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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Macomb County will become the new subject of 'Humans of New York' series

Posted By on Tue, Nov 15, 2016 at 7:30 AM

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Oh, Macomb County. You special, special, place.

It became increasingly clear once the precincts started reporting numbers the night of the election that Macomb County was not going to remain a blue county like it had for so many years.

I could have told you this about a month out from the election because I grew up and live in Macomb County and I was bombarded by Trump signs at every intersection.

The last time Macomb County (as of 2015, 82.3 percent white) voted so Republican was when Regan ran for office in '80 and '84. That's when the nickname "Reagan Democrats" was created for the white working-class voters who voted against the Democratic party. I think it's safe to say that we can call these voters "Trump Democrats" now.

So it makes no surprise that Humans of New York, the popular website that does human interest stories on random New Yorkers, is coming to Macomb County to get to the bottom of this phenomenon. Some of the "Humans of New York" stories are humorous, some are sad, and some are just everyday things that happen to all of us — but the main point is to give an outsider a birds-eye view of these peoples lives so we can better understand them.

Now, most people who are furious with the outcome of the election will probably think that we shouldn't we even hear what these people have to say — and to be honest, I agree to that to an extent. Donald Trump is our President-elect and there are hate crimes happening in his name and he is literally turning the White House into a house full of white nationalists, so I don't want to normalize any of this behavior — but if the Democratic party wants to take back the White House in four years, they should try to hear these people out so they can better understand themselves. These are people who voted for Obama in 2008 ... so what happened?

Hopefully, that is what Humans of New York will get to the bottom of. In a post on the page's Facebook, they said for the next couple weeks they were going to speak to residents of Macomb in the same style as the original "Humans" posts. No questions will involve who they voted for, just stories of these peoples lives.
I am related to many people who voted for Obama in 2008 who then either voted for Trump or in opposition of Hillary this year, and to me, they just seem to be not well-informed, lacking some (or a lot of) empathy, and not fully aware of their privilege. Oh, and they really hate Hillary Clinton. 

Do we need to talk to them and help them better understand that people are terrified of this man and his racist supporters? Yes — but there is also a major disconnect in the Democratic party that needs to be addressed in order to continue healing. Trump won Macomb County with 53.6 percent of the county voting for him, so not all hope is lost in four years (but again, this is all pretty fucked up.

It will be interesting to see how this series goes. Will it actually give us some insight on how these people feel? I'm not too sure, honestly. These people felt alienated by the Democratic party, and it should be in the best interest of the party to hear them out.

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