On behalf of all sexual assault survivors, I am deeply offended. I get that Hillary Clinton was not a good enough candidate, that the middle class is angry and tired of the status quo, that they demand change and somehow saw the straight talking billionaire talk show host as that glimmer of hope. Obama failed them for eight years and they were looking away from the Democratic party, for something new, not the establishment.

But then the Access Hollywood tape and “grab her by the pussy”. Even after we already knew he called women fat pigs, etc. and that he is a bigot. We saw how he spoke to some of the women on his reality show. We heard about building the wall and banning all Muslims from the U.S.

Eleven women came forward and told the world that he assaulted them. That he touched them inappropriately and made unwelcome advances. Do you think they made this up? Do you know how difficult it is for women to come forward and accuse their attackers? How shaming?

And still, not the majority of voters, but the majority of women in this country voted for Donald Trump. I cannot figure it out. Fuck the sisterhood? Fuck everything that we have worked for since the suffragettes hit the streets 100 years ago? The economic outcome may be better so it’s alright to have this vile man in office?

I am now working on forgiveness and I tell you it’s not going well. Not going well at all. Forgiveness is everything. Not forgiving is worse for the person who needs to forgive than for the the one who needs to be forgiven. The anger festers and weighs down the person I will call the “victim” here. It doesn’t help at all. I know that. I have forgiven those who assaulted me, I have forgiven the countless men who have cat called and whistled at me, the smarmy men who said inappropriate things to me as a child, as a teen, as an adult. I have revisited it all, thanks to this campaign, thanks to this man who ran for office. I am not alone. The number of women running to therapy to heal old wounds because they were triggered again is large.

This week I had an African American woman in my Nia class weeping for 10 minutes at the end. A lesbian couple I know in Charlottesville, Virginia was threatened twice in one day and then RUN OFF THE ROAD by a pick-up truck. Students being dropped off at their school in Marin County, California had racial epithets shouted at them. His vitriol has now given permission to this very dark segment of society to unleash their hatred. It’s happening every where and we all need to be on alert. On high alert.

This is easy for me, right? Fifty-one year old white woman from white suburbs near San Francisco, the left coast, the blue state with 55 electoral votes which didn’t save Hillary. We live in a bubble!! But the edge of our bubble is close. Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley are diverse and they are rumbling. Students walked out of high schools in Berkeley and even Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek, the neighboring city to ours. Go Knights! The unrest is obvious.

It’s Saturday, November 12th and I want to forgive. To work together and mobilize but more importantly to forgive. I don’t know how long it’s going to take me.

6 Responses to Forgiveness

  1. Thank you dear Danielle,
    I read your pain as it is ours as well.
    This is one of the darkest, if not the darkest, moments in the history of the US of A.
    We will not move to Canada or back to Mexico but relish that we live in this wonderful BLUE state of California. We just feel so sad for what is about to happen.
    Love,
    David and Phil

  2. Janet says:

    Thank you for re-igniting the fire in my heart. Forgiveness is overrated. For me the wound is festering… raging, and giving voice to my feelings fuels the passion and power. I am completely at a loss for how some people excuse his behavior and comments; it just bounces off them like teflon. Maybe they don’t take it seriously, or they don’t see how it will impact their lives personally. Above and beyond his outrageous insults, is idea that he is going to appoint extremists. Holy shit, what is going to happen to our world?

  3. Kathy Bate says:

    For the first time in my 67 years of life I am ready to get out and March if those rich white men in Washington mess with human rights, women’s rights over their own bodies, gay rights or our right to practice any religion we please!

    Where are the women and people of color on his cabinet? This is definitely a step back and I won’t take it sitting down. I will work for continued, positive change and pray for peace, love and tolerance.
    Kathy

  4. Susan Belgard says:

    I’m responding to your very heartfelt post and hope I can honor it by expressing my thoughts and feelings with sufficient authenticity and clarity.

    I come into this post-election season from a different perspective. I was adamantly opposed to Trump – never in a million years would I consider voting for that misogynistic, racist, anti-Mexican, anti-Muslim, anti-Black, anti-Latinx, anti-LGBTQIA, hate-spewing and inciting, rabid, unqualified egomaniacal ignoramus. (Please multiply each of those epithets at least one hundredfold to give them proper weight.) Could never have voted for him. Nor did I.

    But I was also never a vote for Hillary, on many different grounds.
    Many of my firmly held political beliefs were formulated while I learned about and attended the ’63 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom which occurred shortly before my 20th birthday. MLK, JR’s speech and philosophy, encompassing economic, racial, and social equality, civil rights and voting rights still resonate with me deeply. Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug and others taught me a lot about gender equality and women’s self-esteem. Over the years, I have added concern for the proper treatment of ethnic groups and our planet. None of these predominates. I do not believe we have to forgo one of them to give another its due.

