Jim and Nancy Spillane: We will not close our eyes
Congratulations to our Republican friends for a clean sweep on Election Day. Please know that we have a sincere respect for your call for change. We get that.
Celebrating along with you include these groups: the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (they even had a parade), white supremacists, militia groups, the Islamic states, ISIS, Russia, Syria, Jihadists racists, bigots, misogynists and Al Qaeda.
Not celebrating with you are the majority of Routt County and American voters. Also not celebrating with you are our Hispanic friends, our black friends, our Native American friends, our friends with disabilities, our LGBTQ friends, our women friends who have been raped, assaulted and harassed, our Muslim friends, women whose health care is in jeopardy and the sick and dying who do not have health insurance.
For those people who are reminding us of how the conservative world lost its marbles after Barack Obama won both times, we ask you to stop right there with your false equivalence.
We do not recall President Obama ever mocking disabled people. We do not recall President Obama saying he wanted a ban on followers of any particular religion. We do not recall President Obama demonizing Hispanics and calling Mexicans rapists and murderers. We do not recall President Obama being accused of sexual misconduct or refusing to release his taxes. We do not recall President Obama promising to remove protection of law from the LGBTQ community. We do not recall President Obama compromising health choices for women.
So please stop trying to equate the two situations because they are not the same. We are scared. We are scared of the hate that is perpetuating from the next president of the United States and his followers.
We would like to extend an olive branch, but then we are knocked down by the naming of Steve Bannon as a senior advisor to the president. Mr. Bannon has filled his publications with anti-Semitic, anti-Hispanic, anti-everything type of headlines. During his campaign, your candidate trafficked in hate. The naming of Mr. Bannon to the team emboldens the bigots and racists in this country.
This type of nomination perpetuates the notion that the next president wants to be a dictator. This appointment is evidence that he aspires to authoritarianism: not true democracy.
And, to those of you who voted for this person who are not appalled, we encourage you to look back at global history.
Hitler’s rise to power mirrors the anti-immigration sentiment of today. Most of our ancestors came here to escape that life. Are we repeating the same historical mistake? Does change have to include hate?
We will not close our eyes to the rise in swastika graffiti across the country. We will not close our eyes to the increase of Confederate flags waving. We will not close our eyes to high school students waving “white power” signs.
You want us to give the president elect a chance? You want us to come together? Then demand an elimination of hate. We will not be shamed into silence over this issue.
Again, we understand why a minority of Americans voted for change. But, we do not support this kind of change. Not the kind of change that emboldens racists and bigots in our country.
We only can take solace in the fact that the majority of our fellow citizens, local and nationwide, did not vote for a wannabe dictator.
Jim and Nancy Spillane
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