I have a lot of emotions, but the one I feel most overwhelmingly is MAD.
Mad that we are here today, uncertain about the future. Mad that we have a political system that cheats voters out of their true voice. Mad that so many of those voices are suppressed. I’m mad that we had a law that protected those voices and it was taken away because we are in denial that racism still exists.
I’m mad that the people appointed to lead our country are racists and bigots and misogynists. We have one man whose life is fraught with scandal and who shows us over and over how he tears people down, especially women and people of color. We have another who already has an extensive political career in harming women and LGBTQIA+.
But the real thing I am so mad at is that WE elected these men. MY DEMOGRAPHIC. 66% of white women voted for Donald Trump and Mike Pence–two men who hate women. WHY? We were so afraid to let go of our privilege that we gave up our rights, and the rights of our friends, our neighbors, our coworkers.
And so I’m mad. FURIOUS.
But while I’m mad, my friends of color are terrified for their lives. My friends in the LGBTQIA+ community are scared not only that they will lose the rights they have fought so hard for, but maybe their lives too.
We have had bad presidents before, we have disagreed with those in government before. But this is a wholly different situation.
This decision could cost people their lives. Already after Day 1, we are seeing reports of Muslim women having their hijabs pulled off. Gay children are coming home in tears after being bullied, and 4 trans kids committed suicide yesterday. These are not isolated incidents. This election has basically told bigots “You are right! These people are gross and you need to tell them.”
So many of us are feeling helpless right now, but there are some things we can do.
If you see bullying like the above, DO NOT STAY QUIET. Either stand up to the bully yourself, or at the very least, be an impassive force by getting the person out of the situation.
Donate to a suicide hotline. So many people, especially kids, are calling in for help right now. They need your support, so if you can, please donate. Here are some of the best (Also, if you need help, please do not hesitate to use these. They are there for you!):
Call or text or email your friends, family members, and coworkers who may be hurting right now. Ask them how they are. Listen to them. Really listen.
Check on your kids. There’s a lot of bullying happening, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are witnessing or hearing things they aren’t used to. There have been several articles written on how to talk to your kids about what is happening. I’m not a parent, so I’m not going to point you that direction, but I’m hearing it from several of my friends that this is affecting them already.
Consider joining an anti-racist group or civil right organization. Here’s a good resource that lists several, or hit google to find one in your area. This is a good way to get involved with the peaceful protests and movements that are happening.
I had a friend in another country make a joke about how silly the name of our country was: The United States of America. And she was right. Because we haven’t been United. We need to be a united front in fighting racism and prejudice. We don’t know what is coming, and that is why so many people are terrified. We need to be a community more than ever. Be kind. Be loving. Be safe.