There are no words for the betrayal I am feeling in this moment.
My stomach is sick. My mind is foggy. My eyes are puffy and my nose is runny. It’s like my other emotions have been switched off and all I feel now is sadness. Not anger (well, maybe a little bit of anger). Sadness. And also vomit. I feel like I have to vomit.
I am sad that as a woman, my fellow citizens elected a misogynistic “alleged” rapist as our next leader. Sad that as a Muslim, my fellow citizens elected an Islamophobe as our next leader. Sad that as an Arab Latina, my fellow citizens elected a bigot as our next leader. Sad that as a silenced minority who work so hard to break stereotypes and prove that we are equal and worthy of the same rights, that the silent majority banded together to elect against us, rather than to reassure us that we are supported and should not be afraid. Sad that my beloved country does not love me back in this moment.
To my fellow Americans who elected this orange monstrosity into office – when your child is bullied in school, or becomes depressed and suicidal because of the online harassment they are getting from their peers – you are not allowed to be angry. Because you elected the biggest bully of all – and you endorsed his behavior. You let a bully take over our country and our children will mimic that. The children are always watching.
When your minority neighbors and friends – including but not limited to; the LGBTQ community, the Muslim community, the Latino community, the Black community, and any person of color are being harassed – and their homes are being vandalized – and their children are being bullied at school and their families and houses of worship are being targeted; remember that it is because you endorsed this behavior. By offering your vote, you told everyone that it was OK to discriminate and incite violence.
When your mothers and daughters and sisters and aunts and nieces are disrespected, discriminated against simply because of their reproductive parts, and God forbid sexually harassed and assaulted; remember that you endorsed this as an expectation of treatment for all women. You decided to elect the pussy grabber.
What a privilege it must be, to look past the racism. The misogyny. The hatred for minorities. The bigotry. The bully that is Donald Trump – and know that the evil he has spread does not and will not affect you. Nor will it affect your future children. So you give him the vote.
There is a difference between White Privilege and White Supremacy. This election’s results have reinforced that White Supremacy is alive and stronger than ever. And that should scare the shit out of all of us.
However, we should not be scared of Trump himself. I do not care about Donald Trump being our “president” – I will never refer to him as such because I hold a certain level of respect for that office – regardless of me believing that it’s simply the title of our nation’s puppet to the powers that be. But Trump is not who scares me. I am fully aware and educated enough to know that I will not be deported because I’m Muslim. That there will be no actual wall between the U.S. and Mexico that Mexico “will pay for” and that he will not shut down my mosque nor anyone else’s. I am familiar enough in American politics to understand he will never follow through with his threats nor with his promises of “making America great again.” I feel sorry for those of you who fell for that.
What I do care about – are the millions of voters who voted for him because of the hate filled threats he made. Because they wanted a wall, and for Muslims to be banned. Because they wanted my mosque to be shut down so that we cannot practice our faith peacefully. Because they enjoyed and most frighteningly related to his bullying. You are what worries me for the future of my country and the future of my children in this country.
To those of you who did not vote – this was the lowest voter turnout since 2000. Votes that were needed to secure America’s place in the international community. Despite your beliefs about voting – your vote does matter. Use it next time.
Going back to my future children, after contemplating leaving America to raise children elsewhere I have come to a realization…
A quick message for those of us who crashed Canada’s immigration site last night – Canada is not the 2nd option for Americans when we fuck up. We don’t get to trash our own country, and then live somewhere else and potentially trash another. We don’t deserve Canada. Or anywhere else for that matter. That is our privilege talking. The 65 million refugees around the world, who are fleeing their war-torn homes, attempting to escape death, and to give their children a better “tomorrow” – they deserve a place like Canada. Not us.
We don’t get to wreak havoc in our own country (because Lord knows we’ve already done it everywhere else) and then pick up and leave when we feel it’s time to go and the fight becomes too tough. Canada is a better place, that we, as Americans do not deserve. Canada is not our 2nd choice – it is the 1st choice for many people in this world. So we’re stuck here, to fix our dangerous mistake that we just allowed to happen.
So to reiterate this point – we do not deserve to “flee” to Canada. Canada is a beautiful place that doesn’t need nor is she waiting for careless Americans to inhabit her. It’s time to fix our mess.
To those of us who are devastated at the results, and feeling betrayal and sadness – now is the best time to instill a change in America. A real change. And the only way to do that is to understand how powerful we are in numbers. We can take today to sulk – if we’d like. Which I am happily doing – I am mourning the loss of the America I thought we were. But tomorrow we must do something to change the America that has been revealed to us through voting polls. How do we come back from this – and make it “better”? What do we tell our children?
Here are a few things WE can do…
- Do nice things for people other than yourself. Be kind.
- Make an effort to learn about and understand a culture, religion and lifestyle that is different from yours. Be accepting.
- Make it known – to your minority friends – that you support them and stand with them. Be an ally.
- Be louder. Be smarter. Be better. For our future generations.
We watch our backs. We watch each others’ backs. We stand together stronger than ever to fight the reality of our surrounding citizens who are making it clear that they do not stand for the same American values that we stand for.
In regards to what to tell your children, and what I’ll be telling mine someday if the aftermath of this mess is not clean before they enter this world…
Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.
– Good Bones by Maggie Smith
We have to sell them this world. Time to brush up on our marketing skills because we’ve got a long – but very possibly reached road ahead.
As for what we tell ourselves to make it through the long days and have the strength to comfort and raise our children (because it all starts with “us”)?
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
– Maya Angelou
The America I know, is better than this. We will rise.