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.