Why Donald Trump’s victory terrifies some of your ethnic minority friends

A caveat:

There are plenty of people of color who voted for Trump. I have an Asian-American friend who is in full-on celebration mode. We’re talking photos of flags, emojis, Bible verses and fireworks. One of my closest Latina friends is a Trump supporter, and she’s surprised and delighted. This post isn’t about them.

Likewise, if you voted for Trump, take a deep breath before you read on. I am not saying in this article that you are racist. I am not saying that you approve of racism. People who I love dearly voted for Trump, people who I know to be kind, loving and gentle people. So if you’re hearing in this article “You’re racist” please know that you are hearing it because of something other than what is being said here.

Who this article is for: People who are confused about why their friends/acquaintances/co-workers/family who are people of color seem scared that Trump is the President elect.

The day after the election, I spent a decent amount of time fielding phone calls, texts and messages from my ethnic minority friends. Many of them are terrified, or crying, or numb with shock. At least one was still in bed (crying) when lunch time rolled around.

For those few who have expressed something about it on social media, I’ve seen a lot of dismissive responses (many of them well intentioned). I have a decent number of friends who are “taking a break” from social media because they don’t want to see things that are being posted.

In this post, I want to share a few reasons your friends are scared. Then I’ll share things not to say to those friends. Then some suggestions of things that might be helpful. Please note, these are all my opinions. I’m not speaking for your friends, and the best way to find out why they are scared/upset/angry is to ask them.

Why people are scared

1. Because they believe that Trump’s racist comments will inform public life in his presidency.

Listen, Trump is a racist. This is not media spin. This is not liberal politicking. This is objective fact.

You might recall how he refused to disavow the Ku Klux Klan until there was a public outcry against it, saying he would need to some research about white supremacy and David Duke (he later claimed a defective earpiece). He called Gonzalo Curiel (born in Indiana) “a Mexican” and said as a result he was unable to do his job (a comment Republican Paul Ryan called the “textbook definition of a racist comment”). He has a pattern of discrimination against African Americans in his companies and has said things like “laziness is a trait in blacks.” Listen, this could fill an article itself, and without going into his “dog whistle” comments.

People are afraid that his racist beliefs will impact public policy and thus, their lives.

2. Because the KKK and white supremacists are celebrating his election.

You know in the movies, when the KKK comes to an African American’s home, all dressed in their robes and hoods with a burning cross? Donald Trump being elected is like the KKK discovering that the new sheriff is racist and will look the other way. This is the moment when the KKK folks take their hoods off because they have nothing to hide anymore… because they believe it is socially acceptable to be overtly racist.

Don’t believe me? Steel yourself and go check out David Duke’s Twitter account. (Note: if you see a lot of parentheses around certain words, that’s code for “Jews.” Too many white supremacists were getting kicked off Twitter for hate speech so they came up with some codes.)

The fear here is not that Donald Trump is going to stand in the oval office and put a hood on, the fear is that the most powerful man in the free world is now a man who is familiar with and uses white supremacist code words and symbols, and that the white supremacist movement will feel SAFER and MORE FREE to express hatred in their words, deeds and actions.

There are people who aren’t afraid of Donald Trump, they’re afraid of the segment of his supporters who are rabid white supremacists.

3. There were 59,704,886 votes for Donald Trump

Again, people I love voted for Donald Trump. People who I personally know to be loving, kind, generous and not racist. And also, I know people of color who voted for Donald Trump.

But for some of my friends, they see that number… almost 60 million people… and they are AFRAID that this reflects an America that is either racist OR unconcerned with racism.

What percent of Trump voters are significantly racist? 1 in 10? 1 in 100? 1 in 1,000? More? Less? What percentage of voters either didn’t recognize Trump’s racism, or thought it didn’t matter as much as something else? What percentage of voters *recognized* he was racist, hated that, but still voted for him?

This enormous number, even though it’s not a majority, is enough to make people afraid… there’s fear that a large American population doesn’t mind a racist if that racist can do enough for you.

Here’s a post from my friend (she said I could share this). She’s an American, born in the States. But she has an Arabic name. She has a tattoo in Arabic. She’s afraid that in Trump’s America those things may make her a target, even though she’s an American citizen and a Christian.

People are afraid that the American culture is even more racist than they thought it was.

 

Three things not to say to those who are afraid or grieving

I’m seeing a lot of social media posts where someone shares that they are scared/upset/angry about President elect Trump and well-meaning people who are honestly trying to be encouraging say one of these three things:

“God is on his throne.”

I get it. I understand what you mean. You’re saying, “Don’t worry, God’s in control, it’s all going to be okay.” There are other variations (i.e. “Trump may be President but Jesus is still king.”) For people who have lived under injustice, this doesn’t sound as comforting as you might like it to.

Who was on the throne during slavery? Who was on the throne during Apartheid? Who was on the throne when Trayvon Martin got shot for being black and wearing a hoodie? Who was on the throne when MLK was shot? Who was on the throne when Hawaii was stolen from the Hawaiians by the American government? Who was on the throne during Wounded Knee? Who was on the throne when Native people were denied the right to vote until 1957? Who was on the throne when Asian-American families were put in interment camps during World War II?

God being on the throne does not mean “everything is going to be okay.” It doesn’t even mean “don’t worry.” It certainly doesn’t mean, “People of color are going to be safe for the next four years.” And, frankly, more often than not what it sounds like is, “Let’s stop having such negative talk because we need to be positive.”

“Don’t worry, it was all bluster.”

You know, you just might be right. In the past, Donald Trump has said he was more Democrat than Republican. He has been pro- and anti- abortion. He threatened to shut down mosques and have an anti-Muslim border, and then backed down when it wasn’t as popular as he thought it would be. Maybe all of the disturbing things he said were carefully calculated to appeal to a mass audience and when he gets in he won’t do any of it. Could be.

But you don’t know that. I don’t know that. The only person who knows that (maybe) is Donald Trump.

And I think an important question would be, “What if it’s not all bluster?” What if he really did mean all those things? Then I think it would be completely reasonable for people of color (and women, and the LGBT population) to be worried.

