate a community’s health, and stimulate its economy.

CForward is not a cry for hand-outs. It is a demand to be listened to during the critical 2012 election year. It is an acknowledgment that politicians need to start partnering with the nonprofit community to strengthen the economy, not simply slashing and overtaxing it at every opportunity.

Robert Egger, the genius behind the job creating DC Central Kitchen (and its sister Campus and city kitchens across the country), started CForward. In his Huffington Post piece announcing CForward, Robert stated:

Through grants or government contracts [nonprofits], like Boeing or Lockheed Martin, bring significant outside investment into every community to create jobs, generate taxes and spur the economy through their and their employee’s daily commerce. Any candidate who cannot provide detailed plans for how they would channel that economic and entrepreneurial energy isn’t worth a vote.

What CForward does differently is it offers politicians money for their campaigns — in a non-partisan fashion — IF they will consider the nonprofit sector in their economic plans. It plays the Washington insider game by educating candidates about the economic contributions of the nonprofit sector, and supporting those that play ball. And right or wrong, that’s how DC’s K Street crowd works.

I have joined CForward’s board as the nonprofit sector has been an important part of my entire personal life as well as a critical part of my professional life. To demonstrate my commitment to this effort, I donated $1000 to CForward. I hope you’ll support CForward, too. You can also follow CForward on Twitter.