I'm proud of this piece. I'm grateful to Dan Darling and the folks at Christianity Today for running it. I'm honored to have had so many opportunities to speak up for vulnerable kids and families and encourage the church to love us well.
And then, I discovered the Alt-Right. Please be warned, the tweets below are both graphic and horrific. But I think we need to see them for what they are, so I'm sharing them along with my thoughts on the issue. (I know this post might make our family a target again, but I figure I'm probably doing something right if I'm drawing the ire of white supremacists.)
These cucks are messed up in the head. https://t.co/Bu1Qyx8csh @specialneedsmin @dinglefest @dandarling @jwilson1812 pic.twitter.com/U6rN2Kd0g5— End Cultural Marxism (@genophilia) June 10, 2016
@genophilia @specialneedsmin @dinglefest @dandarling @jwilson1812 When the 2 White kids are assaulted, cuck of a father should be prosecuted— Fashionista (@FashNova) June 10, 2016
@genophilia @specialneedsmin @dinglefest @dandarling @jwilson1812 how have these people not realized multicultural families are a Jew plot— Warrior Queen (@SupaGoy88) June 10, 2016
@Deadmau5Patton @genophilia @specialneedsmin @dinglefest @dandarling @jwilson1812 guess which one dat white gurl gon get RAPED by— Herr Wolf (@wolfkaste) June 10, 2016
@genophilia @specialneedsmin @dinglefest @dandarling @jwilson1812 Cuckoldery is a moral disease, the by proxy murder of future generations.— Rorschach Romanov (@Noir_Reaction) June 10, 2016
@genophilia @specialneedsmin @dinglefest @dandarling @jwilson1812 . . . that the negros and the china girl are not American orphans!— Edward Kyle (@edwardkyle123) June 10, 2016
@genophilia @specialneedsmin @dinglefest @dandarling @jwilson1812 This is morally repulsive. These cucks should be locked up.— Hipster Racist (@HipsterRacist2) June 10, 2016
@static_boolean @genophilia @specialneedsmin @dinglefest @dandarling @jwilson1812 the poor little blonde hair girl doesn't stand a chance.— Jack Denali Lusk (@LuskDenali) June 10, 2016
@static_boolean @genophilia @specialneedsmin @dinglefest @dandarling @jwilson1812 Cuckface meets pigwifeface— Kate Steinle (@BrassMacks) June 10, 2016
I know they're sickening (and I censored out a few by not including them here). Also, happy birthday to me, as they were posted the night I turned 34. (Ugh.) But who are these people and the 100+ folks who liked or retweeted their remarks? To answer that, here's a snippet from the always accurate Wikipedia:
The alt-right is a segment of right-wing ideologies presented as an alternative to mainstream conservatism in the politics of the United States. The alt-right has been described as a movement unified by support for Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, as well as opposition to multiculturalism and immigration.And here's what a conservative blogger at The Daily Beast had to say about this movement:
It’s no coincidence that alt-righters who don’t like libertarians or more traditional conservatives often refer to them as “cuckservatives.” The Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis explains the term, “A cuckold, of course, is a legitimate word for the husband of an adulterous wife… (but) the people who throw this term around are most likely referencing a type of pornography whereby a (usually, white) man is ‘humiliated’ (or ironically thrilled) by being forced to watch his wife having sex with another (usually, black) man…I didn't know what they meant by cucked when I first saw the tweets. Someone dear to me texted, "I don't know what that word means and I'm not going to look it up." I tried not to. I tried to just ignore it all. (Obviously, I didn't succeed in those efforts.)
“So what does this have to do with conservatism or politics?” asks Lewis. “By supporting immigration reform, criminal justice reform, etc., a white conservative is therefore surrendering his honor and masculinity…
“A cuckservative is, therefore, a race traitor,” Lewis notes.
I'm writing this because I believe these tweets are symptoms of a larger issue. I think we have to speak up against hate. I won't sugarcoat it. The Alt-Right is defined by hate. Not patriotism. Not principle. Not nationalism. Hate. This is a hate group, no question. And they've been mobilized by Trump, by their own assertions.
As silence doesn't suit me, the day after the Christianity Today piece and Twitter hate, I shared this on Facebook:
I couldn't put the words together last night, and I'm probably going to fumble this too, but I'm no longer shaking in anger so I think I can do this...I don't consider this a political blog post. To me, this is a moral issue, as much as diversity in dolls or outrage about sexual assault are. Dinglefest isn't going to become a blog about politics, but I won't be quiet on this topic. I think it's important to shed light on what our political climate is creating.
I've seen people try to downplay racism. I've seen people try to downplay rape culture. I've seen people try to downplay Trump's hate speech about race and gender and immigration and disability and so much more.
Usually I try to ignore it. Fighting online battles isn't beneficial. (And, please, continue to follow my advice about not engaging the Twitter trolls attacking our family, because they won't go away if they get a rise out of us.)
But sometimes it's time to say something. When a few dozen cowardly white supremacists who strongly espouse both their love for Hitler and Trump make cruel memes out of our family pictures for fun and write vile comments about how my black immigrant son is going to rape me and my white daughter because that's what those people do (in addition to calling my husband a cuckold and us both traitors to both our country and our race), I can't stay silent. I'm not going to engage with them, because they are not worth my time. But? I feel like I need to say that if you're supporting Trump, I see this as the natural consequence of his violent hate-mongering speech about anyone different. No, he didn't write those comments, but we're seeing these groups emboldened by his candidacy. To me, supporting Trump isn't a political issue; it's a moral one.
Please, spare me comments about Hillary or any other candidate and their poorly behaved supporters. I know jerks behind computer screens exist in all shades. But? When my family becomes a target from hard right conservative racists over a piece in Christianity Today, I have to say it's going to be hard for me to stomach anyone's comments here about how mean those on the left are toward Christians. Nope. Not today.
I deliberated long and hard before sharing the troubling tweets above. I might go back and remove them at some point, because I don't want to amplify their voices. But? I think we need to be willing to see the ugliness, because I think it's our refusal to look upon hate speech like this that makes us say "I'm shocked!" about Orlando and Charleston while so many of our friends in the LGBT and black communities weren't in the same ways. After all, they've been watching the hate storms brew, while our white and/or heterosexual eyes have looked the other way, simply because our privilege allows that.
So what can we do?
Listen. Identify those who are marginalized and start listening. Your eyes might just be opened to the hate you've been glossing over without even knowing it.
Love. Create your own love storms, right where you are. (And, please, drop the conditions. Not "I love you, but..." or "I love you if..." or "I love you, even though..." Just communicate "I love you." Period. Full stop. No stipulations.)
Do. Take action - with your voice and your votes and your time and your money - to act against hate and show value to all people.
Finally, I feel compelled to say I do value both Trump and the AltRight. While I don't like their speech, they have a right to express it. As angry and hurt as I was reading their tweets, I know each Twitter handle represents an actual person created by God to do greater things than spread hate online. So please don't interpret this post as a hateful response to hate. No. This is a call for us to look and see the hate storm, but love the people. When everything went down a week and a half ago, a friend asked what she could do. I still stand by my response: "Just be kind. While these are faceless trolls, they are also real people behind a screen. And I can only think that they need a whole lot more kindness in their lives if they're saying what they're saying, even anonymously. So be kind."
I think kindness can be dangerous to this brand of hate. So let's listen, love, and do, all while showing grace to everyone, even those who don't seem to deserve it.