Elections go one way or another and those who backed the winning candidate often feel renewed confidence and a sense of power. Those who backed the losing candidate have to figure out how to make their voices heard in the policy discussions and political action that follow. But something beyond economic opportunity and national security grabbed my attention both during and after the election, and it is not pretty.

 Expressions of racism, bigotry and hate rang clear during the Trump campaign. They were made by the candidate himself, his organizers and those who supported him. I suspect that many of his supporters do not share these feelings and believe, as I do, that in a civil society there is no room for these expressions.

Since the election, there have been incidents locally that raise concern. Women have been verbally accosted by individuals in pickup trucks plastered with Trump stickers. People of color have been harassed on their daily errands. Children of color report verbal abuse and threats in school.

I want to think the Key Peninsula is a safe place for all, but I am not sure that is the case.

I call on all of us to reject bigotry. They have no place in our community. I call on adults and children alike to speak out against hatred when they see it, whether privately or publicly. America is a land of freedom, equality and equal rights for everyone on her soil.


Ken Wassum


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