Dani Robbins

Just Don’t: An Open Letter to my Family, Friends and Neighbors that Voted for Trump

In Advocacy on November 10, 2016 at 9:02 pm

I have taken down this post twice.  The first time a few weeks after it was written and before the inauguration in the hopes that perhaps something would change and whatever good you saw would come to light.  The second time because I was questioning what it would accomplish.

I have since watched multiple mass murders, aggressions big and small, children separated from their families at the border (in an inept attempt to stop their coming and despite zero evidence that it is having any effect), a second man appointed the Supreme Court after being accused of abusing yet another woman, eligible voters being turn away or deleted off the rolls, the introduction of “alternative facts” – which let’s be very clear are actually lies, the hypocrisy of holding others accountable to what the leaders do every day with impunity, and the mass loss of civility, tolerance and respect.

We and the world, as many of us initially feared,  are in the midst of four years of narcissism, hate mongering,  the increase in violence, the decrease of decorum and respect, and the chipping away of our civil liberties and our rights; all with a decreased ability to address or pay for it.

Those who support Trump, out loud or by staying silent, must believe it is worth it- for the new justices elected to the bench, for the economy (previously yet no longer) booming.

All the while, our values burn.

All of my fears have come true. I (still) blame you.

Here is the original post, as written:

Do not call to ask if I’m okay. I don’t trust myself not to scream at you. Don’t drop by. Don’t invite me to things. I’m not coming.

I am sad and despondent and angry. I’m angry at you and your peers. You just elected the most racist, misogynist, and ill prepared President we’ve ever had the misfortune to have to live through, if we manage to make it at all.

Don’t talk to me about Hillary and why you hate her. Don’t talk to me about the economy and why it sucks. Don’t talk to me about whatever craziness you’re telling yourself to justify getting into bed with the devil.  Make no mistake that that is where you are, and now, thanks to you, where we all are.

Do I sound angry? Good! I am angry. I’m also afraid.

Maybe you think you know me, but don’t really know me. I believe women (and men) have the right to be safe in their own bodies and in their own homes. Because of that I spent the first part of my career working with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Maybe you don’t know what that means.  Maybe you believe that women who stay in an abusive relationship must like it because they could always leave and maybe you believe that rape victims were asking for it and shouldn’t have been there or wearing that. If you do, you’re wrong about that too.

I believe that all young people have the right to realize their full potential as responsible and productive citizens. Because of that, I’ve worked in the inner city and in rural communities with young people to make sure they know that what they see isn’t all there is. To make sure they know they have a future and choices and a world that awaits their brilliance and needs their leadership.

I believe that when nonprofits are stronger, communities are stronger. Because of that I work with small to midsize nonprofits so they have the capacity to fulfill their mission and serve their community.

I believe that young people will make our world better. Because of that, I teach.

I believe we each have an obligation to reach back and help up the people behind us and to give thanks to the ones on whose shoulders we stand.

I know that there are people who voted for Trump because they don’t see a way forward.  They don’t understand how they can help their family and their community.  They want change but don’t see how they fit in this new multicultural, technological based world. I get that.

I understand the level of hopelessness that can make Trump look reasonable.  I understand how people who fit in that space can see Trump as change. Yet, and still, I firmly believe that you can never buy anything from a man selling fear.

We, as a society and a world, must find a way to come together and that includes everyone who feels left out and passed by as well as the ones who don’t.  This is not the way forward. We never move forward for long by stepping on the necks of others.

What I totally don’t get, is that those people are not you. You, my friends, family and neighbors, in your nice houses, with money in the bank, food in the fridge, a retirement plan and a job, just stepped on the necks of every minority group in this country, including the ones to which we belong. You have helped to sow my fear.

So, while I’d love to be writing one of those inspiring, uplifting messages that we must come together and work toward change, and I believe we do, I’m starting with this message of anger because I’m pissed and I’m pissed at you. You have put me in this position and I’m holding you accountable.

I have fear in my stomach and terror in my heart. I blame you collectively and individually. Don’t tell me not to take it so personally. It is personal.  Did you watch Michelle Obama’s speech? Watch it now. Or do you only watch or listen to things that reinforce what you already believe?

I have spent my life fighting against this man, not him specifically but men like him. Men who act like women are pawns and play things but not real people.  Men  – and women- who think that their skin color gives them power that the rest of us can’t access.  Men – and women – who think that their religion is the right religion and their beliefs are beliefs the rest of us have to honor, and to whom our own beliefs are irrelevant.

You, my friends, family and neighbors, have aligned yourself with a rapist. You elected a man who made fun of the disabled, and who talks about the inner city as if it’s a war zone, even though I’m not sure he’s ever been in either the inner city or an actual war zone. You elected a man who has screwed over small business owners and students, his own tenants, and those who aspired to be. You elected a man who goes against not only everything I believe, but many of the things you believe.

Your decision has repudiated my life’s work.  It has put my family, and yours, in harm’s way. It has made me afraid. I blame you.

  1. I read this. I feel your pain, I’m experiencing your pain and I too am afraid. I will continue to do the work of helping ALL students reach their potential. I will not lose hope and I will not run in fear from this work. The blood is on the hands of those who voted this man in and when he fails those who supported him I will still be here to help them too.


  2. Is it OK if I post this on my Facebook page giving credit to Non Profit Evolution and specifically Dani Robbins? Although I’m a Canadian living in Canada, I agree fully with what you said and can’t believe that he got elected (although Clinton is no gem either). Thanks.

    On Thu, Nov 10, 2016 at 8:02 PM, NON PROFIT EVOLUTION wrote:

    > Dani Robbins posted: “Do not call to ask if I’m okay. I don’t trust myself > not to scream at you. Don’t drop by. Don’t invite me to things. I’m not > coming. I am sad and despondent and angry. I’m angry at you and your peers. > You just elected the most racist, misogynist, and i” >


  3. […] very long years ago I wrote the article Just Don’t after Trump was elected. Since then, those of us who work for and believe in justice have endured […]


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