No More Presidents In 2020
By Ez Cortez
Today was hard, harder than usual at least. I woke up, ate breakfast, ran to catch my train, got ready for my dentist appointment, and got harassed by a Lyft driver. It is not a new thing— being yelled at by cisgender yt men. It happens often; at the café, the library, in restaurants—anywhere that involves just trying to get on with your day. The argument ended with a fake apology from the Lyft support team. Still, I feared that this individual was following me, and eventually pretended to go into a nearby outlet because I didn’t want to be stalked. The lyft driver had started an argument because he wanted to see my reaction to celebrities running for president. When I said, “I don’t want anymore presidents.” He let me know he was a Trump supporter and what followed were xenophobic, racist, and misogynistic comments. Most importantly, that five minute ride seemed to last forever and I realized if I had made him more aggressive I couldn't physically fight him off.
I was born in the last term of Clinton’s presidency and I remember hearing my family recount in my younger years that there was no such thing as a good president. That power and only that power pervaded these politicians’ minds. I would learn in my late teens that what they had said at the time was true. I spent my elementary days hearing about Bush’s days in office. I didn’t know at the time the details of what was being said but I know it was a troubling time for my parents. There were more laws, more problems, and more issues that made it harder for them to see our family in Mexico, support four kids in school, and made them cling to pressing jobs that paid them barely enough to manage a household. Obama was the promise of a New America in middle school and high school but what followed was the opposite. The same issues that arose during Bush’s presidential term were continuing in the early 2010s. It’s been a year since Trump was sworn in as the supposed President of thee supposed United States.
How is America going to strive for a better tomorrow when it was literally founded on the soil of indigenous and native folx? I don’t believe a new president is the answer. This nation was founded on the principles of colonizers who just put a flag in the ground and declared themselves rulers. The earliest presidents are guilty of genocide and murder, so how can a country founded on that be any better? Growing up history books were sugar coated and fabricated to make sure the implicit horrors done by the white colonizers wasn’t seen as bad. Adorned presidential heros in the beginning of what we now know as The United States have terrifying backgrounds. George washington’s famous teeth were sourced to come from the 300 slaves he owned. Thomas Jefferson desperately tried to mask his deeply racist views through pseudoscience and believed money with status should be heavily upheld. Abraham Lincoln ordered the execution of 38 Dakota Natives. There is no denying that the history of presidency is one that is not only evil but repetitive. How can there be the continuation of welcoming presidents when this country has killed thousands upon thousands of people of color since 1900?
These states are built on a foundation of white supremacy. The year 2020 must abolish a system that is established in pure consistent evil. We need to break away from the corruption deprived from these depraved presidents in history. There needs be autonomy vs equality. Autonomy can mean the freedom from external controls and self governance. True independence. It can also mean rooting back to community and what that means in today’s context. I’m seeing it more in local gardens, podcasts, and art based platform from queer trans people of color for trans people of color. Equality is an overused and overhyped word. The similar, “We’re all the same!” and “We should all be treated the same!” phrases used at recent protest ignore an underlying factor. That is, we are not. Privileges and positions have a role to play in our daily lives. Being born in Salt Lake City gives me a vantage point than my parents. It was only when I finished elementary school, did I realize how this country treats people like my mother and father. It would be ideal if folx were more mentally aware of their privileges and fragilities, but until then I will keep hope alive. For queer trans people of color, we shouldn’t be played between parties, politics, or power hungry people who want us to die off so they can inherit this land.
I want to see my grandmothers without worrying if I will have the economic and sustainable means to do so. I wish to breathe clear air without my lungs feeling confined in my own chest, and I want to actually believe that things will get better. Because we’ve experienced the worst.
Dear mama, I promised I wouldn’t get political but here I am. Because to be us is political. For us to exist is political. Sometimes I wish my life wasn't so intertwined in all this madness. I do believe we are magic. I do believe we that we are the prophecy that was promised. I want to believe that this is the time that a new masterpiece will be created, and all old problems expire. Just like the Condor and Eagle, this period will start anew and the queer trans people of color community will shine through even in the darkest moments.
In this heavy political climate, we should stop upholding this system that has always tried to trap us through its laws, establishments, and regime. Even when there’s a force to challenge the system, the strings attached still lead to privilege and power. It’s a merry-go-round that I don’t want to be a part of.
When I heard the news about this year’s women march I wasn’t surprised. They centered white, cis, able-bodied womyn to the front, and although there was some ‘inclusivity,’ it ultimately failed to include the people they were supposedly fighting for. Even the president of Planned Parenthood was telling folks to do better, and truly the march had fucked up. In all honesty my mind wasn’t on Planned Parenthood or the march that day, but it was based on surviving the past 24 hours. Having the same conversations a year ago, two years ago, three years ago gets tiring. No more presidents is a dream that is only a dream for now.
It will get better. It has to. Writing this article does make me feel tired of the same patterns, the same system, the same rules that have occured in the span of a lifetime. However, it also makes me hopeful. For a better world, a beautiful future, and the feeling of sueños becoming true.
I don't believe in a better nation where white supremacy is upheld in politics. A nation that is proudly anti-black, anti-indigenous, and anti-queer. A community-based environment is ideal. A place where there is no indication of what to be or not to be. The seeds being sown, the families being brought together, and a young youth playing on the grassy hill where the sun and moon both shine down on them.
No more presidents in 2020 is a call for us to not continue to align ourselves with a government who never liked us to begin with. I don't want to be their token, their guest, or their audience member. Two years from now I want to be in a good place where my heart is content and politicians don't rule the world with their cold and cruel hands. That dream is in the future and this vision will not occur tomorrow. But only when we've realized that these politicians cannot be trusted, will we truly have a better tomorrow.