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Back to normal...

...or at least as close to an approximation of normal as things can be.

On Wednesday, I made the mistake of telling my husband that I planned to not participate in marching band next year because the band marches in parades in the outlying small communities. In the past two years of going out there with the band, I'd noticed people staring at me and the baritone sax player, the only two Asians in the band and in the vicinity. By no means were all the people doing that, but I'd noticed enough that it had made me uncomfortable then, and so I told my husband that I didn't feel safe returning to those areas, in light of the threats and attacks that have been made on Asians in the last week.

My husband exploded. Afterward, he said that though he'd been upset with Trump's win and the subsequent assumption among some small percentage of Trump's followers that it was now okay threaten and attack minorities, it hadn't truly hit home for him until his wife told him that she was afraid of personal attacks on herself. I've never seen him so angry in my life, even when we've had major arguments that lasted days. He's screamed and frothed before, but this time, he withdrew into himself, and you know how they say "his eyes burned"? I now know exactly what they mean.

After he'd collected himself a bit, he posted on Facebook, explaining what I had said and what it meant to him, and ending with, "So help me, by any deity who might happen to be listening, if you threaten to hurt my wife, I will fucking kill you."

My husband is a nice guy. I mean, seriously. He's always happy and friendly, though quite a bit sardonic with his friends. He doesn't share personal things on social media, being of the opinion that personal things are personal. On Facebook especially, his status updates are funny, usually self-deprecating, and never serious.

To this post, he received absolutely shocked responses. One of his friends, a political activist who constantly scours the news feeds and sees everything anyone says, posted, "I've seen so many stories of the consequences of this election, but this has made my blood run cold, for the very reason that it's so contrary to your usual persona." We received so many offers of protection and solidarity - and inquiries to our well-being, by phone and in person, rather than just on Facebook - it really helped us recover. It's wonderful to know how many friends you have out there, who take your fears seriously and tell you that they have your back.

There was one thing I did find interesting. It's pretty easy to tell on Facebook, from the things that people post, which way they voted, or at the very least who voted for Trump and who didn't. There were only two of my friends who voted for Trump who responded to my husband's post, and this is what they said.

Person One (paraphrased; his response was much longer, but basically said this): You shouldn't be afraid, and you really should stop hating us. You should be working with us to make this country better.

Person Two: You two should consider getting concealed-carry licenses.

I'm going to note that neither person prefaced what they said with "I'm sorry that you guys are afraid" or any kind of comfort or support. What I've written above is the entirety of their responses.

I don't understand this at all. We were not talking about Trump supporters in general or about fear of the changes that may happen when Trump takes office. We were talking about the few people among the Trump supporters who feel empowered to threaten and harm those who are not of their race and will take the opportunity to physically harm me if they get it. How do I not be afraid of them? How is that my fault? And I realize that Person Two didn't mean what he said this way, but it felt like he was basically placing the burden on us - like victim-blaming in rape cases, well, if you're afraid of being the target of racism, it's your fault if you don't protect yourself against it.

So that's been our week. It's been depressing and puzzling, but things are better now. Still scary to walk around when I'm not in the middle of liberal-as-hell town, but at least we've gotten back to a normal routine. I've finished my story for Who@50, though I have to sit on in until Saturday. Now I need to figure out what I'm working on next - there's still about 25 WIPs sitting around. "Power of the Daleks" tomorrow. Pokémon Sun/Moon comes out at the end of the week.

Life goes on.



( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 13th, 2016 09:33 pm (UTC)
I am so sorry you don't feel safe out there. Your husband sounds fiercely protective of you, and that is good. It is awful that a few people took and continue to take advantage of the current election cycle to spew their hate. That is unacceptable, Former Sec. Clinton, President Obama and President Elect Trump have all indicated this at this juncture, their campaigns have also denounced this kind of behavior. This country is made up of people from all different places in the world, from its very start. It was never meant to be homogeneous, and that is our strength, it's what makes us so different from any other country on Earth.

I hope things do calm down with all these riots, too. It's one thing to express one's opinion and gather in peaceful assembly like most are, but the property destruction has to stop, along with lynching of people because of how the lynchers think one voted. That is scaring a lot of people, too.

Anyway, all this time, and I don't know what instrument you play.... I used to play clarinet a very long time ago (until a house fire destroyed it; wooden clarinets are very expensive now, and I refuse to get a metal one).
Nov. 13th, 2016 10:13 pm (UTC)
Oh jeez, the riots. We've had a number of peaceful protests here in our town - stopped traffic and stuff, but they never got violent. What happened in Portland was embarrassing, though - a number of anarchists co-opted a peaceful protest and turned it into a riot. It has to stop.

What instrument I play is a little complicated. I played clarinet through high school and part of college, and then picked it up again about five years ago when I started playing in band again. Then I decided I wanted something different, so now I'm playing French horn. For marching band, I play drums, and I do a bit of percussion for one of my concert bands.

You can get a good plastic clarinet pretty inexpensively, especially used. When I was still playing clarinet, I got a used Buffet B12 for practice from www.clarinetcloset.com, and it sounds almost as good as the wooden Buffet E12 I use for performances. (And it's a lot lighter, too.) The Clarinet Closet is a couple who are both retired band directors and restore used clarinets for a living. They do very good work.

