That morning, I woke up early. My alarm hadn't gone off. The sun hadn't come up. With a heavy heart, I grabbed my phone. One four-letter word from my roommate spread across the screen. I knew it had happened. He won. I rubbed my eyes, hoping this was a nightmare. Nope. Reluctantly, I opened Facebook to see the many "Trump Train" pictures and memes about people fleeing the country. One said, "This isn't what we meant when we said orange is the new black." I let out a small laugh before I let out a tear. The next status was from an old friend from high school. I only read a few words before I dropped my phone and I began to pray. She spoke of how she was scared to go to sleep and wake up in a world of hatred. A world that would no longer love her. A world that would no longer accept her. My heart broke for her. My heart broke for women, for minorities, for special populations, for future world leaders, for America.
I don't know how to live in a country led by someone who doesn't love America. Loving America means loving its people, and Donald Trump doesn't love its people. At least, not all of its people. Not just the whites, the privileged or the beautiful, but all of America's people. Donald Trump is a labels kind of man. And so many of you are labels kind of people. You focused on whether or not he was labeled Republican or Democrat. You focused on the labels he used to paint a Great America he can't provide to you. You focused on the labels that would be given to you if you spoke out against the popularity contest that this election became. Yet, you overlooked the derogatory terms he used to describe special needs children. You overlooked the racists words he used to describe your coworker. You don't care about those labels, you only care about the labels that directly impact you. Right?
But for me, I don't care about the labels. I love the special children I am blessed to spend my every day with. They might not always be beautiful, rich, or the most intelligent individuals in society's eyes, but they're all of those things to me. Today, I am going to go to work and hug them a little tighter, because today I go work knowing they have to grow up in a Trump world. A world full of hate for others with a strong distain for being compassionate towards the people they don't understand. I worry about what growing up in a Trump world will do for their futures. Not because I think Trump is going to pull a Hitler and begin eliminating all the children like the special ones I work with, but because a hateful person will soon be leading our country and that hate has already begun to trickle down into our communities, into our schools, into our children. They're going to grow up in a society that tells them it's okay to call other people hateful names in public or to make fun of the way their bodies instinctually move. Why wouldn't it be? The president does it.
For me, I love my officemate even though she wasn't born in America. She came into this country illegally but has spent her entire life here. She grew up in the same school system as me. She is a Christian who spends her Sundays teaching Sunday School and volunteering on the weekends. She shares the same passion as me. Being around her makes me want to be a better person. She opened my eyes to just how terrible it would be for someone like her if someone like Trump became president. You see, in layman's terms, she has a paper that says she can live here but she isn't a citizen (she can work and pay taxes, but she doesn't have basic rights like the right to vote). Every so often that paper expires and she spends hundreds to thousands of dollars to get that paper renewed. At any time, she could easily be denied permission to continue living in this country. Denying her permission means she would be sent back to Mexico where she hasn't been since she was a little girl. She would be sent back to the place her parents fled. A place where they have dirt roads and live in "houses" that should be condemned. A place where they have to walk miles to the one community store their town has. I love her, despite her labels, despite her papers. I would never want to build a wall and send her to other side of it because she's Mexican, because she's an illegal immigrant or any other demeaning label I could think to put on her. Why would you want to do that to her? You wouldn't? But that's what Trump has been talking about doing for months, and you voted for him. You supported him then and you support him now. So, why?
If you don't think this man becoming our President effects you, I beg to differ. Open your eyes, look around. The hatred he is spilling across this country will only intensify. Our children will now grow up in a world where being hateful, making fun of others and slander will get you to the most powerful seat in the free world. Anything is possible.
It's time we come together. It's time to stop the labels. It's time to stop the hatred. It's time to be inspired. It's time make a change for the better of this country, for the better of America's people. All of America's people.
Open your eyes.