Most Trump voters aren’t racist, but hopefully they can understand …

Three days after the election, my Facebook and Twitter feeds are still dominated by post-election chatter.

A well-written, insightful piece by college student Cassie Hewlett has popped up numerous times on my feed, shared by numerous friends who were Trump voters. Cassie states it perfectly:

With the results of the presidential election stirring up a vast amount of emotions, I think it is important to clarify something: just because I am Republican does not mean I am heartless.

She is right. I was heartbroken when a student of mine came to class feeling like she could not express her happiness with the election results in classrooms because academia is – let’s face it – dominated by liberals. And claims like “Trump voters are racist, sexist, homophobic” caused her to naturally become defensive, because she is not any of these.

Harsh rhetoric automatically shuts down any chance of conversation. It makes one automatically defensive.

Ironically, the frustration expressed by many Trump voters of being labeled “racist” comes from the same emotional place as the anxiety expressed by those disappointed in the election results. So many of my minority  (racially, religiously and sexuality) friends are posting messages of genuine fear and a sense that they don’t belong in America. These feelings stem from the harsh rhetoric Trump has used at one point in the campaign, for instance saying most Mexican immigrants are “rapists and murderers” or calling for a complete ban on Muslims.

Again, harsh rhetoric automatically shuts down any chance of conversation. It makes one automatically defensive.

For us to truly come together, those of us who dislike Trump need to stop applying blanket labels to his voters. And Trump voters need to understand that many minorities are scared, not because their candidate lost, but because of a genuine fear that has been instituted by the past rhetoric of our President-elect.

Please, tell someone who is genuinely afraid that you respect them, support them, love them and that you will be there for them.

Author: Joe Dennis

Journalist. Teacher. Announcer. Coach.

4 thoughts on “Most Trump voters aren’t racist, but hopefully they can understand …”

  1. “These feelings stem from the harsh rhetoric Trump has used at one point in the campaign, for instance saying most Mexican immigrants are “rapists and murderers” or calling for a complete ban on Muslims.”

    Go read the actual quote. It takes a load of ill will and a leap of logic to read that he actually meant that most Mexican immigrants are rapists and murderers.

    Can’t you see how the press and people like you endlessly misquoting him with the harshest of interpretations is actually causing the problem that you’re concerned about?

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    1. Here’s the full quote:
      “They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

      Interpret as you may, but many Mexican immigrants were deeply hurt by this rhetoric. Just like those who say “A vote for Trump is a vote for racism” is needlessly hurtful to all Trump voters.

      My point is that people are hurting, regardless of whether you feel it is justified or not, wouldn’t it unite us if we could just show some compassion?

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      1. My point was that it’s the progressives that are enhancing the rhetoric by interpreting everything that is said in the most negative way. Then, after making the rhetoric as bad as possible, they complain about how the rhetoric is hurting people.

        Do you see the hypocrisy?

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  2. Some Trump supporters may not be racist (or homophobic or what have you) but most are. It’s hard to think they are not. The fear they have stems from fear of change and loss of the status quo: their power in white supremacy.

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