So maybe it’s all bluster, maybe not. Not knowing is part of what creates the fear.

“But we needed someone who was pro-life/would nominate the right supreme court justices/would be able to fix the economy!”

I’m seeing this with some regularity.

Person A: I’m afraid, as a black person, that life will be worse under President Trump.

Person B: Well, anyone who could vote for a pro-abortion candidate is evil.

This is not an exaggeration. Actual quote from an actual comment on an actual post expressing dismay about the election: “if you voted for a person who is pro abortion, the innocent blood of every aborted baby is on your hands. It’s called vicarious liability.”

So, literally, “I am sad about this” was greeted with “the blood of every aborted baby ever is on your head.”

This is an extreme example, but not an uncommon one. I’ve seen plenty in my feed the last couple days.

Setting aside how weird and self-centered it is to respond to “I am in distress” with “let me explain to you why I voted the way I did,” let me explain why this sounds less loving than you might hope.

When someone says to me, “I am afraid I will suffer in this new political climate” and I say “Yes, but unborn babies are safer now” it SOUNDS like I’m saying, “To me, an unborn baby’s safety is more important to me than your safety.” In other words, dying babies concern me (as they should!) but not dying people of color.

I’m not saying that racism needs to be more important to you than abortion or supreme court justices or whatever reason you may have voted for Trump. I’m saying that you must also understand that for people of color, it’s painful to hear that their (very real, very present) problems are less important to you than to them.

What I hear some people saying is, “If you’re really pro-life, why don’t you care about my life?” In other words, they hear you saying that abortion is important enough that if people of color need to suffer injustice in order to have a chance at limiting abortions, then that’s worth it.

Again, I’m saying this is how it sounds and feels, not saying that’s what is meant.

Three helpful things to say

A friend of mine who is a Trump supporter reached out to me when I expressed some dismay about the election and that I feel that I don’t fit into America before. She said, “I felt the same way in past elections when my candidate lost. Don’t worry. It’s going to be okay.” That was a really kind, compassionate thing for her to say, and I felt both loved and encouraged.

Here are a few things you could try saying when your friends express fears about the coming Trump presidency:

I’m sorry you’re scared.

I’m suggesting only empathy here. You don’t even have to understand why they are afraid, or agree with their fears. But you can still express sorrow for their fear. I learned long ago never to tell my children “there’s no reason to be afraid” because there are many, and I don’t want them to think me untrustworthy or a liar. Instead I would say, “I’m sorry you’re afraid. I’m here with you.” (ETA:  A friend who is a person of color commented “I would warn ‘I’m sorry you feel that way’ could sound awfully close to ‘I’m sorry you were offended,’ which isn’t really an apology.” That’s a good point… the idea here is to show empathy for your friend’s fear, so find the best way to share that.)

Tell me more about how you’re feeling.

Part of what people need is a place to process. Inviting others to share their feelings and working to understand that (whether you agree or not) is an act of kindness. If we’re going to move forward together, we’ll need to be able to hear each other. Many people of color are feeling that their voices will be minimized even further now. It’s important to invite them to speak up, and let them decide whether that is something they are willing/able/safe to do.

I’m with you.

As I’ve said several times, I honestly believe there are many people who voted for Trump who are simultaneously disgusted by his racism. Your friends who are people of color need to hear you say that. They need to know that voting for him doesn’t mean you’re going to stand idly by when and if he pushes racist or xenophobic legislation. If you’re able to say it honestly, it’s important to say that if Trump or his administration comes after people of color, you’ll be standing in the way. You’ll use your privilege, your votes and your voice to protect and defend them and their rights and their families.  In other words, you need to say “My privilege is your privilege.” My voice will speak up on your behalf.

In Conclusion

There’s only one thing that gets rid of fear well, and that’s love. Racism is rooted in fear, and the antidote to that is love. There are a lot of people feeling uncertain about their futures and quality of life in the next four years, and the answer to that is love, too: the kind of love that stands up for and protects those who need help, or stands alongside those who need solidarity.

We have come a long way, and we have a long way to go.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

I believe that, too.

With truth, hope and love,

Matt

 

So, here’s the end disclaimer: I’m speaking for myself here, not my church or family or employer. If you have issue with anything in this post, you have issue with me, not with any of them. Thanks. 

Author: Matt Mikalatos

Matt Mikalatos is a writer not a fighter.

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  • Excellent thoughts Matt. For me, number 3 is the most significant. As someone who understands how govt works, I’ve often talked Christians off the ledge when candidates they thought to be dangerous, liberal tradition breakers were elected. Balance of power, I’d say, or presidents rarely do all the things they say as candidates. But those folks were mostly distressed about losing the America they knew.

    Wit Trump though, even if he never does a thing he said, not that he ever had to explain how he would accomplish anything if elected, and even if it was all bluster, it’s the most dangerous kind of blaster that winds up the most dangerous racists. Forget Pres-elect Trump–millions of fellow Americans voted for that hate, and that is what is so disturbing, terrifying & sad. And he’s not even offset by the other party controlling Congress for now.

    But love is, as you say, the antidote to fear & ignorance, and we need a lotta love to live in an era of such anger. Love and a new understanding that progress for all is not an attack on those who’ve always had it all.

    • mattmikalatos

      Thanks, Clay. Great points and great comment!

  • Candace Lazzaro

    After all the “justification” for the riots I heard from angry people, I hesitated to read this thinking it might be another justification for violence … but I was joyfully pleased that it was a plea for understanding and compassion. Fear is a real thing and a destructive thing too. I know the sting of prejudiced; I have a Hispanic maiden name and got labeled everywhere I went. This is one of the most (if not the most) compassionate and revealing posts I’ve seen. Opening the door of the fears of others is like opening a gift no one wants but then finds out that it is one of the best gift they have gotten. I had fears about Clinton’s policies as well as Trumps. This election was like choosing between “the devil and the deep blue sea.” I could find no comfort in voting for either candidate. Having lived in cities that have had riots, I cry every time I see the destructive harm it does. Violence only brings more grief and harm. But this post made me think of a cross country trip my family made one year. We drove through Detroit after a race riot that had left the city battered and burned. As we drove down one street my mom pointed out a elderly black woman, dressed in her Sunday best (It was Sunday) holding a black book that my mom identified as a Bible. That woman and her Bible have stuck to in my memory. Among the ashes and soot, her presence was a picture of hope and faith when all else fails, God is with us. Men will fail us, over and over again, but God can make good out of ashes and rubbish even if it’s though an elderly woman finding her hope in God even though her world had fallen apart. Again thank you for this excellent post. I’m praying for our country.

