“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.” MLK Jr.
I’m taking this a lot harder than I thought I would. I’m not ignorant of the ugly reality that is American politics. I am aware of the tragic history of our country that has led us to this point. But still I am saddened by the ever-present power of whiteness and what it means in America. Now, my fears are heightened. I fear for what a Trump Presidency means for women, people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ and military families. I fear the environmental state of our world will worsen and little action will be taken. I fear for how electing someone who collected his votes on racist, xenophobic, homophobic and sexist measures will enable the people who voted for him and cause harm.
I am an inherently an optimist but this morning my mother, the optimist of all optimists, expressed that in her 63 years on this earth this morning was the first time she ever felt depressed after an election. Nearly 6,000 miles away, I could not console my mother. My boss called an impromptu meeting to talk about the election, share our thoughts and concerns. I was shaking with sorrow and began to cry while I desperately tried to explain why I was crying. The racial history and state of this country has always frightened me but still I try to find the good and recognize progress. I’m grateful for those who fought for me but now I’ve got to fight for myself, my future, my country and the world that I am so connected to. The result of this election will effect change and progress because I care about the conversations that now more than ever NEED to be had. There is no denying that the working class, uneducated, white American voted for Trump but why? It is evident that a changing country brings fear to others that I don’t quite understand but we HAVE to talk about it. Why is the growing population of people of color so threatening to white America? Why fear the Muslim religion and personal lives of the LGBTQ community? Why is a female President so unfathomable? What can be done? First, we have to dig deep. We must all do our research so that we are aware of the historical events, legislation and actions that took place overtime leading us to this election outcome. Second, we must hold each other close and encourage conversation about difficult issues like race that impact our lives every day. Third, we must vote.
As a woman, person of color and overall decent human being on November 8th, 2016 I made the pragmatic decision to vote for Hillary Clinton. I looked forward to the symbol of progress and change she would represent. I hoped the platform would bring light to so many issues I deem important. As a woman, person of color and overall decent human being on November 9th, 2016 I made the pragmatic decision to learn how to cultivate the progressive energy and vision for the future (millennials have) and effect positive change by starting this conversation with my family, friends and coworkers. I encourage you to express your emotions and thoughts about the election and then not forget about them as the days go by. Write them down; remember this feeling because this charge of energy we will need in 2018 when voting for Senate and in 2020 when we elect our next President.
Stay strong. Stand together. Love one another. Talk to each other.
Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
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.
You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise I rise I rise.
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