No, I’m Not Racist, Sexist, etc.

I didn’t vote.

I know, this probably isn’t the most “politic” way to start this post. Some people may not click on this entry because of that first sentence. They might say I’m lazy. That Trump winning (since I was planning on voting for Hillary) is partly my fault.

There’s a lot of anger going around online right now. I saw a post, shared by one of my sisters, that someone wrote on Facebook. This is what it said:

Hey.

So, the unthinkable just happened. I’m terrified and heartbroken and furious, and I’ve never been more ashamed of my country.

Muslim friends, Latinx friends, black friends, disabled friends, POC friends, LGBTQIAP+ friends, and fellow Jews and women: I am here for you. I love you. I’m not done fighting for you.

To my friends who have been speaking passionately and filming videos and making calls and pouring their hearts out on social media to prevent this – for my friends who voted to prevent this – thank you.

To my longtime Libertarian friend in Georgia who voted for Clinton instead of Johnson, thank you especially. That was truly selfless, and I will never forget that you made that choice.

But.

To those of you on my feed who voted for Donald Trump, here’s what I know about you. Either:

You are racist, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, misogynistic, and full of hate.

or

You’ve decided you can live with racism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, misogyny, and hate.

And as a Jew, I now understand that you would have stood aside while they rounded up my family – including my two little blond boys (because, guess what? They’re Jewish enough). And when I say you would have stood aside, I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe your participation wouldn’t have been so passive.

This isn’t a political disagreement. This is you making a choice that mirrors the choices made in Nazi Germany. This is you voting for a man endorsed by the KKK. This is you voting for a man who has literally admitted to sexually assaulting women. This is you voting for a man who campaigned on the promise of deporting many of my dearest friends.

Unfriend me now.

And to you, who didn’t vote, who wrote in Bernie or Harambe, who voted third party in a swing state yesterday: I hold you equally responsible.

You did it because of your philosophical principles. You did it because you had a bad gut feeling about Hillary Clinton (examine your sexism). You did it because you associate her with Obama and you dislike Obama (examine your racism). You did it because you felt the two major party candidates were equally bad options (examine your common sense). You did it because you felt some issue – maybe economic policy, maybe government regulation – was the most important thing at stake in yesterday’s election.

In other words, you decided you can live with racism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, misogyny, and hate. You understood the threat Trump poses to so many of us, and you just didn’t care enough.

I see you. Childhood friends, I see you. Husband’s family members, I see you. People I went to school with, I see you. And most disappointingly of all, some of you are my readers.

You didn’t care enough. Period.

Don’t you dare come into my comments arguing about Hillary Clinton’s flaws or how the Democrats brought this upon themselves. I will delete your comment and unfriend you. I am done wasting my time on you.

You hurt people. You are complicit. Sit with that.

Learn empathy. Read more books. My friends and I will keep writing them, in hopes that one day you’ll care enough.

Onward and upward, friends. Let’s keep fighting.

It hurt me to read this. I didn’t not vote for any of the listed reasons. I didn’t vote for a reason not addressed. According to this person (who I’m not sure if I’m supposed to name,  so I won’t unless someone tells me I should) I didn’t vote because:

“In other words, you decided you can live with racism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, misogyny, and hate. You understood the threat Trump poses to so many of us, and you just didn’t care enough.”

I’m feeling defensive and sad. Do I regret not voting? Yes. I regretted not voting late last night. I had every intention of voting. When I went to bed two nights ago, my depression was beating me over the head. I was feeling sad, angry, apathetic, drained, and exhausted. When I woke up yesterday, on election day, I just felt so lost. I had slept 13 hours, unable to get out of bed at a decent hour. I ended up taking a 2 hour nap because I was so exhausted and I wanted to have a brief escape from misery. And then the apathy set in. Suddenly I just did not care. I didn’t care about voting.

It’s hard to explain what that level of apathy feels like if you’ve never experienced it. It seemed like an impossibility, me actually leaving the house and going and voting. I didn’t start feeling better until very late at night, at which point it was too late.

In retrospect, I wish I had been able to use an absentee ballot. But when I looked into it a couple weeks ago, it didn’t seem like an option. This is what I found:

michigan-absentee-ballot

So, it seemed like I didn’t meet any of the absentee ballot rules, especially since this would have been my first time voting. Maybe I misunderstood the rules, I don’t know.

Let me be clear:

I am NOT: 

  • Racist
  • Xenophobic
  • Homophobic
  • Transphobic
  • Islamophobic
  • Anti-Semitic
  • Misogynistic
  • Hateful

Hearing these terms associated with me because I did not vote hurts me on a core level. I don’t know how to react to it. I am not using my mental illness as a crutch. It literally just affected me so badly over the last day and a half that I felt so apathetic that I didn’t care. I didn’t vote.

Do I regret not being able to vote?

Yes.

Did I decide not to vote out of laziness? Out of Racism? Xenophobia? Homophobia? Transphobia? Islamophobia? Antisemitism? Misogyny? Hate?

No.

I do not think that anyone should put a blanket statement out there about voting in this election, especially if they do not consider all possibilities. Mental illness was not considered in the above post and, as a result, I felt attacked and invalidated.

Okay, rant over.

 

 

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