An Uncomfortable Post- I Need Your Advice.


*Although this post does mention I am not a Trump supporter, it is not really about that. Please hang in there. I am super nervous about posting this, but I really need some perspective.

I feel like I need to preface what I am about to say with this- I am about as Liberal as they come. I was one of those that were devastated and flabbergasted by Trump’s election. I don’t even really know what else to say about it, other than I’ve sort of accepted the reality of what is happening, and, finding no other real viable solution, I’ve taken a massive step back from all things politics. I know this is rather cowardly of me, but what the fuck am I supposed to do, when I truly believe nothing I do can have any significant impact at this point? I stay away from the news. I don’t keep up. Every time something filters through to me, it’s awful and goes against what I believe to be the right way, and it’s like a punch in the gut. So I retreat. For now, until I can cast my next vote. So, there you have it.

I understand that I exist in a world where I am going to come into contact with many people, every day, who believe in different things than I do. That is fine. This is America, we still have the freedom of choice. I don’t walk around waving a banner with my political leanings, ethical and moral code, and specific belief system. It’s kind of like the old “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” thing from the military, except not about sexual preference. It’s about not getting into something intense and upsetting in an inappropriate setting. Unfortunately, sometimes this shit comes to you, and no matter how hard you try to sidestep that shit, it keeps coming.

Oh, you guys…listen. I can handle lots of stuff, I really can. But this has got me SO upset. I recently became reacquainted with a guy I knew somewhat, years ago, because our kids are in the same class. There is absolutely NO reason why I should have to know anything about his political belief system, except for he is one of those who REALLY wants to bring me over to the other side. You have to believe me when I say THAT WILL NEVER EVER EVER EVER HAPPEN. And I just don’t think this is something I should have to be subjected to in the few minutes after school, while just waiting for the fucking bell to RING, already. But whatever. I can just deflect, ignore, or even say “Yeah, I don’t support the (insert whatever insane thing it might be), and there isn’t enough time to get into it.

Then, one day, I innocently asked this person how work was going- I thought this was a safe topic, right? I still want to be friendly, I just don’t want to talk about making America great again. And that’s when the first incident happened. He rolled his eyes and said “Pssh, those fucking Mexican’s on that job…I ought to call ICE on them.” And I felt my soul shrivel up inside my body. It was one of those awful moments where I was so shocked by what he had just said, and my eyes darted around to see if any of the other parents milling about had heard him, and I just wanted to stand up and say “I am not that kind of white person! Eject, Eject!” But I didn’t know what to do, so I just said “That is awful!” And then he said, he said!!! “I know, tell me about it!” But I had meant that what he said was awful, not that I was agreeing with him! Oh my God!  But the bell rang, and I high tailed it right the fuck out of there.

Another day, he reported gleefully that ICE was doing raids all over California, deporting illegal immigrants. I just said “Yeah, I don’t support that.” My standard refrain, to which he replied “Why? What about all of us who worked so hard to be here legally?” And I thought ‘who the fuck is he talking about? Did he immigrate here? Am I missing something?’ But again, bell rang, I ran. I mean, this is no way to live, but I guess I was just too chicken shit to stand my ground. Not only was I starting to dread these interactions, but I was growing to loathe myself for being so unable to speak my own truth back at him.

Then, yesterday, something really awful happened. He very kindly, and without me asking him to do this, brought my daughter’s backpack by my house that she’d forgotten at school. His daughter had come here for a birthday party, which is why they knew where I lived. I went outside to say thanks, and out of nowhere, he brought up another little girl in the class who was good friends with his daughter, and how she was Muslim, and he started GOING OFF about Muslim’s and how their “bible” encourages raping white women (I am not making any of this up) and about genital mutilation and on and on…and his daughter was sitting RIGHT THERE. Listening to every word that came out of his mouth. When I looked at her, she looked mortified. I put my hands over her ears and I said, as gently as possible, “Do you really think you should be talking like this in front of her?” He would not be dissuaded. He kept going off. It segued into this whole thing about Trump, and I tried, I really did, to diffuse the situation, but he was kinda freaking out, and I was super caught off guard, and it just wasn’t good.

Listen…I don’t care who you voted for, that’s fine, whatever. But this went into a whole different realm of racism and hatred and ugliness. I couldn’t get a word in edgewise, and every time I tried to say anything, he yelled over me, and finally I just said “Dude, you need to calm down- you’re going to give yourself a heart attack.” I came inside and tried to calm down, and like five minutes later, he called and asked if Cam could come play with his daughter and I SAID YES. What the fuck is wrong with me? I’m telling you guys, the need to be liked is STRONG with me. It’s a real fucking problem. I actually left my kid there for like 30 minutes before I came to my senses and made up some story about forgetting about some prior thing and that I needed to pick her up. That was a super bad call on my part, and I’m just going to own it.

He asked if they could have a play date today. I said maybe. I talked with Cam’s dad last night and explained what had happened, and he (who by the way does not share my political beliefs at all) said absolutely not. He couldn’t believe I let her go over there in the first place. I’m sorry this is so long, but I am almost done. I woke up this morning, and spent a lot of time researching the Muslim faith, just to educate myself in case this came up again- I already knew that what he was talking about was Muslim extremism, and not your everyday, average Muslim, but I wanted to confirm what I thought. I know that the odds are, even if I do have to be subjected to another meltdown like that, I won’t be able to state my point, or I will be so rattled that I won’t be able to formulate an intelligent sentence. So, I did what I do best- I sat down and wrote him a message outlining how he had every right to think however he wanted, but that I thought it was fucked up to say things like that in front of his kid, and I worried about her repeating those things to her Muslim friend at school. And furthermore, I was worried about what he might say in front of my child, if he had no problem speaking that way in front of his own. I said it as nicely as possible, but you and I both know it’s not going to go over well.

