Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-04-18
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



VIEWS The Trump era: Where do we go from here?
by Nadine Smith

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

We are in a dangerous moment right now in this gap between the election and inauguration day. It is a dangerous moment because it has a lulling effect.

The TV still works, the ebb and flow of daily life continues and President Obama remains a comforting presence in the White House. Things look the same and the wheels have not come entirely off the wagon … yet. This calm before the storm can trick us into indulging in magical thinking:

"It won't be that bad. He met with Al Gore and that actor who loves the environment, right? America is still essentially the same. Besides, there really isn't much we can do or someone somewhere would have done it."

Not true.

The unsettling preview of a Trump presidency his cabinet picks have provided is nothing compared to the brutal reality of it actually arriving next month. He and his fact-free administration will act as though they have a mandate ( from God if not the voters ). He has surrounded himself with white-power fanatics, Christian Dominionists, and other zealots who believe they are anointed by God to reclaim America for white Christian families headed by godly men with obedient wives.

Do not believe they are incompetent to execute their plans because they are "in over their heads." They have no intention of playing by rules of law or custom. It will be 100 days of shock and awe. They intend to break as much as they can and leave us scrambling from one fire to the next.

They hope to goad us into violence. They want to fight us on that field. In addition to an assault on free speech, they will deepen the call to mob violence among their supporters as an arm of enforcing their politics and policies. They will cultivate racial and religious division. Violence of any sort allows them to restrict, inflame, instill fear and divide.

In the face of that, you will be heartbroken by the willingness to fall in line of some folks you thought would fight back. Some of the people whose anti-Trump posts you have shared before and since the election will change their tone and renounce their critiques when the power dynamic recalibrates their personal risk/reward formula.

And as much as I loathe what they may unleash domestically, the greatest danger is entrusting a nuclear arsenal to an insecure, unstable, thin-skinned liar who thrills at hurting people he thinks have slighted him. That racists and Russian handlers may guide his trigger finger is all the more catastrophic. The stakes are higher than ever for all of us, for our children and grandchildren and our planet.

So, what must we do?:

—Remember the majority of voters rejected Trump.

—Confront bigotry every single time.

—Engage in mass public resistance.

—Leverage economic pressure.

—Crowd-source a safety net.

—Commit to non-cooperation.

—Build community.

Remember the majority of voters rejected Trump.

Hillary Clinton received more votes than President Obama did in 2012. Beyond that, third-party candidates garnered a larger than usual slice. Trump will assume office with the lowest approval rating in history. It is important to remember and remind each other of this fact.

Confront bigotry, every time.

First and foremost we cannot give an inch to those who feel empowered to unleash hate violence toward immigrants, religious or racial minorities, women, the disabled, etc. … In every city, we need people who will denounce the act publicly, clean up the graffiti, sweep up the broken glass, go to the hospital, write letters to the editor, sit with the family ... whatever it takes to say this is not acceptable and you are not alone.

They seek to isolate and divide and make us fear each other. We have to have a strategy that becomes a habit to counter that. Otherwise, the stories we share of hate violence serve to instill terror, not resolve. Do it even when you are tired or you've had a rough day and think you've done enough. Be visible as a person committed to standing up to bigotry and street harassment and violence. @SafetyPinBlue is one campaign and there are others. The point is it will become harder to stand up and you must cultivate courage.

Engage in mass public resistance.

Yes, march on DC, not just once. But march on the state capital, too. Show up like never before to press local elected leaders to oppose monstrous policies. We need to have an American Uprising that signals to the world this is an aberration that will not stand.

Leverage our economic clout.

Boycotts brought down Apartheid and Jim Crow. Those of us who reject Trump have enormous economic clout and we are damned fools if we don't use it right now. Don't give money to those who are organizing to take away your liberty, your rights, your safety and that of your neighbors. This is an area our organizations need to show more leadership on and we as individuals must have the discipline make our message clear.

The EPA may gut environmental policies but we can punish those who continue to endanger our planet and we can reward green innovators.

They may repeal hard-fought civil-rights protections but we can refuse to buy from retailers and producers who discriminate.

Crowd-source a safety net.

