Today (January 19, 2017, Inauguration Day Eve), I was leaving Rowan’s campus around 11 AM, ready to move on with my day after a long first week of classes. As I was putting my backpack in the passenger seat of my car, someone pushed passed me, muttering “Proud Democrat? Yeah right, what a fucking joke.” This person was referencing one of the few bumper stickers on my car.
To quickly clarify: Yes, I have a bumper sticker on my car that says “Proud Democrat” because I am one. Yes, I have a bumper sticker that says “Stop Bigotry” because that’s what I’d like to see in the world. Yes, I have a Hillary Clinton bumper sticker because I supported her throughout the election and still continue to support her and other members of the Democratic Party. I keep these stickers on my car because I like them there.
The stranger continued with “Go Trump!” I was taken aback, mostly because I did not know this person whatsoever, but also because this (presumably fellow student) was a young adult woman. She continued walking, but still looked back at me. All I said back was “That was unnecessary,” because, well, it really was unnecessary. She said, “No, it’s not, I’m expressing my opinion.” She continued to make her way out of the parking garage.
First, I want to state that there is a vast difference between expressing one’s opinion and verbally harassing a stranger. This type of situation was and would be unnecessary (and overall kind of rude) regardless of when it occurred, where it occurred, and the types of political views and opinions of the people involved. Second of all, what would have this person done if I just didn’t so happen to be arriving at my car as she was departing hers? Would she have rolled her eyes, cursed under her breath and moved on? Did verbally harassing me (a STRANGER) benefit her in any way?
(Side note: No, I was not “asking for it” by having these bumper stickers on my car. An individual typically isn’t ever “asking for it” when it comes to any type of harassment.)
What I truly do not understand about those who support the man who (unfortunately) is becoming our next president is that they continue to relentlessly defend him, typically in unprompted situations – when, in reality, he hasn’t benefitted them specifically or for the country in general. Because of these bumper stickers, I’ve gotten flipped off, given a thumbs-down, tailgated, laughed at, and now harassed. Because of bumper stickers. BUMPER STICKERS.
I’m not sure where to go from here or what the future after tomorrow will bring. I do know, at least, that I am gratified to be able to identify the absurdity of ignorant occurrences such as this one.