**warning: raw, initial, emotional thoughts coming**
I’ve been gone for a while, obviously. Where I’ve been and what I’ve gone through is another post for another day – if I even write it all, at this point. 2016 has been a hell of a year and it ain’t stopping.
On November 8th, 2016, Americans voted in Donald J. Trump to be the next President of the United States. I feel heartbroken. We’ve always been told that “numbers don’t lie.” So looking at the numbers we can pretty much deduce that most white people are inherently racist. Fifty two percent of white women and 56% of white men voted for this man. A man who built his entire campaign on hate. A man who is proudly backed by former grand wizards, current Klansmen, and those with a history of sexual assault and misogyny. Americans shunned the woman who proclaimed we are stronger together – and indeed we would be. Her mantra was let’s build bridges, not walls – people frowned on that. They actually chose the guy who proudly mocked and/or talked down to anyone who was not like him .. a rich, White business owner. His message was essentially if you are not like him, or don’t look like him, you have no place here. This whole notion of “make America great again” sounds quite reminiscent of “white power” and “we need to take our country back.” People that voted for him appear to be the modern day Klansman. A lot of people who voted for a third party probably aligned with many of his ideals, but didn’t have the balls to vote for him outright. When the votes were tallied up, over 60 million Americans aligned with his racist, hateful, divisive rhetoric.
As I travel up and down the Midwest today I am literally in tears. I look at this sea of white faces and have to accept that most don’t like me – simply because of the color of my skin. That they will willingly smile in my face and chit chat pleasantries, but behind closed doors when they are free to drop the facade, it’s clearly a different story. Now, I haven’t been living under a rock. I know that racism exists. I used to live in Boston – trust me when I tell you I’ve experienced my fair share. But I would have guessed at most 35% of Whites had this deep seeded racism. I never would have guessed that number was well over 50%. I feel like I have to re-evaluate everyone in my life because some people just aren’t true. I’m disappointed in myself because obviously, I’ve given people too much credit.
This country will (likely) bounce back. I don’t know how long it will take, or what it will look like when it does, but hopefully that day does come. So my hurt isn’t for the seemingly pending downfall of my country; my tears and heartbreak are a reaction to the realization that hate is the heartbeat of it. The message that was sent by White people on Tuesday is that diversity, fairness, justice, and equality have no place in this society.
As President Obama said, the office of the presidency is not just about one person. It’s about our Constitution and preserving the values that we hold dear in America. Unfortunately, the next person to lead us has very few values and likely has never even read the Constitution. It’s ok to want change – when it’s positive. However, the change people have voted for is hate-driven, divisive, and oppressive. This so called change tells women that a White businessman can rape them and it’s ok. It tells Muslims they are not wanted here. It tells Hispanics they are viewed as the worst of their society and should be deported immediately (I can’t even begin to wrap my brain around how 29% of Hispanics voted for this rhetoric ?). Trump encouraged his masses to beat up the Black people at his rallies – whether they were on his side or not – and offered to pay any legal bills. Basically, Blacks are disposable. He mocked the disabled and then tried to claim he didn’t, even though we all saw it replayed on tv. This is the guy folks thought was the best candidate for the job. That’s a bitter pill to swallow. It literally brings tears to my eyes.
As I now sit down at the close of this year to go over my 2017 goals, everything has changed. Priorities and plans have undoubtedly shifted. I really don’t know what 2017 will bring or where I’ll be by the close of it but the veil has been lifted and I certainly don’t like what I see in my immediate purview. I do hope to blog more – I really hated being away for soo long but .. life happened. Well, death actually. But all we can do now is pray and brace for the days, months, and years ahead. This is about to be a bumpy ride. We have some very grim days ahead in these Divided States of America.