Compañero, We’re Done

CN sexual assault, Donald Trump.

United States, I will not forgive you for this.

This is yours now.
This is yours now.

I will not forgive you for being white-supremacist enough to let a candidate like Donald Trump get a major-party nomination. I will not forgive you for reading his unearned wealth and feckless theft of services from his contractors and the US government as “business sense” and “business sense” as “at all fucking relevant to the US presidency.” I will not forgive you for reading the thoughtless ease with which he performs violence upon all of the women in his life as comfortable masculine confidence. I will not forgive you for disappearing any chance that the numerous legal proceedings against him could lead to meaningful outcomes.

I will not forgive you for hearing him promise to bar and deport all Muslim Americans and non-Muslims who look like them, hearing him promise to empty the United States of Hispanic people who traveled north to improve their lot and build a wall against ecologically sensitive desert that will kill thousands of poor people, hearing him promise to return to their hellscape children fleeing the failure of Central American countries, and nodding along. I will not forgive you for seeing their lives as a worthwhile price for “getting your country back,” when that country was never yours.

I will not forgive you for cheering his promise to fully and enthusiastically gut the legal protections that make it harder for bigoted landlords and employers to keep me broke and homeless on account of being queer. I will not forgive you for cheering as he promised to move American healthcare backward instead of forward, and make sure that people like me are back to the black market for our healthcare needs. I will not forgive you for being okay with, or thrilled by, what his Supreme Court picks will do to women’s bodily autonomy.

I will not forgive you for not listening to the thousands upon thousands of women who have had to see therapists or stop watching election coverage because the man looks and moves and talks and breathes and gloats and boasts and gropes and rapes like the men who abused them. I will not forgive you for telling them that they were overreacting or too sensitive or seeing things that weren’t there. I will not forgive you for how you talk about Melania Trump.

I will not forgive you for watching the man earn the endorsement of Ku Klux Klan leaders and neo-Nazis, Vladimir Putin and Marine Le Pen, and still vote for him. I will not forgive you watching him throw people of color out of his rallies before even verifying whether they’d otherwise fallen under his fascist spell, because people of color obviously have no place in Trump’s great America. I will not forgive you for watching his supporters promise to hang journalists and shoot black people, and not thinking something was wrong. I will not forgive you for not being scared witless by his threat to not concede defeat if he lost the election or by his promise to pursue legal action against Clinton if she won.

I will not forgive you for listening to the Republican establishment promise to continue stonewalling every single action directed to them by a Democratic president, and not seeing that as the childish stunt it continues to be. I will not forgive you for not voting in landslide Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, and instead merely edging the House seven members blueward and the Senate one, with Republican majorities intact in both. I will not forgive you for leaving the authority to confirm Supreme Court nominees in Republican hands. I will not forgive you for reelecting Marco Rubio.

I will not forgive you for the 9% of my generation that was too special-snowflake pure to deal with the election system we have, and has the gall to crow now about how the “broken system” gave us President-Elect Trump. I will not forgive you for refusing to vote in the system the United States actually has, and determinedly voting in the one you wish it had, and being the deciding margin between Trump and Clinton in too many states. I will not forgive you for valuing your own deontological, ideological purity over my life and the life of Americans far less lucky and far more vulnerable than I am. I will not forgive you for imagining that President-Elect Trump is an acceptable consequence for the supposed corruption at the heart of the Democratic Party that supposedly prevented Bernie Sanders, whom I voted for in the Florida primary, from being the Democratic nominee. I will not forgive you for treating this election as a primping game for your smugness instead of the matter of literal life and death it was and is.

I will not forgive you for having a trans lesbian daughter and gay cousin and black nieces and nephews and voting for Donald Trump. I will not forgive you for thinking so little of my rights and my place in the United States that you would continue to vote for Republicans for any office whatsoever even after I disclosed myself to you. I will not forgive you for not suddenly realizing that voting for Republicans means voting for anti-gay and anti-trans laws that affect your family instead of some abstract queer nuisance. I will not forgive you for valuing your bigoted notion that being gay and trans should be sad and painful over the well-being of your own family. I will not forgive you for not having a sudden and painful realization that anti-gay and anti-trans laws aren’t an abstract exercise in asserting values or an attempt to “protect” cisgender straight people from us, because they finally started knocking on your door. I will not forgive you for being even less empathetic and less morally sound than the folks who only turned around on queer issues because they turned out to be harming some of their own. I will not forgive you for what my legal name and gender marker change process will look like once a Republican-held everything gets a hold of it. I will not forgive you for dreaming that legal discrimination would “knock some sense into” me and force me back into my closet again, where you wish I had stayed.