    • mattmikalatos

      Thanks, Candace. Great comment and great thoughts. The protests in Portland are ridiculous. But as you know, we tend to have them every six months or so. 🙁

  • Alvin Lin

    I’m wondering if there is a place for “God is on his throne” as we engage with those who are terrified and concerned about their lives and the well being of others as well. I definitely see that this could be used in a flippant manner, which is how it is often used, but I still think that phrase is worth stating (in due time) when attempting to comfort and console others who are in despair.

    I say this as an Asian-American who did not vote for either of the major party candidates, who woke up on election day and predicted that Trump would win, and one who went to sleep in peace that evening. However, yesterday after I came across this article: http://nextshark.com/asian-americans-now-targeted-harassment-donald-trumps-victory/ — I was suddenly jolted to a place I had not been before. I became afraid, anger, frustrated, and distrusting of many contexts that I could see myself in. Interestingly enough, right before this incident I had met with a student who was a white male and was despairing over the atmosphere that we find now find ourselves in and also the dissension that had arose among members of different campus ministries. I told him that I think that legitimate fear is legitimate and that I don’t think God calls us to just overlook them, but throughout Scripture, tells His people not to fear. I believe that this is because if we focus on fear, we end up in despair. This is not to say that we throw all caution out the window, but I think the statement “God is on his throne” is for believers the ultimate hope that we cannot turn away from. I believe in the moments after I read that article I started to head towards despair and wasn’t taking my own encouragement to hold onto hope. Again, context certainly dictates how we encourage and support, but I think there is still value in that encouragement if it is used correctly.

    • Andy Tzuoo

      Agree with Alvin. “God is on the throne”, indeed, never guarantees “Everything will be alright.” It’s quite the opposite, God is on the throne when there is flood. God is on the throne when everything is destroyed. (Psalm 29:10) God is on the throne, yet He tells us to continue following Him with the cross on our shoulders, regardless it’s Trump, Clinton or anyone else living in White House. If I may use a not-very-appropriate analogy: Hillary Clinton is like the evil queen Jezebel; Donald Trump is like the arrogant king Ahab; then God wants us to be like Elijah – no matter what happens, we do and we say according to His will.

      • mattmikalatos

        Thanks for sharing, Andy!

    • mattmikalatos

      I totally agree, Alvin. I’ve mostly seen it in sort of “Drive by theological statements” where someone shares their thoughts or concerns and someone else comes by and says “God is on his throne” and only that and then moves along. I agree that there is an encouraging, appropriate time to share those words and that they can be deeply encouraging.

  • Jody Ohlsen Collins

    Matt, I’ve been puzzled, too, at the fear and grief folks are expressing for minorities whether gender-based or foreign born. I just don’t see the concern. (and for the record, I’m a white Christian lady who voted Johnson/Weld). However, I live in the Seattle area where 450,000 + refugees and immigrants have been part of the fabric of our county for almost a decade. I don’t sense the fear here, but that doesn’t mean it’s nonexistent. Thank you for the three simple things to say–
    I’m sorry you’re scared.
    Tell me more….
    I’m with you.
    Good in any context.
    Well done.

    • mattmikalatos

      Thanks, Jody!

  • Teri Rolley

    I live in southern California in a predominately white upper middle-class community. I just drove past a house with a huge American flag and Confederate flag hanging from the front. Both flags are brand new and can only be seen as a response to the election results. I was born in the south and I fully comprehend the meaning behind the display of the Confederate flag in today’s environment. I’m embarrassed for my community for this outright display of hate. Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

    • mattmikalatos

      Thanks, Teri. I appreciate you sharing.

  • Kyle Voelker

    I’m scared too! thanks Matt

    • mattmikalatos

      Thanks, Kyle!

  • Toniko

    I will start off by saying I did not vote Trump. But This has absolutely been amplified by media and mob mentality. To say “he is racist and that is solid fact” is a huge blanket statement. Clinton also has had many racist statements including the very fact she highly supports planned parenthood which is known to target minority neighborhoods(more African American babies were aborted than were born in New York City last year, very sad). There are non-white races that are speaking up about this but clearly not enough yet. The rioters are instilling more and more fear for EVERYONE in the cities claiming they want peace and love while burning flags large signs, and buildings and beating people who are white because apparently “all white people voted trump” I will not be cruel to someone sad about this but will not coddle them either. No president is a king, he will not have absolute power. He has not committed any crime or physically hurt a minority. These fears are largely fueled by Media and to say otherwise is foolish.

    • mattmikalatos

      Hi Toniko.

      Listen, one person’s racism is not dependent on another person’s. So, in fact, Trump and Clinton can both be racist and it still be Trump’s racism that is (a) more obvious or (b) more concerning or (c) more relevant because he’s the one who has been elected president.

      There are a handful of people rioting out of the millions who didn’t vote for Trump. They’re not the people I’m talking about.

      These fears are partly fueled by media, certainly, because media is the way Mr. Trump has gotten his message out.

      • Toniko

        The reason I mention Clinton is that is who they likely voted for and she would have kept up all of the same inaction as the last administration did for minority races. Media is feeding people part truths and at times plain lies. I cannot tell you how many things I have researched about trump concerning race that he “said and did” that proved to be untrue. This is no different than when Obama came to power and many had concerns for religious freedoms. There were a lot of half truths and lies that amplified people’s fears. Truly I just hate lies and blanket statements that result from them. Trump will not have complete power over anything. If you know people who are here illegally, yes, there is a higher chance they will either need to go through the proper process or leave. To all those here legally really there is nothing to fear. They act like we are going to have government enforced segregation or something. These “sad” people are not worried about race as much as they are about abortions and gay marriage(although I have not heard trump say much of anything on that topic). I do not feel sad for those crying over it being illegal to kill their unborn. And to those worried due to race I say instead of fear turn to research both trumps real full comments in context and in what the president is capable of doing and their fears will subside some, as mine did when Obama was in office.

