Editor’s note: Amid the Nazi salutes and cheers and hopes for better days or the wailing and gnashing of teeth and fears of worst-case scenarios in the wake of Donald Trump’s stunning victory (depending on one’s political sentiments), one unidentified individual’s observations on the mood encountered before and after the campaign stand alone as best capturing the angst being felt by those finding themselves surrounded by rabid Trump supporters. You can almost feel the frustration of the writer being placed in a potentially hostile environment.
The writer, who identified himself/herself only as “Confused” for very obvious reasons, wrote this as reader’s comment but we felt it was such a well-articulated, poignant message that it deserved to be published as a guest column.
With only minor edits, here is his/her story:
I have always been very private at work and avoided conversations there about politics, religion, science, evolution and diversity. It was just a general awareness of my not fitting in and seeing others getting ganged up on if they disagreed with others, which rarely happened.
Prior to getting hired (I’m from out west), I never thought I would ever experience living somewhere where I felt afraid for my job because I did not agree with the homophobic viewpoints, the entrenched racism, the anti-union sentiment and the fear of anyone of color.
I have stood up to this many times for our clients because I had no idea free speech is only allowed if I agree with them.
During the campaign, I was asked over and over about who I was voting for. I was told lies about both candidates, told racist and sexist jokes and heard people proudly boast of being white. I found ways to walk away or change the subject.
As many have noted in their comments on LouisianaVoice, arguing is futile.
Now I am terrified. I need my job. I can’t afford to move, but thinking of four years of living like this makes me ill. And knowing there is no guarantee it will end in four years only intensifies my anxiety!
I am white, but as terrified as I feel, I can’t even begin to understand how helpless this whole election has felt to those who Trump has attacked verbally and emotionally and now has the power to attack them physically and destroy their lives.