Our social media feeds are inundated with stories and opinions and posts about the election of Donald Trump as our new president so I’m going to go ahead and throw mine out there too. Orange is the new black! Jokes and jokes and jokes but I feel sick. I’m worried. Husband keeps assuring me that we’ll survive it. But now that I’m a mom (and a published author, if now isn’t the time for self promotion when is the time really? I mean we are probably on the verge of an apocalypse so order my book on Amazon if you want to laugh in between crying jags. ) Anyway, I want more than to just survive. I want to thrive and live in my community without fear.
I know that even though it’s only been a few days since the not very shocking but very appalling news that Trump had won the election, I’ve seen reports of racist incidents and have seen posts from teachers and parents about the fearful questions children are asking. “Will he make us go back to Mexico?” “Will he take my mom away?” “Will he make us go back to China?” “Will he get the police on us?” I feel fear for myself and for my loved ones. I feel fear for brown,black, gay and trans strangers I don’t know. I feel fear for my America, the country I was born in that while obviously imperfect, is still MY COUNTRY.
The shame I feel that we elected a person that is unsuited for leading the free world is dragging this bitch way down, but I have things I want to get off my nasty woman’s chest, and while I know my readership has declined dramatically since my mother passed away (she was my most loyal and possibly only reader) I still live in America, Obama is still the President and I still have Freedom Of Speech so here are some thoughts from my nasty woman mind:
I’m sickened that my first thought when Trump was elected was thank god the Red Rasta came out looking so white. He’ll be safe in Trump’s America.
I’m even sicker that my second thought was thank god he’s not a girl, because America still hates women. Half our country doesn’t want me, a woman of color to be here. Half our country thinks I don’t belong in America and they need to “take it back” from me.
I actually feel scared in public, and Denver is a pretty liberal place.
Maybe my neighbor(that “leans Republican”) just didn’t see me this morning when I walked into a local restaurant. How he could have missed me in my bright red adidas jacket carrying my son wearing his bright red jacket to match mine, I’m not so sure, but let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he really didn’t see me. Maybe he was busy with work colleagues, who knows? The troubling thing to me about him possibly ignoring me is that I felt like I wasn’t welcome in my local cafe. No one smiled at us. I have the cutest fucking baby in the world and people weren’t smiling. Was I imagining it? Maybe.
Here’s the thing; people of color have all experienced some form of racism pre-Trump but now when I pass people in the street I’m wondering, do they hate me? Are they going to mistake me for an immigrant? I’m mixed race, black and white, I’m light skinned and people often ask me what my nationality is or my race or my background on most days (unless I am with people I already know). I know that my struggle is not the same as darker skinned people of color or a young girl wearing her hijab but I don’t identify as white due to not having white skin. Even if people don’t readily identify me as black, they identify me as “other.”
As we sat waiting for our order, the woman next to me smiled at my son and played with him a bit, and I relaxed a little. I looked around. Everyone in the restaurant was white. Then the people at the next table joined hands and prayed over their food, and my first thought wasn’t, oh that’s nice they are blessing their food, I thought oh fuck, they probably voted for Trump. I wanted to get out of there.
Then I started thinking about my friend and neighbor and how her husband voted third party and said how much he hated Hillary. And I thought, do I want to be friends with people like that? Are we safe with neighbors like that? In Obama’s America when this friend has made questionable and racist and anti semitic comments, I called her out and I thought, I can reason with this person, I can help her understand white privilege and why saying things like that is hurtful, but in Trump’s America I’m thinking, Can they dine at my table with my black family and my gay friends? Who do I want to surround myself with in these dark days?
I’m fine with people protesting to show their dislike of Trump but I’m sick of this #Notmypresident crap, it’s what racist pieces of shit said when Obama got elected. And I think we are better than that, Trump won. That’s how democracy works, people voted and he won. HE IS GOING TO BE OUR PRESIDENT. And even though I believe in democracy, when I think, President Trump I feel physically ill. I have never wept after an election. I have never spent days post election breaking into tears at my place of employment.
I cried when my Mexican nanny(she is here legally or I wouldn’t EVEN MENTION that I have a Mexican nanny because we are heading to Trump’s America) came over today. I told her I was so sorry about the how the election went and how sad I was. This woman watches my son and loves him and cuddles him and cares for him and allows me to go to work and not be insane and soon she will most likely get stopped in the streets and be forced to present her papers. Of course, with my tan skin, I too, will be subject to proving that I am an American, now that the leader of the birther movement is at the helm of our country.
Before we had the Red Rasta, I had a terrible miscarriage which necessitated me having a D&C at an abortion clinic. Now that I have my son, I’m more pro-choice than ever, the scary reality that Trump will be appointing our supreme court justices is terrifying.
And even though Husband continues to reassure me, I am not reassured. I’m really worried. And I’m mad. I don’t want my country led by conservatives. I want all people to have equal rights. I want immigrants and refugees to feel safe and loved here and like they can start a new and prosperous life. I want my son to grow up and not be scared that people will find out his parents are both part black. I don’t want him to be embarrassed that I can speak Spanish or that I’m a feminist.
These are the thoughts swirling around my head right now. I feel tired and afraid and despondent. I’ve been hanging onto the words of Van Jones to get me through but today feels hard. Maybe I need to watch it again. Maybe you should too, bitches.