    So not Hillary because she does not embody or propound a political philosophy that aligns with mine.
    She HAS advocated for children and taken other positions that are laudable. But overall, her political philosophy and the political “experience” many have celebrated do not comport with the values and philosophy I hold dear. Nor are they aligned with policies and programs older Democrats associate with the historical Dem Party of FDR.

    Remember my complete disdain for Trump as I go through this list category by category.

    As for sexual assault, HRC’s husband is a serial sex offender, many of whose exploits were known to her (and the public; more are now being revealed). While he was the perpetrator, she helped smooth over the ensuing brouhahas, at a minimum by obfuscation and denial when asked about them – a very anti-victim, anti-feminist stance. And she stayed with him despite knowing of his sexually exploitive conduct. Very anti-feminist, very lacking in self-respect and self-esteem, so not a good told model for girls and women.

    And yes, the middle class is exhausted and looking away from the establishment. To break that down a bit: People were damaged, some irretrievably, by the mortgage scandal and collapse of the housing market and Wall Street following the removal of the protections of Glass-Steagall and other restrictive banking and securities laws. She never advocated sufficient protections from overreaching by banks and security firms, nor could she, given the level of campaign contributions and speaking fees to her and Bill from those sources. Similarly, people are burdened by high interest rates on student loans. HRC did put forth free tuition going forward, but what relief for existing loans?

    People are adversely affected by the loss of jobs to foreign countries, a result of several ill-advised trade agreements beginning with NAFTA). Hillary drafted/advocated for the TPP and open trade – both of which spell further doom for US jobs and have other provisions damaging to our economy, plus removing covered trade disputes from our courts Lately, she backed off, but her VP is a TPP advocate.

    She is beholden to Big Oil and has advocated for fracking and natural gas recovery and pipelines throughout the world. These are extremely damaging to the environment when developed and the number of leaks is appalling. Irreversible damage occurred to Native American burial sites as the DAPL was being constructed. Hillary made no protest. We have the opportunity to fully develop sustainable energy and sustainable energy businesses, but that is not featured in her politics.

    She is also beholden to Big Pharma at a time when it is clear that we need a major overhaul of our healthcare system. It is simply out of control.

    And while Trump’s deplorable anti-ethnic diatribes were omnipresent, it is Hillary who advocated bombing in Middle-Eastern countries and ill-advised regime change in several countries. She voted in favor of the devastating Iraqi War and was on a path to engage Russia in ruinous military maneuvers.

    Plus, HRC’s control of the messaging by the mainstream media, which virtually ignored Bernie Sanders’ campaign (and other third parties’) and her acceptance of millions in campaign funds from corporations, while contending we must eliminate Citizens United.

    Going back to voting rights: the many forms of massive voter suppression and election fraud perpetrated by the DNC on her behalf and at her behest, which stole the Dem nomination from Bernie (see, e.g.TrustVote.org) and virtually eliminated his political agenda from the Presidential race (she would never adhere to the Bernicized platform), were illegal, unconstitutional and unforgivable. Having stolen the nomination from him, the only way I could keep my political integrity was to vote for Jill Stein, whose politics echoed Bernie’s. I still do not understand why anyone espousing liberal/left politics (NOT neoliberal politics) made a different choice (the mainstream media’s silence on third party candidates unfortunately doomed them). Nor why more women voted for Trump than for Hillary.

    So I needed to deal with election grieving at a much earlier date, i.e., a week before the Dem Convrntion when Obama and others laid it out for (and threatened?) Bernie. And during the Convention, when Bernie’s delegates were subjected to higher credentials scrutiny, removal of advocacy signs for Bernie and NO TPP, subjected to a redo when Bernie won the last-minute roll call vote, disdained when Bernie’s choice of Nina Turner to put his name In nomination was yanked at the last minute and replaced by Craigslist paid seat fillers when the majority of his delegates walked out.

    So I am not sure that forgiveness is the right pursuit here. That could be why it’s so hard. Who are you trying to forgive and for what???

    • danielle says:

      LOL your response is much longer than my post! I am not going to get into it with you that Hillary was a sucky candidate. I am devastated that more than half of women voted for that piece of shit Orange Hitler. That’s what I am wanting to forgive, that they would vote for man who is a sexual predator. You’re so fierce Susan! I adore that about you. love, danielle

  5. Kay Weeks says:

    I won’t touch the politics specifically because the pain of exclusion and division and the “us” and “them” has been around forever. That these traits should be combined in one person and unleashed on us to the point that we’re literally becoming ill with the horror of it is of Homeric proportion in my view.

    Thanks for your articulate words, stance, feelings–I’ve seen and heard all you say about the separation of people into small groups with the purpose of destroying them. Apropos to your title, I watched “Judgment in Nuremburg” yesterday–that speech by the Tribunal Judge (Spencer Tracy) should be made available to all…the notion of guilt.

    While watching a NATURE show on giraffes and their preservation, my heart turned gentle, and I plan to keep it there until the Million Women March in DC, January, 2017.

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