Supporters celebrate as returns come in for Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump during an election night rally. (Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar)
It is no secret that I am a firm opponent of Donald Trump and everything he represents. So as the world watched in horror on Tuesday night the election of a bigot for President of the United States of America, friends on my Facebook page knew that my reaction would not be in the least bit congratulatory.
I made it known that the people who voted for this man ought to be ashamed of themselves.
As a black, gay, woman, who knows what it feels like to be discriminated against simply because of who you are and for something you cannot erase, I am sure that those of you who believe in simple human kindness can understand why I have such strong feelings against Mr. Trump.
I won't frighten or bore you with all the evidence of his racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic and chauvinistic ideologies and tactics. I believe we all watched as he displayed destructive behaviour time and time again over the months he campaigned to win over many Americans.
I fear that this Trump "movement" will slip its way into Canada and fuel the fire in those who have long remained quiet or polite about their shared vision for a divided community of people where only some lives matter and deserve basic human rights.
Somewhere deep inside I knew he would achieve this goal, but I didn't expect it to completely uncover the true face of America that many have long ignored and continue to ignore. Trump not only won over the hearts of many Americans, but he pulled all the champions of hate and division out of their holes. Let's keep it real, he was endorsed by a KKK leader.
With all that said, I am now at a place where I fear that this Trump "movement" will slip its way into Canada and fuel the fire in those who have long remained quiet or polite about their shared vision for a divided community of people where only some lives matter and deserve basic human rights.
My concern stems from my earlier reaction to Trump's victory and the outrageous responses I received thereafter from followers living right here in Canada. The first comment was "STFU", followed by "Trump will make the world great again" and "All hail Trump". This, as Trump supporters in Manhattan were reportedly shouting "We hate Muslims, we hate Blacks. We want our great country back".
I made a warning post about the attacks on my page and this led to a number of my friends sharing with me that they have ended friendships and blocked supporters of Trump over their hateful remarks towards anyone that speaks out against the election of Trump.
One of my friends even wrote on her wall that "Three Trump supporters were harassing several of my queer friends outside of Gladstone on the sidewalk last night. There was nothing management could do -- they were on the sidewalk..."
This type of hateful and prejudicial reaction is sadly inescapable and exists anywhere there is a group of people with opposing beliefs. It is what led to me leaving my country of birth with my fiancé... so I do know the kind of world I exist in.
In spite of this reality, when I decided to move away from a homophobic Caribbean region, I chose Canada because of its heart; because of its reputation for being one of the most diverse and welcoming countries in the world.
Let us not become like the "Divided States of America..." Let us remain one of the most amazing places on earth where love and respect for all is encouraged and where views that threaten the core values for peace and unity are challenged and struck down.
Though I had never felt disrespected by anyone here before Tuesday night, I have seen it during our Pride parade in Toronto; in the way we continue to treat First Nation families and even in our handling of injustices like the case involving Abdirahman Abdi a black Muslim man who suffered from some form of mental illness but somehow ended up dead during a confrontation with police officers in Ottawa. Lest we forget!
This is not to take away from the awesomeness that is within our beautiful country, but a reality check on how easy it would be for Donald Trump's dangerous movement to spread across this great nation.
Let us not become like the "Divided States of America" as New York Daily News calls it. Let us remain one of the most amazing places on earth where love and respect for all is encouraged and where views that threaten the core values for peace and unity are challenged and struck down.
We are not an America for Trump. We are Canada, so let's trump hate with love!
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