I fell asleep last night around 11:30, watching so many states declared “too close to call”, but leaning towards Trump.
I awoke at 4:30am, paralyzed. Somewhere between dreams and reality I saw myself turning on my phone and seeing messages like “Remarkable Upset”, “Clinton wins in a nail biter”, “The world breathes a sigh of relief”. I recognize this was my psyche, trying to give cushion to a possible truth, which would be the second hardest thing in my life I would have to acknowledge (maybe one day I’ll share the first. Maybe).
I lay in bed until the kid came in at 6:30, first thing out of her beautiful six year old mouth was “who won? Did Trump win?” Now, this child told me Monday night she had a bad feeling Trump was going to win, which is why she framed her question this way instead of asking if Clinton won. I told her I didn’t know yet, and let’s find out together while we walk the dog. Of course I knew, but still had faith. Then I saw the messages:
I do not understand what is happening
What the fuck happened? I’m so confused
I’m not doing this at all
I’m pulling my money and buying stocks
Goes to show you we are “the other”
He’s the president
Apple is predicted to drop by 20 points
Oooo mother, I can feeeeel the soil fallinggg over my headddddd
I wonder what cushy job Comey is going to get now
It’s raining here, perfect funeral weather
So long female reproductive rights
So long gay rights
So long affirmative action
I am so broken
I cannot stand this
So the kid asks again, who won? I tell her Trump. She says “seriously?” Seriously baby. Then she says, matter of factly, “so when are we moving to Canada.”
This has happened. We have a president-elect. A president-elect who has a fraud trial this month and a child rape trial next month. A president-elect who marked the applications with codes to prevent blacks and other minorities from moving into his buildings. A president-elect who likes to grab women by the pussy. A president-elect who wants to build a war to keep out Mexicans and other Bad Hombres. A president-elect who has put a scarlet letter M on American Muslims. A president-elect who says all blacks live in inner cities and kill each other. A president-elect who will make hangers an abortion tool again. A president-elect who based an entire campaign on lies, and the bet that most Americans are so stupid and racist that they’d believe any shit he shoveled their way just to erase the memory of a black president.
My friends and family agree the worst part of this is trying to explain it to our kids. Van Jones summed this up beautifully and painfully here. Living in a red state my biggest fear is that a segment of people will feel empowered to let their racist flags fly higher than ever. I feel I’ll need to be more apologetic when in public, and I’ll need to get my road rage under control (this city has the worst drivers I’ve ever experienced but that’s another story).
But, like a blade of grass poking through the concrete, I can feel a seed of hope and strength inside me. So many people of color, women, gays and white men fought for centuries so that we could all be free to be who we are, and have equal rights for the nation as a whole. This country was built on the shoulders of my ancestors, and by immigrants seeking freedom by any means necessary. A lot of mistakes have been made in the history of this country, while simultaneously making great strides and progress. We are now in one of those historical moments where we have the opportunity to make lasting greatness grow from the concrete.
That said, I suddenly started crying at my kid’s PTO meeting this morning. This is gonna take a minute.