If anyone was waiting with baited breath to learn how Donald Trump would respond to widespread hate crimes being committed by his supporters, today was your answer. Trump responded by nominating terrifying bigots to three cabinet posts: renowned racist Jeff Sessions who could not get a federal judgeship under Reagan to be Attorney General, famous Islamophobe Michael Flynn to be National Security Advisor, and Benghazi (iiiiiiiiiiii) conspiracy nut Mike Pompeo to be the director of the CIA. All of that comes after embracing neo-Nazi Steve Bannon as his chief strategist.
And all of that was nothing compared to the spokesman of a Trump-supporting PAC using Japanese internment to justify a possible Muslim registry in the United States.
Make no mistake, this is a form of response, or rather encouragement, to the people who are writing "Whites" and "Colored" on school bathroom stalls and drinking fountains, assaulting Muslims and gays, and even going after people who have to wear headscarfs because they have a disease that is flared by the sun. You know, collateral damage. The Southern Poverty Law Center has collected reports of over 400 hate incidents in the little-over-a-week that Trump has been named to the White House against the popular will.
Not that anyone could have expected any better from the man who spent two years trashing people of color, promising to build a wall and punish women for having abortions, and attacking Muslims.
So for those who are holding out hope that somehow, somewhere, sometime Donald Trump would suddenly do better, become better, act better, I have a message for you: don't. Don't expect better from a man who has surrounded himself with bigots and racists. Don't expect better from a man who has no idea what the job of president actually involves. Don't expect better from a man who rode to power on the destructive fire of the worst base instincts of Americans.
Don't expect better from a man who still spends his time tweeting and whining about media coverage. Don't expect better from a man whose only interest in the presidency is enriching his family. Don't expect better from a man who acts out of bitterness, and is now bitter that he would be installed in power by a vestige of slavery when the American people seem to have rebuked his ascendancy by a margin of 2 million votes.
Don't expect better. Organize. Fight back. Stand up for yourself, and for anyone under attack.
Take a self-defense class. Film acts of hate. Share them. Get together with your friends and make a plan of what would happen if one of you gets attacked. Create safe spaces. Protest peacefully, but when you see someone using violence to intimidate someone, throw a punch (or a baseball bat). Don't ever throw the first punch, but don't ever let a bully get away with throwing it, either.
Make sure your member of Congress and Senators - no matter who they are - hear from you.
Remember that we are the majority. More people voted for our candidate - way more - than for the orange hate nugget. Let's pledge not to tolerate hatred and bigotry. Let's pledge to fight it everywhere - whether by debate at Thanksgiving, by protest on the streets, by coming to the defense of someone under threat, by defending ourselves - and let's pledge to make every bully regret the day they decided to cross us.