        • mattmikalatos

          I think reasonable people can look at Trump’s actual statements and actions and still think they are plainly racist, without media spin.

          • Reb

            I believe that’s coming from your perspective, actually. This is another blanket statement (regarding “reasonable people”). If I feel differently than you, I must not be reasonable. It feels quite manipulative, as was your blanket statement about Trump being a racist as absolute fact. And for anyone to disagree, throughout these comments, they are now suspect of being a racist. It’s subtle, but it’s there. I so appreciate your practical application points at the end of your article (regarding compassion, etc… how to respond to those hurting). But you’ve stirred up the pot with more fear (“Trump is a racist!! It’s fact!”)… which leads to more bitterness and hatred. It’s sad, because your article could have led to so much more peace through rephrasing your first main point. All that needed to be sad was that those who are upset feel that Trump is a racist. That’s enough of a reason for us to rally together with love and compassion and love as Christ would. I heard a message which was really excellent, and challenged me to the same points that you ended with, but in a way that doesn’t subtly lead to more division. >>>> http://www.calvaryhouston.com/Media/Player.aspx?media_id=1000059405&file_id=1000064028

    • Red47 #happy

      HIlls called black men “SUperpredators”. Yeah. That’s pretty.

      • mattmikalatos

        One person’s racism is not dependent on another person’s. Hillary’s racist comments do not excuse or inform Trump’s.

        • Red47 #happy

          And no one ever lists his actions that all clearly demonstrate that he is not a racist.

          • Cletus B Neckbeard✓Vindicated

            The gravity of the accusation is always > …

          • Red47 #happy

            Always.

  • Christina Sutton

    Thank you, Matt. I truly appreciate your calm, straightforward, and heartfelt words.
    I’m a teacher and my 4th grade students have been talking, some with fear, about the election. Most of my students are people of color, so I read this to see if I could gain some more insight into how to respond to their questions and comments. I definitely want to empathize and stand with them (and their parents), rather than being unhelpful in what I say.
    Thank you for your words here!

    • mattmikalatos

      Thanks, Christina. Kids are harder in some ways… last night my seven year old told me she was scared because her nighttime ritual had been a little off. But I do think the thing that stays the same is that if they know you love them and are there for them, that’s going to set their minds at ease. Thank you for teaching our kids!

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  • Brad

    I dont understand how Christians don’t see that a vote for Trump compromised their ability to witness to minority, LGBT, and other non-white male communities. How do you go up to a Muslim and say I voted for a man who fears you but let me tell you about Jesus. Or a millennial female and say “I voted for Trump who degrades women but I want to tell you about God’s love”. The Bible makes no provision or respect for borders, fences or gates in the New Testament it is about freely welcoming the least among you. The face of a Trump presidency whether you like it or not is the face of hatred and white power. I believe that is not the full picture but that is the face you see time and time again. It is very common for Christians to say “I didn’t like him but I couldn’t vote for Hillary.” Some are even more blatant in their dislike of Trump and his actions. SO i think to myself lets play this out. By voting for Trump you have burdened the republican party with the worst parts of it for EIGHT LONG YEARS. Even if Trump loses in 2020 it would be unprecedented for the party not to have to support the incumbent. Let’s say Hillary had won and bumbled around for four years with not much happening because she has a republican congress. A Republican congress that would NEVER have approved a supreme court justice they could not stand. Mitch McConnell has proven that. Then in four years we could select a good decent God-fearing Republican to run for the office.

    A vote for Trump is unconscionable to me. It validates the worst of humanity and the worst of the Republican party and breathes life into hate groups that were barely hanging on. I am very confused why anyone would think giving him power to run our country is the right decision. I am having a hard time not wanting to use my knowledge of Scripture and Christianity as a weapon to shame Christians for their decision. Yes I know that would not be productive either.

    But you are right dont tell me to be nice or get along or reach across the isle. I feel betrayed by my brothers and sisters and need time to process that.

    • mattmikalatos

      Yeah, Brad, take your time for sure. There will be time for us all to come together soon enough.

      • cuzinjules

        Bad, I love you as a brother, but please, please,(honestly, for the LOVE that God IS…) scripture teaches that the MESSAGE of the Gospel of Grace ‘I’d the power of God to them that will believe.’

        It’s NEVER been about the human delivering it.
        Peter was so devoid of the darkness of shame, (the same shame that you are contemplating USING on your brothers and sisters!), that He was clear in the message to lifting a 30+ year, crippled beggar into healing and given the ability to work instead of berg.

        Lock yourself in your prayer closet and don’t come out till you see with Papas compassion all those who were in FEAR of corruption, freer infanticide, ‘private & public policy/personas, dynasty building, secrets that didn’t come out and secrets that did (WikiLeaks) JUST as much as those in FEAR of bombastic arrogance making STATEMENTS that were politically used to SHAME both the candidate and his supporters.

        Your ‘knowledge of scripture and Christianity’ and your feeling ‘betrayed by your brothers and sisters’ is the useless salt that Jesus spoke of.

        Your idol is showing.
        Father loves you, affirms you, accepts you, adores you, admires you, HAS forgiven you, and instilled in YOU the ‘same spirit, that raised Christ from the dead.’

        All they do is serve those ‘undeserving’.

        In John 5, Jesus said ‘all judgement has been given to me’, and in John 8 he said, “…and I judge NO MAN.”

        Your low opinion of Jesus is being checked, right now.

        Get your SERVE on. You’re not ‘bigger’ than the Father you claim to serve and believe.

        “My sheep heart my voice, and I know them.”
        ARE you one of His sheep?
        Your statements cause this 50 year sheep to wonder out loud if you’re just another one of those ‘knowledge’, law-bound religionists, calling himself a follower of Christ.

