Don’t let Donald Trump become the new normal | Steven W Thrasher

We cant look past things the president-elect has said about minorities and women in this country. Anyone who does is playing with fire

I was marching up New Yorks Fifth Avenue on Saturday afternoon behind a woman carrying a sign that read: Keep your tiny hands off my pussy. We were heading towards a looming tower with tinted windows where the president-elect lives and I thought to myself: this is absurd. We should not think of any of this as normal.

Nor should we consider it normal that one of the president-elects team appeared to hint that the Senate majority leader might face legal consequences for saying Donald Trump has emboldened bigotry; nor that theyve refused to rule out jailing Hillary Clinton; nor that he plans to immediately deport three million immigrants; nor that hes hired a documented racist, Islamophobic, antisemitic demagogue to help him run the White House; nor that hes taken to Twitter to spread lies about the New York Times for reporting on him.

So lets not. Lets not accept any of this as a new normal. Lets resist normalization at every step in our minds, our words and our actions.

We begin by giving hell to anyone who tries to normalize the racist, misogynist, xenophobic bully who will soon be president. In the primaries, it was disgusting when Republicans like Chris Christie endorsed him, folding his racism and hatred into normal Republican political discourse.

News media normalized him when they let him phone into their shows and asked him softball questions. Entertainment media normalized him when NBC invited him him to host SNL and had Jimmy Fallon mess up his hair. Now, its not just Republicans doing this: Oprah Winfrey, lobbyists, unions, businesses, traditional media companies, social media companies and many Democrats seem to want to act like Trump can be folded into normal business.

Even President Obama, who just a week ago said Trump shouldnt have the nuclear codes, is trying to normalize his successor. Reject this. Anyone doing this is telling us to look past massive bigotry, Islamophobia, antisemitism and a culture of sexual predation. These people are not our friends. Resist their urge to make you complicit in your name.

We must look closely at people who have claimed to be our political friends under false allegiances. As a gay man, I must take a hard look at the fact that Apple CEO Tim Cook, who hosted a fundraiser for Paul Ryan, and Peter Thiel, who destroyed Gawker in his war against a free press and who backed Trump, are now the two most powerful gay men in America. I have long been critical of Gay Inc, but it will now more actively be tied into systems of oppression against transgender people, Hispanics, Muslims, immigrants, Jews, black people and women. Gay rights will now likely fold into white male rights. These people are not our friends.

Each of us also must know our own values, and what you are and are not willing to do in the name of normalization. Will you be silent if only rich women can access abortion (or no women can access it)? If the poor lose health coverage? If millions of Hispanic people are surveilled and their families broken apart?

What about if water and air standards vanish and lead to the kind of catastrophe faced by the people of Flint? If Giulianis aggressive 1990s New York stop-and-frisk policy is unleashed on the whole nation? Will you speak up? What laws will you break and not break? If youre white and/or a citizen, will you risk going to jail to stop the violent deportation of a neighbor? You have to take stock of these questions, and answer them for yourself, because the people who will tell you to be obedient and to not question authority are not our friends.

We have seen what Trump and his ilk think of an American-born Hispanic judge, a free press and the Voting Rights Act. He has threatened to sue the New York Times and his political opponents. If the justice department is run by Giuliani, which is a possibility, it is unlikely that he will be too eager to investigate the reported rise in hate crimes in the past week. So have no faith in the coming government and no faith in any media which cozies up to this mans administration for access. Dont assume youll be able to rely on social media to disseminate information as you have. Resist and accept that the world, and how it operates, is going to be fundamentally different.

Finally, we must let go of the normalizing idea that we are going to get through this. Many of us are not. If Trump has his way, some women (likely women of color) who cant afford safe abortions will die having illegal ones. Black Americans, who will likely be more policed, will risk being killed more often by cops. If Obamacare or Medicare, which <a href=”” data-link-name=”in” body link” class=”u-underline”>Paul Ryan wants to make private is rolled back considerably, many will likely die without proper healthcare. All of this will disproportionately harm people of color.

Not all of us are going to get out of this alive or unharmed. But we can resist, fight for each other, witness one another and love one another. Its going to take a more radical notion of love than we commonly hold the kind of radical love Martin Luther King was jailed and died for expressing and it will require never accepting that any of this is normal.

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