“…this is your life now…”
Yesterday, I had prepared somewhat of a witty post to make light of the election. This was before the polls closed, before the numbers came rushing in, and before the United States elected Donald Trump to the most powerful position in the world. That draft was quickly deleted. When Trump first announced his candidacy, like many others, I did not take him seriously. I did not believe that he was a real threat until just a few months ago. Even as a threat, I never imagined he would end up elected. I could not have been more wrong. The results of this election either left you joyous, or on the extreme opposite of the spectrum: fearful, confused, disappointmented, bewildered, and at a total loss of faith in the country you call home. In no way was this country perfect. Did I expect Hillary Clinton to wave a magic wand and rid America of the diseases of bigotry, racism, sexism, homophobia and intolerance? Absolutely not. Would I have rather had her than Trump? Undoubtedly. Hillary did not successfully win me over and I was not thrilled at the idea of a Hillary Clinton administration. The difference between the two is that we have a cookie cutter politician vs. a corrupt business man who spews hate and has a looming rape case hanging over his head. A man who has been accused of sexual assault multiple times. A man who mocks disabled people, makes derogatory remarks against Black people and other people of color, makes it common practice to sexualize and demean women, doesn’t pay his taxes, intends to restrict an entire religion from entering the country, and has zero political experience. People were more concerned about emails than the blatant hatred this man seems to have for every group who isn’t a straight, White male. This is who Americans have chosen to lead the country over these next four years. I am embarrassed to call myself an American. The systemic racism that this country founded itself upon has further solidified itself, and things have returned to the status quo. 8 years of a Black democrat was too much for America, and a woman who would step in and continue to push people out of their comfort zones was too much for the White male supremacist structure to bear. Despite my shock at the audacity of the American people, when I really stop and think about this, I am not surprised. As I watched his numbers continue to rise and rise, it just confirmed all of my feelings that America is as racist and sexist as ever. I was told today by a White man that “ghetto thoughts are the cause of my oppression.” He said that if I stop my ghetto thoughts, I can pull myself up out of the ghetto with hard work (I do not and have never lived in the ghetto). This man was dead serious. His logic was maddeningly backwards. Oppression is what pushed people into the ghetto. It is what keeps them there. If hard work was a cure for racism, Black people would not still be rallying for the rest of the world to hear our cries of injustice. We have been working hard for 400 years, and I still get followed around department stores from time to time. My hard work to get into a prestigious university was still diminished because I was constantly asked if I were there on an athletic scholarship or affirmative action. If I had told them their assumptions were racist, they would have taken offense. The blinders of White Privilege caused the majority of White women to vote for Trump, selling out to a sexist to protect their favored position in the racially charged environment that is America. The election of Donald Trump is a symbol. It is more than a shift in the dynamic of politics. His election has shown us how many of those who we work with, live by and call our friends are actually supporters of racism and bigotry. My neighbors were shooting off fireworks last night, in this liberal paradise we call Washington State. They are most likely the ones to have excuses as to why a police officer was justified in shooting an unarmed individual and will always try to make you believe that your experiences with racism were simply nothing more than a misunderstanding or the result of you overreacting. Aside from his bully-ish ways and radical views, the man has no political experience. He has never spoken on what he intends to do once he gets in office. His resume does not have anything on it pertaining to causes he has fought for, bills he has helped pass, his experiences with foreign policy, the economy, education reform, environmental protection, nothing. Instead, he shouts out what he plans to do like this is a middle school election and he wants to serve candy for lunch everyday. He wants to repeal Obamacare. Well how do you plan to make that better? *crickets*. Any interest in the environmental issues we face? *crickets*. His strategy has been to fill our heads with what President Obama failed to do, why Hillary would have messed everything up, and how terrible her judgment is. Throwing other people under the bus just tells me that you don’t have any answers, so in order to take the heat off of yourself, you point the finger. Nice strategy. If this election has taught me anything, it’s that I should always shoot for the moon. All this time, employers were telling us we need 100 years experience to get an entry level job. That’s foolery. A man with a reality TV show who spends his time on Twitter is our next president. Seems to me his experience in the political realm is sorely lacking. I was denied a customer service job at JCPenney as a teenager, a job that requires little to no skill, yet a janxy businessman who loves to call names can be president of the most powerful nation in the world. We’ve set a great example for our kids. What else has set a great example for our kids? Oh yes, those of you who decided not to vote at all, or who thought it would be funny to write in Harambe or Hennesey on your ballot. This neglectful and blase attitude could have been the deciding factor in key states like Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, states that Trump could not have won without. People tend to think everything is a joke until the real consequences come to light. If you need to learn how the Electoral College works, Google is two clicks away. Whether or not you believe this will have a significant impact on your life or not, you never know. I would have rather not taken the chance. Racial tensions have already been thick, and now the figurehead of our country is someone who casually makes racist remarks as if he is discussing the weather. The floodgates have opened for those who have been dying for the opportunity to be overtly prejudiced. Where we are supposed to go from here as a nation, I do not know. Do we fight the system? Wait these 4 years out and ensure he does not run again or win a second term? Wait for any grounds we can use to impeach him? If you have the answer, please share. I have encouraged Facebook friends and Twitter followers to delete me if they are Trump supporters, and I am unapologetic about it. I have been told it is childish to lose friends over a difference of opinion. This is deeper than a difference of opinion. If you can support someone who openly condones everything I am against, I have no interest in having you in my circle. I do not acknowledge Donald Trump as my president. I never will, and I do not want to hear any complaints once he drives this country into the ground. This is what you wanted, America.