And if you're interested in an easy-going concert band, look into the New Horizons Band (http://newhorizonsmusic.org/). It's a country-wide organization that has bands in many communities for returning to concert music or learning for the first time, and they play music rated for middle school to early high school. They run from September through June, so you can probably still join your local band, as it's early in the season.

Edited at 2016-11-13 10:17 pm (UTC)
Nov. 13th, 2016 10:28 pm (UTC)
I figured they were being co opted. And the lynching around Chicago.... that was just awful. Poor guy made it back to his car, and they pulled him out again.

So, bottom line is, you've played and are playing various instruments. That's very talented! I've only really played clarinet, and it has been at least 4 decades since I last played. Maybe after my kids all graduate college, if I still have breath left in my body and a penny to my name, I might take it up again in my retirement! Thanks for the websites, though.
Nov. 13th, 2016 10:41 pm (UTC)
Oh, I really hope you do pick it up again! I hadn't played in... I suppose it had been 25 years when I started up again, and it's been wonderful. And it's something you can do at any age - we have people in our band who are in their 80s and 90s. :)
Nov. 13th, 2016 10:11 pm (UTC)
I don't see it as being a mistake that you confided in your husband about your fears because, despite the two berks on Facebook, you gained a lot of positivity. Having felt a similar level of uncomfortableness, I think you were right.

Do you fancy doing a seasonal story? Just thought I'd ask... ;)
Nov. 13th, 2016 10:16 pm (UTC)
I just love the word "berk". :D Thanks! :)

You know, I never think about doing seasonal stories, but maybe I'll try one this year. I do have a WIP set at Christmas involving my OC David and his friend Will, but it's not really a Christmas story, as in fun and cheer and happy. Anyway, I'll have to think about that. Do you have any ideas to suggest?
Nov. 13th, 2016 10:29 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I'd love to hear about David and Will again! Whenever you get to it....
Nov. 13th, 2016 10:43 pm (UTC)
Why, thanks! That's great encouragement! There are quite a number of stories about them left to tell. I just need to get to work on them. :)
Nov. 13th, 2016 11:34 pm (UTC)
I don't know you but I wanted to say: you aren't alone in being afraid.
Nov. 14th, 2016 01:29 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! Every word of comfort and solidarity helps a tremendous amount.
Nov. 14th, 2016 03:30 am (UTC)
Bless!! I can't blame your hubby at all...this is insane, honey.

Nov. 14th, 2016 05:54 am (UTC)
You have a good man in your husband. He clearly has your back. And I'm glad you have others you can count on.

I've been thinking long and hard about my feelings about the election, and I'm not ready to put them to paper. I also want to fact-check some of my impressions, if you will.

Please feel free to PM if you want.
Nov. 21st, 2016 07:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for your support from across the miles! Things have definitely calmed down a lot, though I have to admit that when we were driving to and from a nearby town using a state route that goes through a few tiny villages, I was thinking about the possibility of the car breaking down in one of them and how that situation might turn dangerous. It is horrible to be afraid of such things in this country.

Nov. 18th, 2016 05:43 pm (UTC)

I'm so sorry these terrible events led you to such a sense of unsafety, dear. That is just… wrong. ♥ I'm glad your friends' support helped a little, though… Keep safe, and keep strong ♥

The responses from the two Trump supporters among your friends just seem to blatantly show how a vast part of his electorate simply sidelined everything that was blatantly racist, sexist and wrong in his discourse. Especially Person #1—it pretty much says "since I feel represented by Trump, and I'm not racist/an awful person, then the others will be the same and we can all work together". Like… I don't want to get into psychological theories, but when I was doing a social psychology course I read about cognitive dissonance, how the human mind just tends to file away the information that makes us uncomfortable (in this case, contradictions between our behaviours and our core convictions), reframe it to make it feel more benign, or even shift our own beliefs and worldview to make the contradiction go away. This right there is exactly that. It's like a huge majority of Trump supporters were so disgusted with all the rest of the political scene, feeling so abandoned and angry, that since Trump's messages worked on them, made them feel represented, they just unconsciously pushed away all the rest or made it seem unimportant. But these messages are not unimportant. The racism isn't shared by half of the American electorate, great, but it doesn't change the fact that Trump's victory empowers those feelings and opinions, and it doesn't change the fact that it makes people like you feel unsafe. And with good reason. But many people won't want to face that until it stares them in the face—and even then they'll try to convince you it's not so bad, not because they don't care about your feelings and fear, but this can't be the truth of what they voted for. This just says a huge lot about human nature.

…I'm really not sure my throwing an essay at you helped in any way, but I thought you might be interested in the insight. Eh, it's a thing lots of people probably concluded already—basically just people being in denial—but in such situations of high tension, as you said yourself, understanding the other person's viewpoint just becomes very very hard… It seems too alien.

(I'm not sparing any comment but a massive headdesk to Person #2 because… yeah. Let's just say I fail to see any bit of psychology I could shove into that =P Let's just solve fear, unrest, and a massive rift of society with everyone having guns, brilliant.)

Have more hugs btw. ♥♥♥
Nov. 21st, 2016 07:42 pm (UTC)
Actually, your essay was fantastic. I especially love your last statement, that "this can't be the truth of what they voted for". To me, that's the crux of the problem. At least, that's what I have to think it is, because I know these people and I do not believe they actually do approve of the hatred and violence that small percentage of people are demonstrating. They simply need to ignore the consequences of their vote, so that they don't have to face the possibility that they were wrong or, worse, responsible.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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