Just days before the United States potentially makes the worst decision in modern history, I am compelled to write about the hatred that exists in my own community.
Last week, a local man was seen (not for the first time) standing in a very public location (this time, at a university) holding this sign.
He was asked to leave the property, so moved to a nearby sidewalk, which is across the street from a building full of international students. Shortly after this picture was taken, he was arrested because there was a physical altercation and the victim required an emergency dental procedure.
I have encountered this man in person. I do not like him. I do not like what he stands for or, rather, against. I do not like that he uses intimidation and – just the other day – violence to make himself heard.
To be clear, he can say what he wants. What he cannot and should not expect is that there will be no consequences for the things he says. We are permitted to have opinions about the things he says and does. We are permitted to dislike him for the things he says and does.
Donald Trump is, without question, the most racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, transphobic, homophobic, just most repulsive, disgusting, and despicable human being I can think of who is currently in the public eye.
And there are members of our community – in Canada! Where we can’t vote for the next president of the United States! – who support him.
There are members of our community who will stand across the street from a building full of international students with a sign that says, “Fuck China. Fuck Mexico.” There are members of our community who will say such things, carry such signs and make it necessary for me to explain to my children – who are partially of Chinese descent – what his sign means, how/why this man is so hateful.
It frightens me that individuals like this man exist. It frightens me that (at least) one of his pals is an elected official in our community who – when he’s not spewing hatred against the LGBTQ community, women, and other minority groups – is involved in making decisions about such things as public housing, public health, and policing, and the like.
There is no place for hatred in our community, and I will stand up to it; we all should stand up to it, every time we encounter it.