The other day a Snapchat post caught my eye. In short, the post accused the supporters of President-Elect Joe Biden who talk openly about loving all minority groups, but end friendships over whether someone supports President Donald Trump, of being hypocrites.
I didn’t respond because I was blocked (for which I don’t know why), but I wish I could. While I am left-leaning in my political ideology, I hate the extremely partisan politics people often engage in. But amid the Trump presidency and 2020 election, we’ve stepped into territory beyond partisanship.
Focal points of Trump’s presidency revolved around disenfranchising and discriminating against minority groups while simultaneously supporting and encouraging white supremacist policies and ideologies.
He labeled COVID-19 the “Kung-flu” and the “Chinese-virus.” These racialized labels encouraged assumptions about Asian-Americans carrying the virus because of their race. Oftentimes these assumptions were based purely on appearance, regardless of whether or not someone was ethnically Chinese. The labels coincided with a warning from the FBI about a potential rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans.
When it comes to LGBTQ individuals, Trump may claim he loves the community but his policies tell a different story. In his first (and only) term, Trump rescinded protections for LGBTQ individuals in the workplace, banned transgender individuals from serving in the military and rescinded Obama-era guidance encouraging schools to treat students in accordance with their gender identity.
Trump claims “no one has done more for the Black community than (him),” but his language and plans tell a different story. He has labeled Black Lives Matter a hate symbol, suggested white supremacists were morally equivalent to protestors in Charlottesville and called on segregationist arguments to encourage his white suburban voters.
In regard to policy, Trump plans to increase policing in Black communities (which doesn’t address the systemic reasons why crime rates are high in Black communities), included “Opportunity Zones” in his 2017 tax bill (which, per Forbes has mostly benefited billionaire investors rather than underprivileged communities) and supports school choice (which doesn’t improve public school systems so all minority students have access to quality education).
To put it simply, supporting Trump is supporting his racism and bigotry or at least turning a blind eye to it in favor of his policies. Even if you don’t consider yourself racist but voted for Trump, you’re exercising your privilege and/or ignorance because another four years of Trump would be a danger to the lives of BIPOC and LGBTQ individuals.
In this election, one candidate was on the side of human rights regardless of race, ethnicity or sexual orientation. The other was not.
If someone breaks off a friendship on the basis of whether or not someone supports Trump, it’s likely not because they despise Republican policy views. They just realize Trump and his followers are either complacent or ignorant and don’t want that energy in her life.