        If you ARE a sheep of His pasture, and I mean this with all the Pauline loving exhortation possible:

        ….JUMP up and down, and THANK the Sovereign, Holy Father…, that your faith has been found worthy to bee TESTED!

        You could have been left for dead. Eternal death. But He BECAME sin for you, that YOU might become, the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God in Christ Jesus.

        Your puny ‘knowledge of scripture and of Christianity’ belongs on the dung heap if even being CONSIDERED, to be used against Fathers’ agenda.

        Neither shame, nor guilt, not condescension, nor punishment, nor acrimony, nor resentment, nor anger…, belong in the faith community.

        Jesus took the woodshed, so you could be free of such vitriol and disregard for your brother and the unbeliever.

        Get your SERVE ON, SON.

        • Cristiano

          Hey cuzinjules, I just read through your comment and wanted to say that it makes no coherent sense. Just wanted you to know how you come off to others. Hope you don’t take offense.

          However, I felt Brad communicated clearly and I echo a hearty ‘Amen’ to his piece about the church losing its witness. I share the same concern.

          • cuzinjules

            Read my shorter reply above please. I NEVER take offense. I believe strongly in being dead to offenses.

            It’s too easy to say ‘makes no coherent sense’. The Word is alive and active.

            It was an admonition with scriptural truth behind it.

            As for the ‘church losing its witness’, scripture clearly teaches that the power of God unto salvation, IS the MESSAGE of Fathers’ loving acceptance of all who would believe.

            That fallible men and women deliver the message will always be true.

            This should be coherent. If not, pray, and read and take it in without crafting a response in the mind.

            Spiritual things, can only be understood by men of the Spirit. I Corinthians 2.

            Everything, according to the Word, IS spiritual. We’re not fighting ‘flesh and blood’…, but spiritual wickedness in high places, as the Spirit portrays.

    • cuzinjules

      Brad, the below was meant for you. It shows under Matt’s response to you. Pray first before reading. Take NO offense.

      • Brad

        you cannot tell someone to take no offense to your lectures. Just put it out there and I will react however i react. That is the same as saying I voted for Trump , BUT I don’t lthink he is a good man. Doesn’t work that way you get the full package and the full consequences. You cannot write a lengthy response and then tag on. “but take NO offense”.

        • cuzinjules

          I didn’t originally day ‘take NO offense’, that was Paul in the ancient and authentic scriptures.

          And yes, I can, and must exhort a believer who conveys that Christians who voted for Trump have lost all witness for Christ! It’s specious, anti-scriptural and points to trusting in man more than Jesus ego said: “if I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me.”

          I also can, in the body of believers also according to the admonition of Paul, exhort and admonish you both in the fashion I did and again now since you’ve typed what you’ve typed.

          You clearly are not ‘dead’ to offenses. I’m not speaking of my exhortation to you in these writings but in your hatred (‘disregard’ as scripture translates) conveyed in your writing to both the president-elect (Romans 13 had much to say about Who gets into government and how/by whom) AND to those both in the faith and out of the faith that voted for him.

          The vast majority did not vote for him to further the fears of racism, misogyny, etc. Calling his voters by the same labels you freely hand out to the elected is WRONG. That is happening and you KNOW it.

          Stating that they’ve lost their witness with anyone, much less God’s children in the LGTBQ community or even the Muslim community is a kind of spiritual hubris that must be called out.

          You’re not ‘dead’ to the ‘things of this world’. Yes, you are ‘in it, but not of it’ according to the Word.

          Labels these admonitions ‘lectures’ all you wish. Father wants you putt of the darkness of judgment, guilt, shame, hatred and control.

          Loving the hurting…, INTO security of FAITH, not FEAR…, IS our ‘mission’ as believers.

          Come on bro…, get your ‘SERVE’ on. Jesus overcame all the fears of this world.

          Perpetuating them by writing such things, is NOT ‘what Jesus would do’.

  • RANDY LESTER

    They certainly aren’t alone – it terrifies me and virtually all of my white friends as well!

  • Dolly Chugh

    What a powerful and clarifying piece. I am have fallen short on finding the words to convey this message. Thank you for finding them.

    • mattmikalatos

      Thanks, Dolly! Let me know if you need help figuring out which one to get!

  • Chris Gove

    Thank-you Matt for your piece. Very sensitive and caring. And it was laid out very well. Very organized. I also have been put off by people just saying “(my) God is in Charge or on his Throne.” Though they are meaning well it only helps those who share the faith in their God.
    I was hoping you could include some links to unedited footage of him making racist comments about the black culture being lazy or the other racist comments. Some of the stuff I had seen was Giraldo Rivera saying he was extremely non racist, and I would love to see the counter-point.

    Thankyou so much.

    • cuzinjules

      Crickets.
      And this is partly the problem.
      Blanket statements of belief about a person or a supposed quote or intrinsic BELIEF of that person…., are skewed on their face.

      FEAR is rampant when choosing to be lazy regarding actual beliefs or CLEAR intrinsic conveyance of a person’s belief.

      David Duke is a racist. THAT he and his organization makes attempts to latch on to and take credit for Trump winning the election, SHOULD, by objective reasoning and good old ‘benefit-of-the-doubt’ be immediately weighed and dismissed as a ‘glom on’ for political ends.
      NOT immediately believed as being ‘the Gospel truth’ about Trump.

      Then there is the point regarding disparate comparison about the ‘acceptable’ racism from HRC, and the ‘for political gain’ callouts of racism by the MSM.

      While it is holy, right and righteous to have (not simply show) true understanding, compassion and empathy towards the weak and the fearful…., it is my prayer that this turns into a fantastic discussion about the truth of everyone’s intrinsic value and that perfect live died cast out FEAR.

      Why fear being deported?
      WHY fear being persecuted?

      I guess it’ll take longer for true GRACE to solidify into the deepest truths that SETTLE all soul-bound worry and FEAR:
      each is accepted,
      each is affirmed,
      each is adored,
      each is admired,
      each is righteous and holy,
      each is protected,
      each is His (to those who accept His acceptance and believe).

