I was in sincere shock. The moment Donald Trump won the state of Florida, my heart dropped and I had no words to say. If you know me, you know I always have something to say concerning politics. This was the first time I was genuinely speechless. Donald Trump was going to be our next president and there was no denying it.
The night of the election brought on much stress and many tears. As a woman, a Black woman at that, who is outspoken and ambitious, I was scared. What if I said the wrong thing to the wrong person, and they did what Donald Trump suggested to do? What if I went back home to Tennessee (undeniably red), and someone saw me wearing my "I Love Pro-Choice Voters!" shirt? What would happen if I went to a Black Lives Matter protest and someone engaged in an act of aggression toward me? All in all, Tuesday, November 8 came with undeniable and alienating fear.
The following day, I went to the National Museum of African American History and Culture here in D.C. I had been looking forward to attending the museum since it opened. However, when I stepped on the Metro, all that excitement went away and I began crying. Not only had America elected a racist, sexist, misogynist man into office, but it became evident, as if it wasn't before, that America was racist, sexist, and misogynistic country. As I entered the museum, a sense of heavy grief washed over me. There were about 40 children standing in line, very excited to see their history, and what made their skin so special. My heart broke because, at a moment I'm sure will define the rest of their lives, they had no clue that America was about to attack everything they were excited about. Their skin, their names, their heritage. Just the day before, America agreed that what they were excited to see didn't matter. Their lives didn't matter.
But they had no clue. All they knew was that they were surrounded by people that looked like them, and it was great.
All in all, the museum was incredible to me. I learned so much, reflected, and was reminded just how hard it was to be Black. But as I left, that feeling of grief came back, and I remembered what was happening on the outside; beyond my safe space that was created for me by people who looked like me. I received multiple messages that day. Some were of people asking what to do in a time like this, others were rejoicing about the election of Donald Trump (and yes, I am a democrat, however, I'm from Tennessee, therefore some of the closest people to me voted for The Donald, unfortunately). Those who were rejoicing confused me. Yes, they were White and a majority were male. They, now that I think about it, had reason to rejoice. They were going to be protected for the next four years. But as I read each message, directly after celebrating my Black and Brown ancestors, I was reminded that I was not safe. We never have been.
Now, I'm sure those friends were rejoicing because their red party had beat my blue party (I bleed blue and donkey). That, in of itself, to me seemed like privilege. Their focus was on the color, not my color. Not the color of those from Latino descent. Not the color of those who are accused of being terrorists although they pray five times a day. Not the color of the flag that waves when someone celebrates their pride in who they are. With each message of victory, I felt nothing but heartbreak. Here I am, Black, a woman, and an outspoken one at that. I have a sister who is LGBTQUA+ identified. I have Muslim friends. I have friends who are immigrants. This election wasn't about red or blue for us. This was about persecution or survival. To think that my sister come next year could face the possibility of not getting married due to Mike Pence's disgusting outlook on life is disheartening. To think that my Muslim friends are terrified to wear their religious garments because of Donald Trump's flat out hatred is heartbreaking. To think that my friends with immigrant parents and who are immigrants themselves live in constant fear of being deported due to Donald Trump's vendetta against people who don't look like him or his children is downright disgusting. So no, it is not about blue or red. And if you think it is, check your privilege.
I guess I wrote this article to give myself some clarity. This was more for me than for an audience, and I understand that it may not reach many people, but I felt like it was healthy for me to put very few of my concerns on a platform for people to read, analyze, and if they wish, agree or contest. And yes, this is short... If you wanna see something extensive, just follow my Twitter.
My second guess is that we are all probably shocked right now. If you're a woman, a minority, LGBTQUA+ identified, I assume you're at the same place I am. And that place is unidentifiable. All I can do is encourage you and ask you to never stop being you no matter what happens in the next 4 (MAYBE) years.
Be safe, be strong, and stay true to yourself.