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More from Politics
- The owners of 'Worlds of Music Chicago' have decided to close their doors
- They claim to have received an onslaught of online hate after being vocal about their support for Donald Trump
- The couple has set up a GoFundMe with the goal of $30k to make up for the loss of their business
A Chicago couple is closing their music store after claiming that they were bullied because of their outward support of Donald Trump.
Suzanne Monk and her husband Alexander Duvel, who own 'Worlds of Music Chicago' have said that next month their shop will close its doors after receiving a tirade of hate online.
Monk says that the internet 'bullying' began after she was vocal about her disappointment that a Trump rally in Chicago was cancelled last summer.
Monk says that the internet 'bullying' began after she was vocal about her disappointment that a Trump rally in Chicago was cancelled last summer
Monk attended the rally at the University of Illinois - Chicago and posted to Facebook about her presence there, according to Fox Insider.
Afterwards, she said, many random users began to make incendiary comments on her photos and statuses.
She said: 'We drew some attention from the left, and they outed us at that point as Trump supporters.
'Since that point we have been receiving online threats, ratings wars - just called every name in the book.'
The situation which she has called 'tragic' led she and her husband to decide to move their store entirely online to stop negative comments that affected their business being posted.
The couple have created a GoFundMe page with the goal of $30,000 to help make up for the business they've lost.
Meanwhile, the murder rate in Chicago for 2016 was the most deadly year in the city's history - with 4,331 shooting victims with 762 murders.
The situation which she has called 'tragic' led she and her husband to decide to move their store entirely online to stop negative comments that affected their business being posted
Duvel, however, says that he doesn't intend to let the closing of his shop stop him from doing his work with exotic instruments.
'I do a lot of really really amazing repair work on a lot of exotic instruments. I plan on very much continuing all of that wonderful part of what we do to serve our community,' he said.
He continued: 'I teach, i'm definitely a very, very sincere performer of live music, ethnic musical instruments.'
Duvel, however, says that he doesn't intend to let the closing of his shop stop him from doing his work with exotic instruments
For both, it was a difficult experience of feeling like they weren't accepted by a community which they've called home for decades.
Duvel said: ' Friends made me feel like i was becoming a liability to them because they couldn't associate or recommend my shop and business, simply because of their peer group being so seriously anti-Trump that even associating with me would be a problem.'
The 'bullying' led Monk to write a letter to the editor of Crain's, a weekly Chicago business newspaper.
She said: 'People I've had in my home have turned around and decided we're white supremacists, we're xenophobes, not of any evidence just that we voted for Donald Trump.'
For 24 years, I have loved living in Chicago with my husband, a native Chicagoan. I have loved doing business in Chicago. The food, the sports, the culture and the arts, and the diversity of people have been a fertile ground for our life, and I have been proud to call myself a Chicagoan anywhere I went in the world.
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.
Chicago, you have always been a Democrat-run town, but this year you have become a one-party city terrorizing anyone not in your party for their beliefs. 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.
You have made it quite clear, there are two choices for Trump supporters in Chicago: Be silent about your politics or be bullied for them.
Since I am not one to be silent, I have been bullied. My husband and our music store, Worlds of Music Chicago, are still being bullied. Our store has had to cut employee hours due to the bullying, and soon we will have to cut our employee altogether. We will close at the end of April, because we are no longer willing to subject our staff, our customers, our neighbors and ourselves to the daily risk.
Sadly, my story is not unique. Other Chicago Trump supporters are experiencing the same hate, bullying and intimidation. If you need any further evidence of Trump supporters being unwelcome, you need merely turn on the local news, pick up a local paper or read your alderman's latest newsletter bashing and misrepresenting our president.
So, after 25 years, after a lifetime for my husband, we have to leave. In the end, it wasn't the high taxes, constant road construction or high crime. It wasn't the unchecked gang violence or political cronyism. In the end, we have to leave because of the hate you are willing to tolerate.
I'd like to say, it's not you, it's me—but Chicago, I've got to be honest . . . it's you. You've changed. You are no longer the nose-to-the-grindstone hardworking Democratic City of the Big Shoulders. You have a Trump-sized chip on that big shoulder, and it has turned you into a city of fear, hate and division. A city that encourages political bullying.
A city I can no longer call home.
Courtesy of Crain's