      “The righteous don’t go begging bread.”

      If you see this response as being not ‘practical’, then truly you miss the actual message of the true Gospel of Grace.

      FEAR is NOT trustworthy.
      FEAR is a lie about our future.

      Father paid too dearly, to have His children in FEAR.

      FDR was right. ‘fear itself, is to be feared’ – leaders today HRC & Obama must write the FEAR that produces violence. (And why don’t they? Is THAT perhaps part of her ‘private policy’ vs her ‘public policy’?

      Jesus is right. No-one can change his stature, by fearing.

      • mattmikalatos

        Hey cuzinjules.

        Let’s imagine for a moment that Donald Trump is not racist at all.

        Now let’s look at the fact that many people of color and white supremacists THINK that he is. The supremacists are encouraged to “be themselves” more and are goaded to more open expressions of their racist philosophies. Which, of course, causes more racist interactions for ethnic minorities, which increases fear (and harm).

        All of which to say: whether you think Trump is racist or not, the point of the article still stands. People have reason to fear, and it is right to interact with those people with kindness and understanding, and to stand up for them and their rights.

        • cuzinjules

          The supremacists are encouraged to “be themselves”? Ridiculous. They have rightly been relegated to personas non gratas and years ago.

          We must live in the fearful and hurting, yes.

          Paul says a bit further however: “But speaking the Truth in love…., do they they (The immature) GROW UP into the head, which is Christ.”

          This is an awesome opportunity to engage the non believer also to explain why the Gospel IS…, the power of God!”

          ” There is no fear in love, for mature love, casts out FEAR.”

          No one can say that ‘perception’ is a mature foundation to resort to FEAR.

          Hand-holding, compassionate dialogue, listening, is needed BY the mature…., FOR the immature.

          It IS immature, and completely natural, to FEAR. Becoming a new creation puts one on the path to understanding what has already been accomplished FOR them, a slice of which its security in WHO, and WHO’S they’ve become. There is no fear in identity grasp that Father has revealed.

          Perception. Appearance.

          Not trustworthy.

          You’re absolutely correct. ‘people of kindness AND UNDERSTANDING must interact with those choosing the falsity of FEAR, and convey the true ‘power of God’ found in the Gospel of Grace.

          No honor walking, mature in Fathers indefatigable acceptance (love) SON or DAUGHTER…, will walk in ANY fear when they grasp the identity and ‘abundant Life’ that Jesus offered.

          All Jesus people, are getting to the kind of ‘dead’ freedom (Colossians 3:1-4) that Father paid so richly for.

          He’s the author (For the immature) and the finisher (For the more-and-more mature) of our faith.

          We need to love people into freedom from FEAR(s).

    • mattmikalatos

      Hey Chris! Would you mind if we set a definition of what “counts” as racist? I think it will save us some time. I know there are some things people would write off as basically “grandpa doesn’t know the right terms to use” and I understand why they might not think that counts. What definition of racism shall we use?

  • Rose Thompson

    Absolutely excellent. You put words to what I have been struggling to articulate for the past few days. Thank you.

    • mattmikalatos

      My pleasure, Rose. Thanks for the comment.

  • Diane Morgan

    My struggle with this is I don’t believe Trump is a racist. I think that is media spin and a poor interview response taken out of context. I saw trump disavow David Dukes support the very first day he was told of it–by a reporter at a news conference last spring. He very quickly and dismissively disavowed it the next day though he was asked by Matt Lauer and he sounded slower to disavow. Confused. Said he has to research the person. Then he claimed he had a faulty ear piece. Lynn Patton who works with him daily it grieves her that he is being painted this way. In Florida when he found clubs claiming their doors to Jews and Blacks he opened Mar Largo. His dad may have been a racist at a time when there was more of it. But please stop saying that Trump is racist and aligning him with the KKK. The violent Black Lives Matter folks terrify me as they march and chant about shooting cops over and over (this was constant last Spring) but that doesn’t make me fear Hillary–even though she hasn’t spoken out against their methods in a consistent and public way. There is a fringe–a scary fringe in both parties. I have black friends who support Trump who have educated themselves to sift through the media spin. What concerns me as an American is the narrative that places Trump in the same column as KKK. That small seed of a lie or a twist has grown into a divisive movement. And now you, sir, are spewing it as fact. If I was black and I believed this narrative, I, too, would be scared. People like you and the media have perpetuated the narrative, have incited the fear. I beg you to go to the Trump organization and interview his workers. Please. Please go to Mar Largo and see if their are black people on the membership roles and how many compared to older elite clubs in the area. Please be responsible. I fear it is too late and the narrative is spun and I ache for my black friends who are scared and worried.

    • mattmikalatos

      Hi Diane–

      Maybe it would be helpful if you shared what your definition of racism is. That should give us an easier way forward to talk about whether or not Mr. Trump fits the definition. He fits mine pretty easily, but what definition do you use?

      Also: let’s imagine that he is not racist by some definition. The fact is that the perception of him being racist (by both white supremacists and people of color) is sufficient to create a culture of fear for ethnic minorities, and that those fears are both legitimate and real… and therefore we can respond to them with compassion. Yes?

      • Diane Morgan

        Always always compassion and I believe people over politics. Always. I have reached out to several friends who feel devastated at Hillary’s loss. We are still friends. Because we both define ourselves by our relationships first. So in that spirit I applaud this letter. I just disagree with some of your claims about Trump. But always always compassion and understanding even if I don’t understand or cannot fully appreciate a fear. Listen learn and come alongside of.

      • cuzinjules

        ‘perception’ is sufficient to create a culture of FEAR for ethnic minorities….

        This statement and the many who adhere to it, IS THE problem.

        False
        Evidence
        APPEARING
        Real

        FEAR is always untrustworthy, as it stifles action for the true grasp needed, for lasting change.

