2016: The Day Trump Won (Storytime)

On my mind, because I want to tell you my perspective of what happened 4 years ago…
the election, the results, a private message sent to me where the person called President Obama a racial epithet, and my decision trying to figure out what to do next.
It was around 4pm PST and I called my brother from NYC with one simple message, “Donald Trump is going to win today.”
Though my brother vehemently disagreed, I told him a few things…
My experience in social media taught me that you just can’t beat a man who garnered over $2 Billion Dollars worth of free media.
He’s witty.
He’s funny.
He’s charismatic to his base.
He’s a marketing god…
And more importantly…
Regardless of how the Republican party viewed him before he was the primary candidate of their party, they were now backing him with a strong united front.
Strongly put, in 2016 he was definitely unbeatable.
And even though I wrote a hopeful Facebook status… I felt my heart drop, my skin drenched in depression – I don’t know. I just felt punctured.
A few hours later…
It started.
State after state flipping red.
Friends texting me.
Family calling me.
All in dismay.
All I could write on Facebook was:
“This is terrifying!!”
At the end of it all… I wrote one last status:
“I love you.”
Little did I know this status would lead to a private message from a friend, but it didn’t arrive in peace, as he bombastically announced:
“We made America great again baby! Go hug a tree and all will be well 😉”
This led to some internal questions… why me? Was he trying to start something?
Some back and forth later, he said –
“Trump will probably be one of the best presidents ever” I responded,
“he’ll get credit for Obama’s legwork in the next 4 years.”
To which he quickly blurted out –
that n****r
oh god
obama if anything…”
I didn’t know how to respond.
I said a few more things, but every other comment was futile.
I should’ve blocked him right then and there, but instead, I kept going. Why argue with someone so racist? Why even talk to someone who uses the “n” word so freely, without any sort of hesitation.
He didn’t care.
He called one of the most powerful people in the world… the N WORD.
Now what?
Who do I tell?
Do I tell?
Do I out this guy?
Do I show who the fuck this individual is?
If I do decide to out him… would I be doing it for attention?
This internal debate… what’s the right thing to do?
I turned to a few friends, even a lawyer-friend, and asked for advice…
There was a mixed bag of opinions, but then after really thinking it through, this is what I thought at the time: it was a private message…
and this person doesn’t deserve to be doxed, doesn’t deserve to be outed because I felt that it was my moral and LEGAL obligation that this private chat belonged… in private.
There was no proof in the private conversation if there would be an act of violence, or if because of his views, anyone would be in danger. I couldn’t out him.
And, if I shared or talked about what happened, his name would be forever blurred.
I still wonder if I did the right thing (especially now that he changed his name on Facebook…)
After all of this, though I know that not all Trump supporters are racist… hell a few of my close friends are Trump supporters… regardless I came up with another reason why Trump won the 2016 election.
Yes, he has all those qualities I mentioned above but there is one additional thing…
… he won because we as people underestimated the power of racism.
I will repeat this same sentiment for 2020.
Though hopeful –
Never underestimate the power of racism.
It’s strong.
It’s there.
It’s America.
Thanks for listening
Venice Garage – Los Angeles
P.S. here are some screenshots – parts of the conversation –