When my father was a young man in Queens, New York, he was friendly with an older man – a neighborhood fixture who sat in a chair in front of my family’s laundromat so he could chat with passersby. One day, this man’s adult children pressured him into putting his apartment under their names; they kicked him out soon after.
Although they effectively swindled their father out of his home, his children weren’t able to stay there long: people spat at them as they walked down the street, neighbors cursed them, local grocers refused to sell them food.
This public shaming didn’t undo the damage they wrought on their father, of course, but it did send a clear message about what the community found unacceptable.
As Americans continue to grapple with Donald Trump’s presidential win, it’s a lesson we need to remember more than ever: there’s nothing wrong with shaming people who have done shameful things. And there are few things more shameful than supporting a fascistic bigot.