May 16, 2016

Aubrey Perry now lives in Australia. When she found out just how deeply invested her parents are for Donald Trump she made the painful decision to break off ties with her parents. A cautionary tale for all of us who are shocked to find relatives that support Trump and the hateful ideas he both espouses and represents.

Her mother, Barbara Jensen, is featured in the video above at the California Republican Party State Convention.

Source: The Age

Donald Trump has torn my family apart

Greaseball. Wetback. Spic. Beaner. I grew up with these words in the house. Not because that's what people called us. That's what we called Mexicans.

At least, my parents did. We were white. We lived in Turlock, California. A blue-collar place with a lot of immigrant labour. My dad ran a one-man pest extermination business, and my mum taught ESL (English as a Second Language) and basic English at a local college. Today, both of my parents are vehement Donald Trump supporters.

Not only are they Trump supporters, but my mum is now on the list of Trump delegates heading to the Republican convention. I found her name when I was scanning the list to see if the white supremacist William Daniel Johnson had been removed (since he'd said he would not be attending): there she was, #10 on the list.

I'd known for a while that my mum was open to the idea of Trump as her candidate. My dad has been a Trump supporter from the beginning. But I've lived in Australia for the past seven years. They live in the US. We text and Facebook with each other, but we don't discuss politics.

And I don't use Twitter much. But, wow. My mum does. I recently checked her Twitter page for the first time in a while and was shocked. Hateful memes, ugly language, and appearance-based attacks, targeted at Hillary Clinton, stacked up. And not just hateful, but off-topic and malicious calling Hillary "ugly", "old" and "screechy". An "unlikeable old bag. The 'woman card' stinks!" my mother wrote. My mother! A college instructor! She should know better. She's no internet troll. Is she?
Which brings me to this. My husband is black. We have a daughter together. My parents' support of a candidate who could not decide if he should accept the endorsement of the KKK is completely intolerable in our home and, ultimately, in our world.

I commented on my mum's tweet and asked her if she'd really written those words. Her response: "(American Flag emoji) You don't share my beliefs, and you don't have to. (smiley face emoji)" I was shocked.

I told her so. Publicly. Finally. I wrote back, "Your Twitter feed makes me disappointed and embarrassed of you as a person, a supposed critical thinker, and my mother. Shocked."

And then I found the video clips of her on Fox News interviewed at the Trump rally in Burlingame, in April. "I'm all Trump, only Trump, always Trump, forever Trump," replayed over and over in my head.
It's a decision I don't take lightly, one with repercussions that will be felt long after this election, and one that affects my daughter, too, who isn't old enough to make this choice herself. My mother is in her 60s, my dad in his 70s. They won't be around forever. But the hate they sow could be.

By ignoring racism, xenophobia, and misogyny within our families, we are accepting it within our culture. To ignore is to accept. As my daughter plays on the floor in front of me while I type this, I think about her ancestry. I think about the suffering that has been endured so that she can live in a free and just world, and I feel a responsibility to the continuity of that humanity. If I don't oppose my parents' behaviour and objectives, if I don't reject Trump and all that he stands for, if I don't change my family's vocabulary so that my daughter never knows the hateful words I heard growing up, I'm undoing the progress that generations before me have fought and died for. And that, I won't accept.

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