I've been doing better as the week has progressed. Until today. Now I'm back in complete panic mode. One of my students was targeted because he was gay. A threatening note was left on his car. It referenced his homosexuality, a racial slur, and Trump.
He is a music professor.
He's not even a U.S. citizen. He's a visiting artist from Brazil. A visiting artist and a music professor. What kind of threat does that pose? And when he took a photo and posted it on Facebook, trolls suggested he made it up (HE MADE IT UP?????) to get attention (seriously - he's a performer - he gets all the attention he wants - he doesn't need to pretend to be a victim), and then they hijacked the comment threads on his YouTube channel to the point that he has felt the need to shut it down. Which means no one's listening to his music tonight. Maybe I'm the only one in mourning, but it seems that listening to someone play the piano is so much better than calling names and ridiculing someone who has just been threatened because he's not white and not heterosexual.
And I would like to blame Trump. Well, in all honesty, I do blame Trump. But the truth is, he simply fanned into flames an ember that has resided in the cesspools of our society forever. So as much as I want to say to Trump, "You started it!" I can't. Because he didn't. He just took what was already existent, no matter how slimy and nasty, and ran with it. U.S. citizens provided the ammunition. He offered an opportunity for those who have lived beneath the rocks to crawl out and show their true colors, and they chose him as their leader.
Their leader. Not mine.
And so tonight I want to go find all those potentially targeted people who hold parts of my heart and hug them. I want to make sure they're safe. I want to say I can protect them even when I can't. I want this to be better.
I can't make it better.
So I am grouchy and panicky, and I picked a fight with Darrin because I feel picked-on and helpless. Because that was productive.
And now I don't know what to do. But I want to call Tolkien Boy. And Josh. And AtP. And Mr. Fob. And everyone else who has ever walked through my blog and stolen my heart (If I didn't list you, it's because I don't know if you still go by your blognym. Also, I'm guessing no one reads here anymore, so it's probably okay). Because you do not deserve to live in fear. You do not deserve to be targeted. You deserve to be safe.
I want you to be safe.
I'm going to go have another panic attack now.
If you see me tomorrow, will you please hug me?