A part of my job is not to only help my clients but to also show empathy (having the ability to understand and share the feelings of another) and have compassion for their situation. Simply stated; “putting myself in their shoes”. Admittedly, I was slightly bothered by my client’s predicament. He was an older white man who came out of his home to find his SUV had been damaged.
His vehicle had been keyed and the back of his SUV was spray painted with anti-Trump messaging. He was in an area that had thousands of people who were participating in the Women’s March, which was in part a women’s empowerment march, part anti-Trump protest. Even though the Women’s March didn’t encourage the violence that was witnessed during Trump’s inauguration, there still was a very small group of bad apples that marginally littered a few of the gatherings across the country. Globally, The Women’s March was otherwise a very positive and violence free protest.
Nonetheless; my client felt (and I agree) he was targeted because he had Trump, RNC and “Make America Great Again” bumper stickers on the back of his vehicle.
He stated, “I voted for Trump, but that doesn’t mean I would vandalize someone else’s car if they had a Hillary sticker on the back of their car”.
As a Black man, I thought about how I would feel if I walked out of my home, and saw my truck had been keyed and spray painted with the word ‘Nigger’, which has happened to public and private property since Trump’s victory in November.
As a non-heterosexual man, I thought about how I would feel if I walked out of my home, and saw my truck had been keyed and spray painted with the word ‘Faggot’, which has happened to public and private property since Trump’s victory in November concerning members of the LGBTQ community.
As a non-religious, non-Hispanic man, I thought about how I would feel if I walked out of my home, and saw my truck had been keyed and spray painted with the words ‘Terrorist’ or ‘Build The Wall’?; Because of my complexion and my ability to grow a beard, I’ve been mistaken for both Muslim and Mexican (not simultaneously of course) currently and in the past.
As an Obama voter, I thought about Obama’s white grandfather.
Also as a Bernie Sanders voter and supporter who voted for Hillary, I was a bit pissed that this man’s SUV was vandalized for his opinion and political / voting beliefs.
I said to him, “Sir, I apologize that this happened to you. We should be able to agree to disagree with out resorting to vandalizing someone’s personal property.”
He thanked me for my professionalism, kind words, providing some comfort for his embarrassment (having to drive around with a vandalized SUV) and acknowledging his inconveniences surrounding the ordeal.
I thanked him and let me know I appreciated his sweet disposition (ole-dude was straight out of a Pepperidge Farm commercial) and his business.
Nonetheless, with all my empathy free flowing, I couldn’t help but think, “If you’re inconvenienced now, wait until Trump destroys your Medicare and Social Security you old fucker.”
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