The past twelve hours has been a whirlwind of anxiety, sadness and rage. I’ve gone from glued to my phone to tossing it across the room because I refuse to believe the news. Last night around 9:00pm I sat on my stove bawling my eyes out drinking champagne through a straw as I retweeted every tweet that seemed to convey how I was feeling.
“Trump didn’t win. Racism won. Sexism won. Hate won. Lack of education won”.
“People ask why women don’t report sexual assault. You got your answer: a man can have double digit accusers and still be elected president”.
Of course I couldn’t help but add my own views as well. I cried and cried until Jordan came home and held me while I sobbed into my hands and asked how there could be so many uneducated hateful people in America. The only thing I can attribute such a win to is lack of education, to hate, to racism and sexism engrained into our people.
When the results were pretty final people started posting “the most important thing is that we don’t let this divide us”. While I respect the amiable sentiment, I think it is the most idiotic thing I’ve ever read.
This presidential race doesn’t come down to republican versus democrat. Though I align with the latter I respect democracy and thus I can respect people with views that differ from my own. This is not a “la di da let’s all paint rainbows and get along” sort of election. I could and would have respected Ted Cruz or Mitt Romney…but Donald Trump, Donald Trump is another story.
This is not a political issue alone, this is a human rights issue.
If there is anything I believe it is worth to lose friends or followers, family or loved ones over it is a human rights issue. The man elected to be our 45th president has essentially spit in the face of minorities, of women, and of people with disabilities. Never mind his lack of preparation or political experience but it is his lack of empathy for other people that weighs on my heart. At the core of my being I believe in fighting for what you believe in. Well, I don’t believe in racism. I don’t believe in rape culture. I don’t believe in ostracizing people because of their religion or in bullying my way to the top.
This is not a typical election where I can sit back, nod my head and say “I agree to disagree”. This is too big. This is too serious. My rights are at risk. My neighbors rights are at risk. This is just too big.
Washington sits in a happy little liberal bubble. Of course we have our hardcore Republicans and on the eastern side of the state you could even spot Trump signs out in the farmlands. Seattle is filled with a bunch of weed smoking, bike riding, liberal hippies. In Washington you could have gone through the entire election without ever believing Trump could have won this thing. People here are highly educated and engaged in social issues. If I didn’t have social media I wouldn’t have even believed there were real people who said things like “Get Islam out of our country” or “Hillary Clinton rigged the election”.
Our nation is filled with uneducated hicks. I am disappointed in America and I hope to God this does divide us. I am not willing to be a silent passerby as someone so evil and so unqualified for the job runs the country. I’m not willing to sit back as the rest of the developed world laughs at us until their smiles fade to fear. Why should we blindly acquiesce and say “well this is America so I’m going to support America no matter what”.
I cannot smile and support an America that will oppress people for being anything but a white man.
This day, this week, this month…it is so messed up. I feel like every victim of sexual assault is being slapped in the face. I feel like every family who moved here from another country working to make it in America and escape war is getting punched in the gut. I even feel like ISIS leaders and throwing their heads back and laughing.
If you find you have the privilege of saying “We just can’t let this divide us” or “it’s all in God’s hands now” I am begging you to open a textbook or do a little googling on World War II. This is not the time to let the frightened and uneducated masses control the fate of our country and the world. If you have the privilege that being white allows and you are saying “I’ve just got to support my country no matter what”, think about the ramifications for anyone else.
Saying “Let’s not let this divide us” shows privilege more than anything else. So many people no longer have a choice, so many people no longer feel safe or welcome in this country.
So while I try to keep this blog somewhat light hearted with the occasional passionate post about body image or staying true to yourself, I can’t with good concience avoid this discussion. I don’t want to be the person who looks back at a moment when a giant bully came to power who did not stand up for what is right.
So right now I am crying. Last night I was crying. I could care less about all the republican and democrat mumbo jumbo at this point. Right now I am so scared for our country, I am so disappointed in our people and I am so desperate to close my eyes and escape it all. I am willing to lose friends or blog followers. I would be willing to disown a family member who told me they voted for Trump because of what that means for women and families and people of color.
I respect people and I love people. I will not be told that choosing to continue respecting people is dividing.
Did the people of Germany say “we can’t let this divide us” in 1933 when Hitler rose to power? Did people sit back and pretend not to notice how awful their country was becoming?
Telling me to sit back and “be okay” or “calm down” is forcing a greater divide. Acting like everything is just going to be okay when our country elected someone so hideous causes a divide between everyone he’s already hurt. So stop saying “we can’t divide” because if you choose to be silent or if you choose to speak up you are dividing. Not speaking is watching a bully punch another kid and steal his lunch money and saying “Well, I didn’t want to cause a divide”.
I would usually add a disclaimer stating that I respect all views and opinions. I would usually add that I hope I’m not offending anyone. Today I can’t bring myself to water down my words that way. This morning I have to speak with my heart not with the hope of being well liked.