In 2016, I did not publicly declare my support for Hillary Clinton until September. We’d donated to her campaign, and I had a shirt, but I was hyper-aware of the abuse Hillary supporters were receiving online. And I was scared. Scared to be doxxed, scared of the death and rape threats other women were finding in their social media messages and feeds, scared that a violent person might show up at my house. So I waited.
I lost Facebook friends, I lost Twitter followers, I did find death and rape threats in my messages. Luckily, no one showed up at our former house, but not for lack of trying. The stress of that hate added to my anxiety, and I quit writing online, and deleted my Twitter account.
Last year, I discovered the KHive. And suddenly, I had a place where I could proudly support Kamala Harris without being harassed and abused. Other Hillary voters were in KHive, channeling the anger they felt from 2016 into phone banking, donating, and trumpeting Kamala’s accomplishments. They inspired me to do the same.
When Kamala left the presidential election, KHive continued to sing her praises, champion her bills and legislation, and we watched as she calmly and coolly tore apart Brett Kavanaugh. We embraced Beto’s supporters when he left the campaign, Mayor Pete’s supporters, Julian Castro’s supporters, Elizabeth Warren supporters (although that relationship is complicated, thanks to Sen. Warren’s more ardent fans), and yes, even Bernie’s non-toxic supporters (again, it’s complicated).
Being embraced by KHive has been nothing short of miraculous for me. While I do still have anxiety about Trump’s presidency, I have an army of brave, mighty, powerful, funny, and incredibly intelligent people next to me. If I am swarmed on Twitter by roses or teeth, KHive comes to my defense, and I do the same for others. We are, above all else, a family.
Many “progressives” call us toxic. Take a look at the tweet a “progressive” who calls herself Alice posted yesterday:
Alice, who has locked her account since this image caught the attention of supporters of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, thinks it’s funny to mock the murder of George Floyd and Photoshop Kamala’s face onto the body of Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who killed Mr. Floyd.
But KHive is toxic.
We are not toxic. We are angry, we are snarky, and we are vocal. Because we remember how we were treated in 2016, we remember the threats and the abuse and the harassment and the doxxing. We remember how Hillary was treated by CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Fox, and every single political pundit around. We remember debunking lie after lie after lie until we were exhausted, then we slept for a bit, and did it all over again.
We will not let that happen to Kamala Harris and Joe Biden. We will not let people like Lara Bazelon and Dinesh D’Souza and the far-left and the far-right lie this time. We will continue to bring facts, we will continue to call out the misinformation and the trolls and the racism and the misogynoir and the unhinged hatred from all sides.
Thank you, KHive, for giving me a place I can be myself. For helping me find friends who, like me, have survived trauma. For helping me with my anxiety and depression. For supporting me when I stumble, for help lift me back up when I fall, and for allowing me to join this remarkable grassroots group of amazing people.
And to folks who call us toxic? We’re not toxic. We’re joyful warriors unwilling to put up with your shit anymore.
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