Brooklynites Support Love: Neighbors Unite To Show Love Trumps Hate

Brooklynites Support Love: Neighbors Unite To Show Love Trumps Hate
I Support Love; I Reject Hate Rally
Photo by Pamela Wong / BKLYNER

Disappointed by last week’s election results, Brooklyn writer Fiona Maazel reacted by organizing a rally.

Posting the event on her Facebook page, she wrote, “I am going to Grand Army Plaza with my two-year-old daughter and holding a sign that says: I SUPPORT LOVE.”

In an effort to “get Brooklyn families together” to support each other and send “a positive message to the kids,” she invited others to join her on Sunday, November 13, and told them to bring their children and positive energy.

Photo by Pamela Wong / BKLYNER
Rally organizer Fiona Maazel. (Photo by Pamela Wong / BKLYNER)

“I’m so despondent about the outcome of the election. I feel we ceded the country to someone who doesn’t represent the values of a majority of Americans,” she said during the event on Sunday. She is also “very uncomfortable with the temper that [Trump is] endorsing” and upset about having to raise her daughter in a “climate of misogyny, bigotry, and racism.”

Maazel wanted to rally around “feelings and values that we support so that we can find a way to take the country back sooner than later.”

I Support Love; I Reject Hate Rally
Photo by Pamela Wong / BKLYNER

While she thought only a few of her friends would join her, hundreds of people showed up armed with their own signs displaying how they feel about the president-elect and their concerns for the country’s future.

I Support Love; I Reject Hate Rally
[L-R] Ricky, age 12 and Delia, his mother. (Photo by Pamela Wong / BKLYNER)

12-year-old Park Slope resident Ricky succinctly explained his reason for attending the rally Sunday morning, “We don’t support what Trump stands for. He’s full of hatred.”

His mother Delia added, “We wanted to make our voices heard so that people understand he’s not our president.” As a professor, Delia says, “I want to involve my students in more of these kinds of protests. I think it’s important for us to know that our voices matter and that if we remain silent, nothing will change.”

Ricky learned of Trump’s win Wednesday morning. The first thing he heard that day was his dad saying, “Trump won.” He said for the rest of the day he “had this feeling of dread. Whenever something happened that took my mind off of it, I would hear ‘Trump won’ in my head.” Most of his classmates felt similarly, “A lot of people were scared. Some girls were crying.”

I Support Love; I Reject Hate Rally
[L-R] Terrie, Maricia, and their son, Buck. (Photo by Pamela Wong / BKLYNER)

With acts of hatred being reported in the news since the election, Terrie, whose family lives in Tennessee, said, “I don’t even want to go home for Christmas with my black wife and my biracial son.” She believes they would be vulnerable in a Trump-supporting state.

Her wife Maricia adds, “You’ve seen it across the media. We don’t want to experience that and we certainly don’t want [our son Buck] to experience it, to see that type of hatred.” The couple agrees that Buck is lucky to live in Brooklyn where “his world is so protective right now, but that could change.”

Maricia, who grew up in South Africa, said “I’ve lived this before—under a regime that’s hateful and I think it’s really important for the people to take the power back.” Terrie said she “intend[s] to get involved in any sort of grassroots program that I can to help us build back up our democracy…. Now we really have to get serious.”

Photo by Pamela Wong / BKLYNER
[L-R] Jessica and Ashley. (Photo by Pamela Wong / BKLYNER)

Crown Heights residents Jessica and Ashley showed up with their six-month-old twins in a double stroller. “We’re here because there’s fear on the streets again,” Jessica explained, “This election has really ignited a lot of hate [but]  it’s also ignited a lot of love and compassion, so we’re here to support the side that we’re on.”

If their twins were older, she would explain the election by telling them, “This is an example of our political process and how unfortunate it is to put someone in power who has a really negative, backwards way of thinking…. I would tell them they need to stand up for their beliefs…. There are always going to be bullies, but we don’t want them to learn to hide or be afraid.”

“We’re a multi-racial, queer family and obviously that gives us a direct reason for why we need to be on this side of the issues,” she says. “Our family is so diverse, it’s important for us to want to be out there and continue showing people positive examples of diversity.”

I Support Love; I Reject Hate Rally
Photo by Pamela Wong / BKLYNER

Though the response to Sunday’s event was impressive, Maazel is not sure if she will organize another. This one was a spontaneous reaction to her being so upset over Trump’s win. The rally, “reminds us that there are good feelings out there and that if we have to be the bearers of those good feelings and the protectors of those good feelings, so be it.”

As she wrote on her Facebook page, “I want my daughter to know what positive resistance looks like. And that we are going to be here for each other.”

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