      • Apollos

        No. Those fears are not legitimate and they are not even real. We have laws in the USA and these laws protect people and their freedoms. What is wrong with Evangelical bloggers and leaders who are pushing this campus leftism? Do you think you are serving Christ because you are preaching compassion? Is that all it is about? Was Jesus compassionate always and only? Did he not set things straight and tell the truth no matter what people may have felt to be “compassionate” or not? There’s nothing wrong with compassion if it also acknowledges truth. Most of the examples you use are not even true… and you call yourself a Christians leader?

        You campus Christian leaders do not serve Christ by parroting what ungodly leftists are saying and trafficking in their social justice wares. You people are fast becoming people of “causes” instead of being people of the Gospel. You think that you are serving Christ by inserting yourselves into every hot-button issue and taking the post-modern righteous viewpoint. What you fail to see is that you are working against the Gospel as you lead people to the same empty causes you love to pursue.

        • mattmikalatos

          The law is imperfect and neither omnipotent nor omnipresent. It can also change and it can, in fact, represent the imperfections of those making and shaping them. Slavery was, for instance, the law.

          As for campus leftism, I think you’re projecting your own agenda here. I’m not associated with any such movement, campus or otherwise.

          I don’t think you can call a fear “illegitimate and not real.” Fear is fear. You can think it’s unwarranted but you can’t say it doesn’t exist.

          Yes, Jesus was both compassionate and truthful. I don’t see any evidence I’ve done anything other than that here.

    • Becci Himes

      Choosing words carefully is kind of, no extremely, important for a president. Maybe you could talk to the Mexican who called me protesting unfair wages and suppression of unions by Donald Trump companies.

  • Angry Angie

    The media is spreading fear. The same media that made the Democrats believe that they were winning is the same media that is spreading fear. That same media should encourage people not to be fear. Fear is crippling and it changes nothing…

    • Debbie Fusselman

      Amen!

  • Leah Faith

    I do not like Trump. I did not vote for him, however, I do not believe he is racist. He surrounds himself with people of all colors, races, and creeds. I watched how he treated black people on the Apprentice. I believe, if anything, he gave them an advantage. His comments about Mexicans were purely towards the criminal nature and the illegal nature of their entering the United States. I can’t believe after demonizing Trump’s morality and being ostracized by my friends, I am now defending him. However, the truth must prevail. I understand the need to vet Muslims and in the wake of the massive bombings, it’s horrendous to think about not letting Muslims into the United States for a period of time, but I also see the need for extreme vetting, even if that means some people get called out who are not in anyway associated with terrorism. We live in an age of massive bombings and safety comes before feelings unfortunately. Womanizer, especially in the past? Egotistical? yes Racist? No, and our criticism of Trump, or anyone should be based on truth. I can see your Mexican friends who are here illegally being afraid of being deported, I can see your Muslim friends who are not in America afraid they may not be able to visit, but other than that, any other fears are unfounded. Let us not spread more fear than necessary, there is enough to go around. I also read that Trump said he will not enact mass deportation of illegal aliens but instead keep more people from coming here illegally and he has said he will not enact a Muslim ban but instead vet very carefully. There is probably a long list of fears when it comes to Trump, but racism is not it. There is a great fear in America though of people being afraid to admit they were going to or did vote for Trump. That is a real fear.

    • Brad

      how about your gay friends fear their marriages will be invalidated, Your black friends fear there will be less diligence monitoring police, how about fears that an empowered KKK and other white supremacy groups will feel entitled to spread hate. How about your female friends who feel degraded and marginalized by his comments. Please do not be so naive. White people have no idea what its like for the rest of America. And you trivialized the significance of the threat to Mexicans and Muslims as thought that was an acceptable consequence of the election. Real lives will be damaged and destroyed.

      • Leah Faith

        I read your comment and took some time to think about it rationally. First, millions of Americans were against the passage of the gay marriage act, not out of bigotry but because marriage has always been between a man and a woman. Actually Donald Trump is very pro gay rights and it’s on this point concervatives have compromised when electing Trump. Secondly, the BLM movement has been funded by George Soros to insight disunity, black people have no more to fear than any other in thr majority of cases. I have not trivialized Muslim or Mexican fears. This is a very complicated issue but fear is not helpful. Donald Trump cannot really be excused for his remarks but to think that his being elected will somehow degrade women more than Bill Clinton’s presidency is absurb. Porn is used by mill in America and is truly the drgredation of women in this country. Trump brings the spotlight to this but does not make it worse or better. When the NFL stops using push up bra laden females and beer commercials stop using bikini clad bimbos then a Trump election would seem out of step. When Beyonce actually wears clothes and Miley Cyrus doesn’t swing naked on a wreaking ball then you can decry Trump’s statements. We are are a horribly sexualized culture and Trump is par for the course, as disgusting as that is.

        • Brad

          I hold the President of the United States to a much higher standard than Miley Cyrus. Also Bill Clinton was not running for President. I never voted for him for the very same reasons. I know many Christian women who do great things inspite of the short comings of there husbands. what exactly was Hillary to do? Do you think she should have divorced him? Women who marry men with sexual problems have no way to win. They are either wrong for staying or wrong for leaving

      • Wolf Ironhead

        An empowered KKK? Do you even know how many Klan members there are still left in the US? Here’s a hint, they wouldn’t take up a whole section in a football stadium. White Supremacy has become White Nationalism, because they already know they’ve lost. Now they’re just trying to keep enough of their numbers together to keep places like Stormfront.org propped up. As for invalidating gay marriages, this is one of the many areas Trump parted ways with the GOP. The man has a better LGBTQ record than anyone in either party. Stop worrying about your widdle feelings and be concerned about real things, like him pissing off people with nuclear weapons. And before you accuse me of having no idea what it is like for the rest of America, I’m a lovely Mocha color and I live in the Deep South.

        • Brad

          Sorry you live in the deep South.

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  • Red47 #happy

    Or..you could tellt hem tat the media spin was much different than what he said. We don’t have to take everything literally.

    • mattmikalatos

      You’re going to have to unpack that a little for me. I don’t understand what you mean by listing those awards.

      • Red47 #happy

        Lol. I edited it. Should help.