I will not forgive you for clinging so desperately at the illusion of your whiteness that you would throw your darker-hued kin to the Republican wolves in order to claim your spot on the United States’s racial hierarchy, above the visibly black and indigenous people you not-so-secretly despise. I will not forgive you for demarcating yourselves so firmly from them with talk of “good,” “real,” “legal” immigrants versus the foreign masses who remind you that your whiteness is conditional, here, on being a shit to people darker than you. I will not forgive you for your ongoing quest to forge solidarity, not with your fellow descendants of Boriken and Kubao and Ēxcān Tlahtōlōyān and Tawantinsuyu and your fellow descendants of Akan and Igbo and Kongo and Yoruba, but with those who would gladly disappear us entirely. I will not forgive you for selecting as your survival strategy climbing up to whiteness on a ladder made of your own kinfolk, and expecting us to tolerate it.

I will not forgive you for electing an unhinged, violent, kleptocratic bigot over the most personally qualified human being to ever run for president, and then giving that unhinged, violent, kleptocratic bigot a majority in both legislative bodies, in an election with multiple Supreme Court positions at stake.

I will not forgive anyone who tells me I shouldn’t be angry at the progress of my natal country being halted and reversed at the exact specific moment that it is most critical for me.

I will not forgive you.

And I will not forget.

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Compañero, We’re Done

29 thoughts on “Compañero, We’re Done

  1. 1

    “I will not forgive you for imagining that President-Elect Trump is an acceptable consequence for the supposed corruption at the heart of the Democratic Party that supposedly prevented Bernie Sanders, whom I voted for in the Florida primary, from being the Democratic nominee. I will not forgive you for treating this election as a primping game for your smugness instead of the matter of literal life and death it was and is.”

    Even back in the primaries, from the language of the Bernie-or-Busters/Never Hillary people, I knew this was going to haunt self-professed progressives no matter what the outcome of the election, and the outcome ended up being as bad as it possibly could have been. I tried educating those close to me, I tried rebutting the anti-Hillary Clinton canards as often as I heard them, I cast my vote for her and other Democrats in my home state of Michigan. I feel so inadequate right now. And I appreciate your refusal to cloak your anger behind “civility.”

  2. 2

    Despite the fact that I was born in the US and have lived here my whole life, today I said “I am not an American.” Because if this is what America has become, I am now an individual without a country. You were incredibly astute to leave the US for Canada when you did, and I salute you for your foresight. Being on disability makes it nearly impossible financially for me to move to Canada or Europe, but I will not give up hope that one day I’ll find a way to do so. Thank you so much for this essay.

    1. 3.1

      You may be surprised to learn that Asperger’s is no longer a recognized diagnosis separate from autism, though many of us still enjoy the endearment “Aspie.” As autism is not a disease and is not actually conceptually separable from us the way a disease is, most of us neither use nor encourage the “with autism” or “with Asperger’s” framing. We’re autistic. I’m autistic. I’m an autistic woman. You’ll have a better time among us with this language, and the understanding it implies.

      1. My mother and I just got done having a serious argument about this and I don’t know if I will ever be able to look at her the same way again. I told her about all the things that Trump and Pence are going to do and yet she still thinks they are the lesser of two evils. I never paid attention to Hilary or whatever she did with those emails or whatever the fuck, and I never voted. My family all voted for Trump.

        My mother simply does not care. She believes that everyone should feel good and that everyone should get a medal for having an opinion. My therapist thinks the same way and I don’t know what to think of her either.

        We were talking about immigration and to quote my mother, “illegal immigration pisses her off.” She believes that jobs and opportunities are being taken from people like me, but I don’t give a damn. I also went on the extreme, I’ll admit, and said that anyone who actively prevents others from living their own individual lives as they choose needs to die. She bizarrely asked me if that meant that mass murderers should be allowed to live as they choose.

        My mother doesn’t even know what a fascist is. She doesn’t believe that Trump is bigoted at all, she just “doesn’t agree” with everything he says. She told me that this is the way people evolve and that this is the way things and I need to just sit down and accept that or go join or form a club.

        I frankly don’t give a shit about anyone’s so-called beliefs or opinions about who I am. If someone is demonizing, terrorizing. bullying, or abusing me for who I was born as, I WILL shove their so-called opinions and beliefs back down their throat. People have been offending me for things that I had zero choice in and cannot control, and I think it’s about something changed.

        So the next time some filthy inbred redneck, dirty Christian, or obnoxious straightie breeder “doesn’t agree with my lifestyle,” those people WILL get a taste of their own medicine.

        1. Comment edited to replace ableist slur “stupid” with non-ableist term “obnoxious.”

          Your mother’s political process sounds about as incoherent as mine’s. I hope you find a way to manage this awful situation. My strategy (being a gazillion miles away) is not for everyone.

