For some people, the heated polarization of last year’s presidential election is far from over. One business owner in Chicago is even proclaiming her personal beliefs have put her out of business — and are the reason she’s been ostracized within her community.
Suzzanne Monk, who owns Worlds of Music with her husband, penned a recent letter to Crain’s Chicago Business about her experiences as a business owner since being “outed” as a Donald Trump voter.
“For 24 years, I have loved living in Chicago with my husband, a native Chicagoan,” Monk’s letter reads. “But for the last year I have not loved living in Chicago. I am ashamed of you, Chicago, and the intolerance you now accept in the name of politics. You see, I am a Trump supporter. My husband is a Trump supporter, too. And because we support Trump, we no longer feel proud, or safe, being in this city.”
She continued, “From the constant protests blocking roads and businesses, to the attacks on Trump supporters, to the verbal and online bullying going on every day across this city, Chicago, you have made it quite clear that Trump supporters are not welcome. When my fellow Chicagoans praised the riot at UIC that shut down the Chicago Trump rally I attended, I was angry and ashamed.”
Monk and her husband will be closing their store and moving it completely online at the end of April. They will also be leaving Chicago in the near future. The two have set up a GoFundMe page seeking help for their store — as of now, they’ve raised over half of their asking price: $30,000.
Monk revealed in an interview with DNA Info that a Facebook discussion with someone outed her politics — and since then, she’s been forced to make police reports about the anonymous threats against her business.
“We hope nobody fire bombs your business, that would be too bad,” was one of the threats, according to Monk. “The worst of it has been we’ve had musicians [who said they were] told not to support us, or they would be ostracized.”
Small-business owners are not the only ones facing pressure over their voting decisions in the presidential race. Both the Los Angeles Times and The Hollywood Reporter have run recent stories on the backlash Trump voters have received within Hollywood’s artistic community.
“It used to be we could have a conversation with two opposing points of view and it would be amiable. At the end, we still walked away and had lunch together,” “Jurassic Park” and producer Gerald Molen told the LA Times.
Novelist and screenwriter Andrew Klavan was blunt in telling the paper about the impacts of being a Trump supporter as a professional artist. “I feel absolutely it has harmed me professionally,” he said, revealing that producers have “called my agent asking, ‘Why would you represent this guy?’ Anything that lowers your odds is going to hurt.”
Filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza (“Hillary’s America”) said the entertainment business is under “Trump derangement syndrome.” He said Hollywood “is up in arms. That probably doesn’t bode well for any conservatives in the industry, especially the ones who are outspoken about Trump.”
Actor and comedian Tim Allen also revealed in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel last week that conservatives and Trump supporters are afraid to speak up in Hollywood. “You’ve gotta be real careful around here. You get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody believes,” the “Last Man Standing” star said.
Allen continued, “This is like ’30s Germany. I don’t know what happened.”
At least one artist is known to have lost a job due to perceived support of the president. After singer Chrisette Michele agreed to perform at an inauguration event — though she admitted she was not a Trump voter — director Spike Lee (“Do the Right Thing”) openly admitted to dropping one of her songs from consideration for an upcoming soundtrack.
“Good Morning Folks. I Wuz Sorry To Read That ‘Sistuh Girl’ Is Singin’ At DT’s Inauguration (And To Use His Fav Word-SAD). I Wuz Thinkin’ ’bout Using Chrisette’s Song- ‘BLACK GIRL MAGIC’ In My Netflix Series ‘SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT’…. NOT ANYMORE. And Dat’s Da Truth, Ruth,” Lee wrote on Instagram.
Business owner Monk sees the blanket aggression from the Left as misplaced.
“It’s OK to hate the candidate; it’s not OK to hate the people who voted,” she said. “I hope we can get back to civil culture again.”