If you are a straight white person with a penis saying things like, “It’s going to be okay,” or “It isn’t going to be as bad as everyone thinks,” I am begging you to stop, take a step back, and open your eyes. You are 100% correct – but only in regard to your demographic. The notion that “the president doesn’t have that much power, anyway” is an equally useless statement. The President of the United States could simply be the face of our nation and have not one iota of power and it would still speak libraries that we elected a bigoted, hateful person into the highest office of our country. The pain of this is enormous for any person with any minority standing. I feel like the rest of my country turned to me, looked into my eyes, and said, “We do not care about you or your rights.”
Our first black president will have to pass on his office to a man endorsed by white supremacist groups. We will have to watch it happen. That’s not okay.
Our president-elect has said and done so many hateful, ignorant, prejudiced things that Buzzfeed would have to split the lists into a dozen installments. That’s not okay.
Your fellow citizens are terrified. That’s not okay.
The last time I felt this deep in shock and disbelief while watching the news was on September 11, 2001. To even make that realization is painful. To feel that way just over the conclusion of an election compounds that pain. I have been upset with my president and my government before. I have been displeased with the outcome of an election before. I have disagreed with my fellow citizens, and so on down the line. But I have never before been fearful. I have never been physically ill because of election results. I have never before been afraid for my life and the lives of the people I love because I was terrified by my president-elect. That’s not okay. We are on the extreme opposite end from “okay.”
Last night, as Trump gave his victory speech, the gathered crowd began to chat, “U-S-A! U-S-A!” Look. I make jokes about being an American. I joke about being a Floridian. But I have always been proud of where I come from. I take pride in being from my beautiful state of Florida. I wave my American flag and sing our anthem proudly. On every other occasion I have heard the chant of my country’s acronym, I’ve been filled with an excited fire. It’s like revving an engine. But last night I felt like an outsider. As if I was watching citizens of another country cheering for a place I had no attachment to. A place I didn’t belong. It’s hard to express exactly how empty I felt in that moment.
I’m pleased to say I have at least one or two allies who camp on that majority ground. “I know I’ll be okay in a Trump presidency because [I’m a] straight white guy. But I’m scared for everyone else.”
I know it’s hard to understand the minority side of things when you are not a part of it. There are, in fact, plenty of members of minority groups who don’t get it, either. That’s how ingrained we are with this bullshit. Self-hate is a huge part of our lives and we go on, unknowingly, for years hating ourselves and others who are like us. I wish I knew how to put everything I know now into perfect terms that would enlighten others. I unfortunately have not figured that out yet. So all I can really tell you is this: Listen to the women, non-white, LGBTQ, and other minority group Americans around you. Value their words and their fears. As it has always been, the oppression crushing these people affects you, too. While I hope that would not be your only interest in supporting your fellow citizens and residents, it certainly is not okay, either.