I started, erased, and rewrote this post nearly a dozen times. I am still at a loss for words, but I have to say something. Unfortunately, there are so many somethings that need to be said. At one point, I was discussing the Electoral College. At another, I was writing about the horrendous words and actions of Donald Trump. In one, I included a large number of statistics on the spike in hate crimes. I even wrote a piece that was simply a letter to Hillary Clinton. This is something different. As I write, I don’t even know if this will be the final draft. All I know is that this writing, this researching, this soul-searching is somehow helping.
On an unseasonably warm November day, Donald J. Trump won the presidential election based upon the Electoral College. Hillary Clinton currently has a popular-vote lead of nearly 2 million votes. I will not go into the history of the Electoral College, or the possibilities of electors changing their votes, or how we can dismantle this corrupt system of voting. I will simply put my emotions, jumbled as they are, to paper (or Google Doc).
This is the first time that I have officially commented upon the outcome of the presidential election. I have held back from tweeting, posting, and sharing. Although this was not the simplest task, I felt it necessary in order to preserve my integrity as a feminist, a Christian, and a Hillary Clinton supporter. With aforementioned feelings swirling violently through my head, I knew that any remarks made in the moment would not be considered fully. It was clear that I must first take a few days, possibly weeks, of silence to prevent any rash actions on my part. I now believe that I am fit to express my reaction to this unfathomable event.
My initial reaction was shock. I am still in shock. I don’t know if I will ever not be. Somehow, this still doesn’t feel real. Unfortunately, it is. And for many people, the repercussions of this horrendous shock are already being experienced. I’m lucky. I was in California, far away from my highly conservative town and state, on the day of and the days following the election. This gave me critical time to think and to absorb. I am also highly privileged due to my race, social status, and birthplace. I am still, however, a woman. I know what a Republican President, Senate, and Congress will mean for me. This isn’t Scandal and Donald isn’t Fitz. He won’t magically start fighting for equal pay, let alone gun restrictions and other vital issues. I can only hope that this presidency won’t set our nation back decades.
I honestly don’t understand those that voted for Donald (or a third-party candidate, or simply didn’t vote, etc.) based upon a single issue such as abortion, gun control, or a general dislike of Hillary Clinton. Looking at the spike in hate crimes in just these past weeks would make this presidency worthless to me. I can’t even think about the harmful legislation sure to be put in place that will destroy the lives of undocumented immigrants, people of color, the LGBT+ community, and more. Are their lives less valuable than your virtually instant access to assault rifles? Are you willing to put the Earth more at risk to the effects of climate change just because of Hillary’s email scandal? You voted for a racist, islamophobic, sexist, narcissistic, xenophobic, veteran-disgracing, homophobic, ableist man named Donald Trump. What would he have had to do to turn you away? What more was there that he could have done for you to finally disavow him? And if you simply abstained from voting or wasted a vote on a third-party candidate, do you really hate Hillary that much? Is this worth it? Will it continue to be worth it? We’ll have to wait and see.
Donald’s victory has made the feelings of many Americans crystal clear. Just because you support Donald does not make you racist, it just means that his racism was not a deal breaker. Refusing to vote for Hillary doesn’t make you sexist, it simply shows that sexism isn’t enough for you to reject a candidate. You might not have chosen what your limits were, but you definitely chose what your limits weren’t.
A common reason people have given for supporting Donald is that he would bring about change. Change is sure to come, but not for the better. Fellow white people: You elected Donald Trump. And if not you, someone you know. We might not have all supported Donald, but we will all benefit from his white supremacy. We will not know what it is like to wake up in a country that is systematically prejudiced against us based upon our skin color. Please, recognize this privilege, but more importantly, do something about it. Vote for those that will fight institutionalized racism, call out those who are reinforcing it through racist comments or jokes, and refuse to normalize this upcoming presidency.
Donald Trump is not a normal politician, and no, that is not a good thing. There is a difference in a person who doesn’t carry the stereotypical characteristics of a politician and a person who threatens, ignores, and mocks millions of Americans. Refuse to allow these events to become an everyday occurrence. Make a fuss whenever Donald or one of his associates does something that awful. Don’t let horrific actions go unnoticed. Stay woke. Fight the good fight. You might be hated, people might groan when you point things out, and you might even find threats scribbled on the Hillary signs still dotting your lawn, but we are at a place where these occurrences are trivial in the face of the things that are sure to come.
I’m still wading through my pain, disappointment, and anger. I’m praying, I’m researching, and as always, I’m working. I’m working to provide a better future for those that have had to fight for themselves for far too long. I’m working so I know that even though I will benefit from the racism fixing to enter the White House, I will not stand for it. I’m working, because I am a woman, and I don’t want the fruits of my labor to be less than that of a man’s. I’m working, even though this election is over, because I’m still with her.
Last, but not least: Thank you, Hillary, for working for so many years. Thank you for all that you have accomplished. This isn’t the end of the road, not by a long shot. We still need you and America still needs us. I refuse to accept the actions of a despicable person as normal. I refuse to take this defeat lying down. I refuse to accept anything less than equality, and that is what I’m working for.
With love (and fear, and anger, and sorrow, and shock, but most importantly, perseverance),
Sources/Things To Read:
7 Reasons Donald Trump Won the Presidential Election