No Trump! No Trolls


“No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!”

Tuesday night, thousands of protesters yelled at Donald Trump’s supporters as they trickled into the convention center across the street. It seemed like every other protester held a sign, flag or banner decrying bigotry, celebrating love, condemning Nazi scumbags or comparing Trump to Klansmen and dictators and pigs.

“No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!”

They chanted past two rows of metal barriers and a line of armed police officers dressed head-to-toe in heavy, black riot gear. They must have been sweltering. The sky had been clear for days, letting the summer sun scorch the streets of downtown Phoenix until the asphalt shimmered with imprisoned heat. By the time protesters had gathered on Monroe Street, pressing themselves against those metal barriers and filling every open space of the adjacent three-story parking lot, the sun was setting. But it still hit 108°F that day and Phoenix hadn’t seen a monsoon in over a week. The air was thick.

“Racist! Racist! Racist!”

A handful of people looked around at this chant, not joining in. From somewhere in the crowd, a woman started a new rallying cry: “They go low, we go high! They go low, we go high!” It picked up steam. The anxious energy in the mob abated, redirected once more to its true target across the street, just beyond the cops’ riot gear.

Don’t feed the trolls. Instead, accuse them of hate crimes through a megaphone with an army of thousands at your back, amplifying your attack. It feels contradictory to preach one method of resistance online and its opposite in the physical world; a sort of cyber-reality cognitive dissonance. But, these two pieces of advice — stand down and stand up — aren’t inherently opposed. They simply address different problems.


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