        • mattmikalatos

          I was trying to figure out why you included things like the Golden Raspberry award ha ha ha ha

          • Red47 #happy

            Too lazy to take it out.

    • Jason

      I think you must have missed “Don’t worry, it was all bluster.”, and arguments 2-3, and heck, did you even read this article?

      • Red47 #happy

        Bluster is different from an untruth. This article started that Trump is racist as a fact. That is not borne out in his private or professional life. The opposition took a spark and built it into a firestorm.
        It is much more useful to point to his life long actions vs. the propaganda put out in an election year. Why? Because he isn’t racist.

        • Jason

          I find it interesting that you still missed the point of the article, defended Trump again and then attacked me. I’ll gladly take a personal attack if it blunts the hateful and at times violent attacks that are actually happening to American citizens and visitors, but sadly, I don’t think that’s going to help those who are actually living in fear.

          • Red47 #happy

            Attacking you? Because I asked if you fear fear Trump? Because I think you misunderstood me? Then am I supposed to think you attacked me?
            This is a serious question and not an attack. Are you that fragile that you cannot have an actual conversation without feeling threatened by words?
            This part is the attack part and it is not against you, it is against your stance.
            That explains everything and I am very wrong. This article is spot on and all y’all need to heal. Just heal. I get it now. Never mind.
            I take everything back. I’ll put my feels shirt on and try again. Throw out logic. It is working for everyone who has been trained to “trigger” and run for a safe space every time something negative happens. That is exactly the opposite of Christ’s example. Exactly opposite.
            HE would never had condoned ruining someone’s reputation using the press as we saw them do to Trump. Trump has worked for desegregation. He has more women working in upper management of his companies that most other companies his size. On The Apprentice, did we see him cast people aside because of color or gender? No. We did not.
            So go ahead and condescendingly pat people on the head and tell them whatever. It’s a lot better than giving them actual tools to process their fears.

          • Naomi Beeman

            Red47, it’s never condescendingly patting people on the head to reflect the heart of Jesus to them. When it comes to “actual tools to process their fears,” empathy and a listening to understand are the first tools they need from you, so be wise and make sure these are the first tools you use in your arsenal. This has nothing to do with “feels” and “triggers” and everything to do with the logic of human relationships. Only when people know how much you care do they care how much you know. Let me use a Jesus example for you. Jesus knows a lot of stuff, right? Being God and all. Remember that time when Mary is sitting at Jesus feet learning from him? That happened AFTER Jesus and the Mary/Martha/Lazarus family had become friends. They cared deeply about each other and were getting their needs met by each other. On that basis of friendship they had life changing moments of learning and teaching and emotional processing. God shows his love for his people over and over again before Jesus, through Jesus, after Jesus. I encourage you not to take it for granted that your facebook friends know how much you care when God Himself doesn’t even take it for granted that we know how much he cares.

          • Red47 #happy

            People went to Him and he gave them tools, not platitudes. The people on my Facebook are my friends and they know I care. They also know I’m not going to feed propaganda.

          • Naomi Beeman

            He also never was dismissive of their pain.

          • Red47 #happy

            No one has to be.

  • Cara

    For a while I have been researching sites that have radically different views about the election. I voted for Hillary and before that Bernie. I wanted to understand why someone would vote for Trump. I would cast a vote for Ryan, Kasich, and Bush before Trump. I liked Kasich the most of all Republican candidates. The more I read, the more I was enlightened and in some cases, blown away at how different the thoughts were from mine. It was important for me to understand. I encourage you all to take Matt’s recommendations one step further. Ask to understand. Not just allow others to voice their thoughts. Attempt to understand their perspective, thought process. Refrain from justifying your position. Avoid jumping to conclusions about the person on the other side Listen to their stories. And, I truly hope with all of my heart that we do as Matt says and stand united to defend all of our rights to protect us all against racism and sexism. That all of our voices will rise up against anyone who attempts to come after women and people of color. I am counting on you to do so.

    • mattmikalatos

      Thanks, Cara.

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  • Byrn Baler

    Thinking about this article most of the week. Here is a video which I think may typify (not sure that is a word) the fears of people out there. https://youtu.be/QrScSLfaGZc

    I feel really bad for this person. The fear she is living in is very real to her. So is this something that is completely constructed out of first hand experience or is this something simply made up of fear reinforced by rhetoric and propaganda?

  • brand.harmony

    I stand in awe, a few feet back, admiring this masterpiece of an article. Thank you for showing us just how to remain perfectly true to our own choices WHILE preserving those of everyone else!

    I had lately given myself almost entirely to the wonderful pleasure of malice, mischief, and spite. Agitated beyond usual measure, by related, true information that raises the stakes of this election, and coupled with seemingly the lowest level of discerning public participation on both sides of this impossible choice, i suddenly found escape in a routine I last used in early highschool years: direct, unsolvable insult. Ah, the feeling of release from the contortions of courtesy!

    It was not because I wasn’t aware, or didn’t know how to proceed! On the contrary! Just like the proverbial pastor’s daughter, exasperated by my moral harness, I wontonly “opened my legs” and defied caution.

    my fb posts began as information pieces, soon morphed into veiled insult, and then into vile, sacadated provocations towards the “grown-ups” in my list.

    I’m not giving that up, btw, although I’m 43, however, having now read your article, I’m gonna find it much, much more difficult to fuel my rage. so, yeah, “thanks, Obama!” 😉

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  • Don Wilcox

    Matt, I can’t help but notice your silence in response to Red47. He’s taken you to school on critical thinking and called you out on your straw man argument claiming that Trump is a racist. You can learn a lot from people like him.

    • mattmikalatos

      Don, I find the best way to learn a lot from people is to listen to them, not to fight with them.

      I think you might want to review the definition of “straw man” though.

      • mattmikalatos

        For instance if we were to have a conversation like this, the term straw man is being misused:

        Me: Hitler was racist.

        Someone Else: Hitler was nominated for the Nobel prize!

        Third person: Oooh, you have used a straw man argument claiming that Hitler is racist and Someone Else has just taken you to school on critical thinking.

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