          1. What’s worse is that she I think she thinks that I’M the one who being the bigot here. As if I didn’t have enough of Nazis calling ME the Nazi and bullies calling ME the bully all for fighting for my individuality.

          2. Such projection is very common for people like them, who don’t think actual oppression is any worse than them momentarily feeling glimmers of shame for what they have done.

  3. 4

    All of this. A persistent theme I’ve been seeeing on social media since Tuesday is “I thought we were better than this”, and this summarises exactly why perfectly

    Watching from the sidelines without being able to vote or contribute (beyond, y’know, taking to people) has been agonising

    So, thank you, and I hope you know there are still some of us out here that believe in and want to support you!

  4. 6

    I just got back from therapy, and my therapist and I just had the same old talk about how everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    I. Don’t. Believe. That.

    I’m sorry, but I don’t

    What I believe in is not whether or not we technically can have an opinion, but how we use them. I don’t believe that people should be allowed to think whatever they want and just leave it that. I believe that we can use what we think to find some sort of center.

    I don’t believe in censorship unless it’s committed by the government, and if there really is a such thing as “political correctness,” phrases like “everyone’s entitled to there opinion” are what truly promote it.

    1. 6.1

      If I ever hear that grotesque refrain again, it’ll be too soon. It’s such an awful thought-ending cliche, acting like being challenged on a point is the same as some kind of neurosurgery police tying them down and physically taking their opinion out of them, as though having an opinion ought to be enough for that to never be questioned or discussed. It angers and disgusts me whenever I see it in action.

      Thank you for challenging it 🙂

        1. Indeed. Folks who are proud of not knowing or caring what is actually at stake sicken me, especially with their demands that I be kind or effusive toward those who do me harm at the ballot box.

          1. The more I am told that everyone has the right to their opinion, the more I am told that I need to give respect when zilch was given to me, my kind, and the previous leader who stood up for me and my kind, the more I am told that both sides have valid points, the more I actually want to tell my parents and my therapist to all eat shit and die in a fire.

  5. 7

    This may seems unrelated, but let’s talk about South Park since it is sure lampoon every single detail about this whole thing.

    Speaking as a young man who is both professionally diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and questioning his sexuality, I happily await South Park’s cancellation. I’m sick and tired of being demonized and set up as a punchline for the media at large. When it jumped on the anti-social justice bandwagon and felt like beating the beyond dead horse trope of “political correctness” some more, it opened up a world of knowledge to me. South Park doesn’t give a damn about being funny, it only cares about being offensive for its own sake. It has no good reason to offend other than it can and when it does it’s only because their target is either an “asshole” or something other.

    They have done absolutely nothing original except insult everyone who doesn’t fall in line with it’s worldview. They’ve even had the gall to insult people like me who have Asperger’s. Sooner or later I feel that people are going to get older and wiser, look back on South Park, and realize that people behind the show are nothing but a gang of schoolyard bullies.

    I can the say the same to Family Guy.

    There is this cartoon that was made in Japan called “Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt” that I find so much more humorous than those two shows ever will be. It draws legitimate criticism I believe to the modern anime industry for it’s lack of diversity and individuality. It actually puts its characters in original situations and mainly makes fun of itself. It’s crass but hardly offensive, but the main attraction I feel is it’s off the wall animation.

    1. 7.1

      South Park’s libertarian-apathetic politics, where the worst offense possible is “caring about stuff,” has indeed long outlived its humor value, with Family Guy following shortly thereafter.

      1. YouTube has essentially exploded into a cesspit of anti-sjwism.

        I just saw someone who spoke about the AIDS crisis back in the 80’s under Ronald Reagan. This woman’s comment made me all the more thankful that Reagan is dead, but I clicked on her channel and all that was there were zillions videos with such titles as “SJW’s butthurt over Clinton loss,” “Insert minority here supports Trump,” and et cetera. Speaking of which I also heard that the co-founder of Autism Speaks died of cancer awhile ago and I honestly couldn’t be happier about that, too.

        No, if you spend your life demonizing others for being different from you, you will have no compassion from me.

        I refuse to apologize.

  6. 9

    A group of people came up and told me after the election on a forum that they don’t agree with my right to love as I want. I have nothing but vengeance in my black heart now. Why in the name of God are people allowed to “disagree” with my ability to think and act on my own accord?! Why are people so dead set on interfering with a person’s pursuit of happiness?!

  7. 10

    What are we suppose to do about the allegedly 14% of LGBT’s that actually sided with Trump/Pence? I feel nothing but betrayal from these people.

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