When the person you love is a Trump supporter
I started seeing this guy that I knew was a Trump supporter from the beginning, but the repercussions of the election were so horrific that I was forced to reconsider how okay I was with staying in the relationship. He was always able to separate his feelings from facts by using the education provided to him. He made sense of Trump’s policies without getting caught up in the rhetoric. However, how am I supposed to accept that in some capacity, the person I love genuinely agrees with Trump’s general campaign? Is it limited to the politics, or does it also include the hate speech too? Does that make him equally as hurtful and disrespectful? Agreeing to disagree but accepting each other’s reasonings worked before the election, but now, am I expected to cut all ties?
Lately, all he hears is people blaming this on white people—white men in particular—and jokingly stereotyping him. I can’t imagine what it feels like to be told everyday that because the colour of my skin, I am what is fundamentally wrong with our society or that I should be ashamed of who I am. I cannot stand the prejudice awarded to all people of one race. Is that not what we are all fighting about anyway? Trump is saying that all Muslims are terrorists and all immigrants are rapists and drug dealers, so in return we get to say that all white people are racist? Seems pretty counter-productive to me. I am in no way denying the existence of white privilege or undermining the experiences of those who have suffered because of it, but it seems to me that reversing those roles isn’t making any progress.
Now I’m not naiive enough to believe that there is no fault here. I can confidently say that he lacks a certain amount of empathy, whether or not he disagrees. He is indifferent to the struggle that so many people have faced to get to where they are today because he has never had to deal with anything like it. It’s really difficult to try to explain to someone why certain things are a problem, knowing that they will never be understood in the way you need them to be. Not that he won’t try to understand or recognize when I’ve made good points—it’s just clear that he does not see where those feelings come from and it’s slightly alienating.
I’m not the most marginalized individual, but the difference is that I can recognize how unfair it is. Sexism and sexual assault, racism, xenophobia, homophobia—struggles that I don’t personally have to deal with but that are valid enough for me to recognize their importance. He understands these things, he can recognize them as important, but he can just as easily dismiss them. That’s the part that is the most difficult for me to accept. Knowing that someone who is supposed to care about me can dismiss when someone in a position of power takes qualities—some of which make me who I am—and portray them in a massively negative light while encouraging an entire nation of people to do the same is really upsetting.
I can see past this election and still believe that he has a good heart—that he truly does not wish me harm for the things that make us different. I believe that wholeheartedly, which is why I am able to overlook his political preferences. The election did not change the way he treats me, and while I still disagree with him, it has not changed the dynamic of our relationship. If anything, it has strengthened it—it forced us to have conversations that challenged both of us. I’ve learned a lot about tolerance and respect when it comes to listening to people who I don’t agree with. I think it’s important to remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinions and we all rationalize things differently due to our personal experiences, especially when you’re dealing with someone you love.
However, this election has also made me realize that there are still a lot of conversations we need to have. Despite his intentions, there is still something fundamentally inside of him that does not yet see the trouble in encouraging Donald Trump. Perhaps encouraging is not the right word, maybe pardoning him, or passively dismissing him. Whatever the word may be, there’s something about the general act of being a Trump supporter that conflicts with my existence as a Hispanic, a woman and an immigrant. To have someone in my life who cannot see why Trump is a problem, especially while loving someone that is all of the things that he publicly slanders and disrespects, is overall a little heartbreaking.comments powered by Disqus