I was complacent, really, in or just out of high school. Sure, I voted for President Obama in the ‘12 election. Voting Democrat doesn’t always make one aware of the situations facing people.
I have been aware of hate for a long time, though, even if I didn’t always act against it via activism. I have felt betrayed for a long time by other people, people who hate, people who hate disabled and LGBTQ+ people like me. (In recent years, I have worked to be more intersectional and further the rights of people whose identities I don’t share, because we need that. It’s needed more than ever).
The election – which I desperately wanted Trump to lose, which I desperately hoped Trump would lose, which I wasn’t sure he would lose, and which he didn’t lose – is bringing out a lot of fear in people. And of course there is fear.
A Babson College student drove his truck through Wellesley College, Clinton’s alma mater, and harassed students – namely, women of color – there. Swastikas are being painted and flown. The KKK is planning a victory rally in North Carolina. I have heard of Jews being assaulted, of Muslims being assaulted, of people of color being assaulted. Trump has promised to try and end sanctuary cities for undocumented people, increase immigration raids, and attempt immigration restrictions.
I will not say no one has nothing to fear. I will not say things are okay. Those statements would be lies. I fear for my friends. I fear for people who are not my friends, people I don’t know. I try to not think about myself, but I do wonder about my psych med prescriptions, my queerness and any ramifications from LGBTQ+ people being targeted, and I am suddenly wondering how long it will be before I might lose the ability to get insurance because of pre-existing conditions – and again, I wonder about the psych med prescriptions that help me stay stable.
But here’s the thing… Trump wants us to hate each other. Trump wants all of us, the marginalized, to be terrified out of our wits and not trusting any of each other. Trump wants us to only trust certain silos of our activist movements and for people to pick a dominant identity and stay with that one – Trump wants us to ignore intersectionality. Trump wants us to burrow down, ignore each other.
There are people who are out there who are working to change things: people who are thinking about going into law and public policy, people who are deciding where to volunteer, people offering kindness. We can respond to everyday bigotry. We can fight on. We can fight on. We can organize to prevent damaging policies. We can be in solidarity against hate crimes. We can fight on. We can fight on. If you cannot organize or take action directly, do not be too harsh on yourself.
I will not say that times weren’t rough already for some of us, that our safety nets for people were perfect, that America pre-Trump was a haven for everybody. I will say: we have fought especially dark times before.
(As this article says, “existence is defiance.”
And we are worth fighting for).
Here are some other posts that have reactions to the election, and ways we can move forward, to be updated:
- I wanted to believe + mental health resources
- What We Lost
- I’m a disabled American. Trump’s policies will be a disaster for people like me
- A list of anti-bigotry organizations to support
- The Silence after the Election Results
- My Mother’s Jewish Family Fled Tsarist Russia, And She’s Terrified Of Trump
- What Trans People Face This Administration and What Cis Allies Can Do
- Responding to Everyday Bigotry guide
- The Cinemax Theory of Racism
- In This Darkest of Times We Fight On
- What Must be Done in the Wake of Escalating Hate Crimes
- I Will Teach My Children to Survive the New America
- No, we should not wait
- Running list of racist incidents since Trump’s victory
- Here’s what I’m telling my brown son about Trump’s America
- Feminist, LGBTQIA, Race/Gender Inclusive, Progressive Volunteer Opportunities and Organizations, State by State
- If You’re Overwhelmed By The Election, Here’s What You Can Do Now
- Let’s Get to Work: Practical Ways for Writers and Teachers to Get Involved Right Now
- Progressive Organizations That Need Your Support, Now More Than Ever, in Trump’s America