I posted the paragraphs below on Facebook two days ago and have had a rich outpouring of comments--lots of likes, lots of support, but the comments are especially interesting: one man wrote that now I know how gun owners have felt for years (frightened, I suppose he means). One old friend who I haven't seen in decades went off big time about how this is how she felt when she voted for Romney four years ago. I don't think she was afraid her children would be killed, but maybe she was. One guy said most men protect women and generally don't grab their private parts. It's been interesting, to say the least. Here's what I wrote:
I'm writing this to all my friends in the Appalachian region, especially West Virginia and Shinnston, where I grew up. I'm going to ask those of you who voted for Mr. Trump to have a little compassion for people who are afraid today. Many of us are in the Northeast or on the West Coast, but there are also many in towns and rural areas around the whole country. Next door to you, too.
In fact, it is beginning to look like a majority of Americans voted for the Democrats--the popular vote-- even though Mr. Trump will win the electoral college and become the next president. I taught a class in New York City last night, and two women in my class wore mourning black. There were tears. Friends of mine who are African-American are terrified for the future of their sons--they believe that Mr. Trump's victory will encourage more deaths for more black young people.
People I know who are citizens and also Muslims are struggling with how to tell their children that a man who appears to hate them is now going to be the leader of the country. I'm not even saying who is right and who is wrong, I am saying that people are frightened, and I'm asking for compassion.
They are afraid they are going to lose their new health insurance. They're afraid the clinics where they get gynecological care are going to be shut down. They're afraid that more men of wealth and celebrity will feel it is their right to grab women's private parts if they feel the notion.
We can all think about unifying later, but for the moment, just consider how so many people feel. Thanks for listening.