We will need to look out for each other. If they proceed with their plans, the government will abandon its duty "to provide for the general welfare" of the people. Vital services will be cut. Healthcare gutted. Children will go to school hungry with no meal made available. We can't replace an entire government infrastructure but we have resources. Volunteer and donate to organizations that provide food, shelter and healthcare to those in need. Grow food. Share more.

We will need to look out for each other.

Commit to non-cooperation with evil.

Don't help. Challenge. Oppose. Resist. Speak up. Go on strike. Gum up the works in ways public and private. Don't help oil the machinery of fascism.

Build community.

Who brought Trump to power?

Third party spoilers?

Bernie Bro hubris?

Hillary campaign smugness?

White identity politics?

A protest vote gone awry?

Voter suppression?

Russian interference?

Okay, so here we are. It isn't that the answer doesn't matter, it just matters less than what we do now.

Somehow, we have to find common ground with enough people who don't believe America is a white male Christian nation of subservient wives and incurious children where you should be thankful for a below-subsistence wage at a company that is free to pollute your air and water and burn the planet while insisting your taxes pay for the cleanup. So we need to find that common ground and make the personal political. As many as 30 million Americans may lose all or part of their healthcare if Obamacare is truly repealed.

We need to form deeper alliances beyond left and right politics with the army of people, including many who voted for Trump but are about to get hit. "I told you so" is not a strategy and indulging in schadenfreude will doom us all.

And building community is also about building the community of friends and mentors and nourishing yourself with art and music and joy and love. Be there for fellow resisters. Hug, laugh, strategize, commiserate. Be kind. Don't spiral into despair.

It is easy to become the frog, slowly boiled a degree at a time as we are pressured to accept as normal what ought to be unthinkable.

Each of these strategies could be a post in and of itself. Turning them from an outline into action will require us to work and brainstorm together. I hope you will join in this conversation.

Nadine Smith is the co-founder and CEO of Equality Florida, the state's largest organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. A former award-winning journalist turned organizer, Nadine was one of four national co-chairs of the 1993 March on Washington.

She was part of the historic oval office meeting between then-President Clinton, the first such meeting between a sitting president and gay community leaders. She is a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Florida Advisory Committee, a Florida Chamber Foundation Trustee, and served on President Obama's National Finance Committee. She lives in St. Petersburg with her wife, Andrea, and son, Logan.

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Illinois Senate Democratic Victory Fund hires Tom Elliott as Communications Director 2018-04-19 - CHICAGO - The Illinois Senate Democratic Victory Fund today announced it has hired Tom Elliott as its communications director. "We are ...

Gay News

Acceptance of LGBT people and rights has increased around the world 2018-04-19 - LOS ANGELES — New research from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds average levels of acceptance for LGBT people and ...

Gay News

Free Interactive Workshop on Racial Justice, April 28 at University Church 2018-04-19 - A free, interactive workshop that offers a new perspective on working for racial justice will take place Saturday, April 28 from 9:30 am ...

Gay News

HRC series exposes Pence's career of attacks on LGBTQ Americans 2018-04-19 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer ( LGBTQ ) civil ...

Gay News

PM expresses regret for anti-LGBT laws 2018-04-19 - London UK — 17 April 2018 — The following is a response to today's statement at the Commonwealth summit in London from the ...

Gay News

Schock corruption trial continues 2018-04-18 - Department of Justice prosecutors and attorney for former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock ( R-Illinois ) met in a Chicago federal appeals court April ...

Gay News

Judge rules lawsuit over anti-trans Trump ban will go to trial 2018-04-18 - A federal judge in Seattle rejected the Trump administration's claim that its "new" plan to ban transgender people from serving openly in the ...

Gay News

Illinoisans lobby on behalf of curriculum bill 2018-04-18 - More than 100 community members became advocates and activists April 11 when Equality Illinois rallied its supporters at LGBTQ Advocacy Day at the ...

Gay News

Log Cabin Republicans claims to be locally reactivated 2018-04-18 - The Illinois affiliate of the Log Cabin Republicans ( LCR ) has been "reactivated," according to Chcagoan Morry Matson, who announced April 10 ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT Catholic LGBTQIs see mixed record in first five years of Francis papacy 2018-04-18 - Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA, recently issued the following statement in conjunction with the fifth anniversary of the election of Pope Francis: ...


Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.