Some Thoughts on “Tolerance,” Post-Election 2016

I’ve been called “intolerant” multiple times today*, all because when Trump voters have felt the need to tell us they are not personally racist misogynist bigots—they just voted for one—I have refused to take their word for it.

If that’s what “tolerance” is, then tolerance is useless.

I am tolerant of all Trump voters.

I tolerate them. I don’t think Trump voters should be subjected to unproven reparative therapies. I don’t think Trump voters should be subjected to warrantless stop-and-frisk searches. I think Trump voters should be able to marry whomever they want, provided it’s a consenting adult. I think we should trust Trump voters to make their own reproductive decisions for themselves and their families. I don’t think an unarmed Trump voter should be viewed by police as any more of a threat than anyone else. I don’t believe Trump voters should be subjected to heightened scrutiny at airports just because of how they look or what they’re wearing. I don’t think Trump voters should be subjected to catcalling, harassment, or assault just for walking down the street.

“Intolerance” is when you believe the opposite of any of the things I just said (except substitute a different group for “Trump voters.”)

What tolerance does not mean is that I cannot criticize your beliefs or actions. It does not mean that I have to accept your actions when they hurt others.

If you are asking me not to criticize you, and not to call you out on your bullshit when I see it, all in the name of “tolerance,” you’re not actually asking for my tolerance.

You’re asking for my obedience.

I’m telling you right now, you can’t have it.

Trump hasn’t been shy about speaking his mind about the people in this society that he doesn’t like. I will never treat you the way Trump has treated or threatens to treat women, LGBTQ people, immigrants, Muslims, people of color, and others.

I will always tolerate you.

I will not, however, be quiet, nor will I be obedient.

You sure as hell wouldn’t be if your candidate had lost.


* I posted the foregoing to Facebook the day after the election. It got more likes and shares than just about anything else I’ve ever posted, so I figured I’d re-publish it here.

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