How Did We Get Here?
I knew it could happen. I just didn’t want to be right.
I can’t recall the last time I woke up feeling so uneasy and unsure, so desperate to talk but wanting to keep my mouth shut, so vulnerable and disgusted and helpless.
I didn’t care what the candidates wore or about their hair or if they sniffled or had a cold. I cared about what example the candidates set, as a standard, to hold the highest office in our country.
I couldn’t say I didn’t care who you vote for, because I did. I’ve largely stayed out of social media debate, because I believed minds were made up and there was no convincing people otherwise. Because I didn’t want to damage relationships or get into endless arguments or hurl articles back and forth to prove a point. I was proud to say #ImWithHer. I still am.
So how did we get here?
I read this essay about five months ago — before half of this circus even came to a head — and while it’s quite lengthy, I think many will find the time to try and understand how this could happen… and did.
2016 has seemingly become the year of the anti-, with droves of people, particularly in rural regions, being vocally anti-establishment, anti-government, and truly believing someone with no professional experience is better than someone with an imperfect 30 years of experience.
These people have felt marginalized, as minority voices have taken center stage and action toward the promise of equality for all.
Trump said last night he’ll be a president for all people. How are we to believe him when he’s openly bashed and berated nearly every human but the Christian, white male?
I check two of those three boxes and find it hard to go about my day today. How can I expect my fellow women, friends of other races and religions, LGBTQ allies, and all others who don’t fit this rhetoric to be OK?
I live in one of the most progressive and liberal cities in the US, yet I’m conservative compared to many of my fellow residents. And if I feel unsure, unsafe today — how does someone in my home state of Florida feel, who wears a hijab or who is not white, or who had the unfortunate circumstance of being born a woman?
The pains in my stomach could be blamed on period cramps or a woman’s intuition, but I know it’s the fear of what this means for my future; for my Muslim and black and Hispanic and Hindi co-workers and friends; for my nieces; for my LGBTQ peers; and countless others.
I’ve taken great pains to refrain from speaking in absolutes or extremes this entire election cycle, but I’m exhausted. I feared this could happen — this would happen — and the only thing I fear now is every day of the next four years. I hope to all that is holy, he proves me wrong. That we can have forward progress and make real changes with thoughtful debate, care and compassion.
We have to do better for our fellow humans. We cannot sit idly by and allow people of any race, religion, gender or economic status to be marginalized simply because of that checkbox on their identity. I’m prayerful the system of checks and balances will help keep policies and legislation from being extremist or exclusive, but it’s going to be a while before I can do so with both eyes closed.
Resources for those struggling today:
- Suicide Prevention Hotline
- What Do We Tell the Children?
- Cory Booker’s uplifting message
- Bible verses about hope
And while I’m all for healthy and productive debate, I kindly invite anyone with hateful commentary to please show my site the same respect I’ve shown yours by moving right along.