Donald Trump came to town last night. I decided to head downtown to physically stand up to a person that I disagree with whole heartedly. I knew I wasn’t going to be the only person in downtown, but I was not prepared for the large crowd of protestors President Trump would be attracting in Phoenix.
Some of the protest signs were hilarious: “you can’t comb over racism,” “Impeach Trump,” and “I still can’t believe I have to protest this s**t” held by an older woman were some of my personal favorites. I was also pleasantly surprised by the amount of signs saying something along the lines of “Love Trumps Hate,” “We choose love,” etc.
It was a very strange juxtaposition when those same people holding the love signs were yelling “SHAME ON YOU” or just “Shame” to those walking into the rally.
There is a Mother Teresa quote that says, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” As I was watching the crowd on both sides, it was clear we had forgotten we belong to each other. I can only equate my experience to a sporting event. There is the winning team & the losing team. As the crowd of protestors was chanting “shame on you,” the people walking into the Trump rally LOVED it. I could just imagine them saying “The snowflakes are so triggered.” They would respond to the crowd by waving, a few would record themselves flipping off the protestors, and others would blow kisses like this was some strange game.
Throughout the night I became more and more frustrated with the crowd on the protest side. All we did was prove the point the right wing media has been saying since the election, that we were just some “triggered snowflakes.” I struggled with what could have been. What if we all were standing there with our signs completely silent. What if we were singing “Why Can’t We Be Friends” or “All You Need is Love.” What if we tried to reach across the aisle and talk to people. All the shouting was no more effective in Phoenix then it was in Game of Thrones when Cersei walked through Kings Landing.
As the #Resistance grows and protest’s continue, we need to be organized. The chants must change. We have to sit down with people over a meal, rather than yell at them over the fence. This is not a game. As Americans we share a common goal, that “All men (and women, or other non-binary people) are created equal.” It should not matter whether we are pro-Trump, anti-Trump, couldn’t give a f**k about Trump, we need to treat each other with respect and love that is deserved by our common humanity.
As the Trump era continues, I hope that we can remember this wisdom found within the Christian tradition of faith, John 4:18: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.”
Let us not be afraid of the “other” among us. Learn from each other. Love each other.