A statement before I continue with this post: I am an American. I believe in America and our messy, wonderful, surprising, relentless democracy. Even though the results of this election are not what I had hoped for and have hit me and millions of others hard, my faith in this nation has not wavered.
We are not in a post-racial society. We are not in a post-sexist society. We really aren’t in a post-anything society. There are intense tensions woven throughout the fabric of our nation. As true as this is, we are working to right out wrongs. We are bringing our differences together, our creative minds together, our willingness to work and our unearthed motivation together to create an America that continues to move forward.
The above being said, here is what I wrote when I had found out Donald Trump was elected to be our 45th president:
I went to bed early on election night. I’m a full time student and had early classes, what can I say? But I woke up at 2am with a sick feeling in my stomach. I knew I probably shouldn’t have checked the polls, or Facebook, or any form of media until later, because after finding out the results I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep.
To give a little context: The Obama’s went into presidency when I was 11 years old. He was in office before I even knew a lick about politics. I consider Obama to be MY first president. I remember the hope that filled my household the night was elected and then re-elected. And being the sentimental person that I am, I had been anxious all day just at the thought of him being replaced. To wake up at 2am to discover who he had been replaced by was sickening.
I don’t simply detest Donald Trump for being the twisted, wicked, sick thing that he is. Trump and his family taking up the oval office is not my only reason for concern. Because I remember when Obama ran. I may have been young and naïve to politics the first time he ran, but I certainly remember the feeling of hope that filled my household. His second time running I remember more than the first. I remember how he mobilized communities that other people didn’t think had a voice. His hope mobilized communities and created a space to make their voices heard.
As I shake and tremble and fear for the future of our nation because of who is leading it, I can’t help but think of the people Donald Trump has mobilized: sexist, racist, bigots. What are these people going to think it’s OK to do or say in everyday life? It’s not physically Trump that most enrages me, it’s everything he stands for. It’s the people he stands for; the people he speaks on behalf of; and, obviously, the people he mobilized.
Because everything Donald Trump and his supporters stand for is exactly why at this moment my fear for my closest friends, my uncles, my cousins, my boyfriend, my sister, my mother, my father, and myself has heightened. No one should have to be fearful for their rights and their life because of the skin they wear.
But let’s not forget the hope that Obama’s campaign ran on. The same hope that filled my home the moment my family and I discovered he would be our president. That’s a feeling that I will never let go. Even though a puke-worthy man, and his supporters, have yanked away an amazing opportunity to move our nation forward, I won’t let this election steal my hope. I hope you won’t, either.