My question to any of you who have made it this far is this- do I send the message? Will it even do any good at all, or will it just make life weird for my kid at school, and me every time I see this person? If I don’t speak up, isn’t that being dishonest? Part of me wants to scream back just as vehemently that everything he stands for makes my skin crawl, and part of me fears that will just add fuel to the fire. I don’t know what to do, or how to handle this.  I do know I have handled it incredibly poorly so far. I am seriously in knots over this. Can I also just add, I realize that not all Trump supporters are like this, this is an extreme situation that goes way beyond that. I do not mean to be divisive, I am just truly upset and looking for guidance here.

Thanks. Sorry again that this is so long.


13 thoughts on “An Uncomfortable Post- I Need Your Advice.

  1. Tough call. He sounds like the kind of bully who is so entrenched in unreasonableness that no message not congruent with his own is going to get through. So then it would become a matter of principle to speak up about racism. I fully admit that I am avoidant more than I should be, but when it comes to lost causes like this I usually try to avoid engaging.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah, I’m just so conflicted. Usually, when I sleep on something, I wake up with an answer, but not this time. I am so horrified, and I really don’t want my kid around someone like that. I feel so bad for his daughter. She’s just a sweet, innocent little girl.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This man sounds terrifying and rather unstable(ie speaking like that in front of children). I am not sure that a message would be received well from a person like this. I would keep my distance from him. There are plenty of people in the world that you can disagree with and still have a rational conversation…I don’t think this is one of those people….

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you…you are probably right. I guess I better just figure out a way to avoid invitations for Cam to come over. I could always invite his daughter over here. And just tell him I don’t want to get into it if he starts talking crazy again.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. If you feel that you want to say your piece, then you should. I also agree with Cam’s dad, but maybe for different reasons. We should place ourselves around people with opposing views, but if he is saying things in front of young children, things inappropriate like you said, Cam shouldn’t be exposed to that. She’s too young and impressionable. If he will say things in front of his own daughter, he will say them in front of yours. I’m all for debate and persuasion but it needs to be done with some ground rules. You could try to set some but this guy may not be able to follow them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think you should say your piece too. Just because he’s perhaps bigger, louder, and more obnoxious, doesn’t mean he’s right. Just don’t get into a face-to-face argument with him, because you can’t rationalise with an irrational person – and you can tell him that.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There are certain people in life that really just do not deserve your time and energy – this guy is one of them. The issue is, you can’t seem to avoid him. He has problems, and does not have a functioning moral/verbal gauge. Maybe you can just gently say, “I really want our girls to remain friends, but I just cannot see any reason to have discussions about race and religion in front of my 7 year old child. I’m sure you understand.” That is ALL you need to say. Let HIM figure out what you mean. (He probably won’t.) When you tell someone that you’re sure they’ll understand, you kind of put the ball in their court. You’re saying that you believe they are intelligent enough to “get it”. They don’t want to disappoint your positive view of their intelligence. Let him know that she is welcome at your home, but if he asks, you just have excuse after excuse why Cam can’t go to his. It will eventually work itself out. Time is the best thing you can put behind this one.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. as the father of Cam,I am thankful that you made the call to pick her up, and agree will most other comments made, especially about this person being unstable. This is not Trumps fault for this guys behavior, but probably his parents who raised him as a child.Our child is a “perfect princess”,who is smart and loving to all. Let keep her that way!
    Courtney. keep up the great work


    Liked by 2 people

  7. I share many of the general sentiments as you in your post. Specifically to your child, I do believe it is important that we set boundaries for such behavior. I certainly don’t think it necessary to take principled stands on every minutia of comments that are played out on either side of the spectrum. However, I too am uninterested in hearing the latest conspiracy theories around Muslims, the deep state, DACA and so forth. I am comfortable with telling folks until they have some verifiable facts to back up their conjectures, whether around birth certificates, size of inauguration event crowds, illegal voters, et al, then I will simply not engage in any discussion on same.

    A perspective I found incredibly helpful in today’s polarized world is that expressed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and The Dalai Lama in their volume The Book of Joy. I just completed a book study on same, and I have to admit, when I first read the title I thought – no way, this sounds extremely trite and fluffy. However, the volume is set in how folks such as Desmond Tutu live through and live to witness the overthrow of apartheid or the Dalai Lama living in exile from his home for over 50 years – then it starts to make sense. Through their stories and the lessons of individuals such as Nelson Mandela and others, they discuss how they accepted the reality of the world situation at that time, but also vigorously vowed and actively participated in its overthrow. It is in this context that I have hope, in the same way that the students of Parkland Florida are providing the first glimmer of hope around issues of gun control.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Its ok to feel awkward about this type of stuff. Amazingly the longer you stay sober the easier it will be to stay away from toxic people like this. This is the type of shit I drank on, not wanting to offend people, no matter what an ahole they were. As bonkers as it may sound putting your sobriety first will make it easier to say no to these people. If you ask yourself the question “ Is being in this situation bringing me closer to the person I want to be…or not” It’s truly scary hearing this type of stuff, he will find someone else to rant to. S x

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I would have just sent a message about how his outburst and general political leanings is not something I want my kids to be around and that’s all. You don’t need to go into any more more detail than that. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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