Show #LoveTrumpsHate with a voter pledge map

hate-map

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hate Map

The presidential candidacy of Donald Trump is fueling extremist, bigoted rhetoric against marginalized groups and emboldening violent crime, particularly against American Muslims, Hispanics, and African Americans. Those aren’t just fears and warnings expressed by civil rights experts, community leaders, and even children of color; it’s a trend borne out in reported crime data. The number of hate groups is spiking as well, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

At the same time, we’re seeing Americans from all walks of life step up and speak out against the hate. In one especially inspiring moment, military servicemembers began posting pledges of #IWillProtectYou in response to a young girl terrified by Donald Trump’s proposed ban on American Muslims:

These are the kinds of actions that appeal to the best beliefs about America — and remind us of the immense stakes facing voters this fall.

To build on this phenomenon while encouraging voters to participate in the democratic process, here’s an idea: create a website where Americans who oppose these shameful acts of bigotry and violence can pledge to vote this fall and have their location pinned on the same Hate Map. 

That is, it’d be a way to show that love outnumbers the hate — and more importantly, that love can outvote the hate.

Let’s demonstrate strength in numbers and signal to the rest of the country and the world that the hate groups do not speak for us.

This new Outnumber/Outvote The Hate map would be a virtual variation on symbolically resonant and powerful “rings of peace” counter-demonstrations — such as the “angels” standing against the Westboro Church and Norwegian Muslims joining hands to form a physical ring around an Oslo synagogue. Similar voter pledge maps have been done before, but none quite like this so that it’s linked to a broader cause with a different set of aspirations and values. And in 2016, it’s more urgent than ever to ensure that ordinary Americans stand up for decency rather than staying on the electoral sidelines.