When I’m hurting, I turn to writing my thoughts out, trying to find sense in a mess of confusion, pain, and sadness.
Yes, there is hope. Yes, we will keep on being the people of love that we are called to be. No, nothing significant will change in my day-to-day life. Yes, I do trust that God is bigger than all these moments.
But those of us who are in pain today are not upset because we “lost,” and we’re not suddenly afraid that God has no plan in this world. We are acknowledging that, regardless of policies, the man that was elected president early this morning openly stands for racism, bigotry, hatred, white supremacy, and sexism (to name a few). As someone who reads that Jesus was a lover of the minority, the outcast, the lonely, I find it impossible not to be heartbroken today as the entire world just watched Americans elect a man who openly (and loudly) stated that black people protesting his campaign needed to be “punched in the face” and beaten up so badly that they wouldn’t try to come back.
As a follower of Jesus, I find it sickening that 80% of white evangelicals voted for this man. The world is watching. They are taking notes. Memories are being made today for the history books of how the majority of white Christians apparently side with a man of no integrity.
I don’t need you to comment on my pain with “it will be okay,” or “God is in charge,” or “it’s not the end of the world,” no matter if your intentions are good. Those words don’t (and never will) take away the pain of past historic events when minorities were silenced, when women were pushed aside, or when, once again, “the way of the whites” dominated in America.
It is unfair and racist to ask those that are fearful for their lives to put aside their concerns in order for America to be unified.
Over and over and over again, caucasians in this country have ignored, belittled and tossed aside the pain, hurt, and deaths of blacks. That is very apparent by the many social media posts I’ve seen today where a person has been expressing anger, disappointment, and frustration in the results of the election because of Trump’s attitude toward minorities, when someone has commented saying that it’s not a big deal. Or, even worse, at least he isn’t going to encourage abortions.
I care about little babies having the opportunity to live their lives, but I equally care about the lives of humans that are already born, living right now, who are NOT having equal opportunity to live their lives. (For a good article that discusses why actually voting for a pro-choice president helps lower abortion rates, read this.)
Trump is president. We will see how that goes. But in the meantime, I have to look at my black friends and family, my female friends and family, those I know who are disabled, as well as every other non-white ethnicity. I have to look them in the eyes every day and try to explain why the majority of white people in this country (my ethnicity) voted to ignore all of their needs in view of their own already privileged needs.
For my white friends that aren’t connected to people of color and minorities (and, for some reason, are able, as women, to overlook how he verbally and physically assaults women), today isn’t a very different day for you than yesterday.
You are still the “chosen” race of the United States. You are still protected by police, still the people who this country was built for. You are people of privilege – you experience life a certain way automatically from birth because of your skin color being white. As do I. But in a world where time and time again, we have abused, killed, and kicked down our brothers and sisters of color, made laws to lock them up, and have created a system where it is almost impossible for a person of color who is born into a poor family to break the system, you should be angry, too.
Although Tyler and I don’t have kids now, we (hopefully) will one day not too long from now. Although I myself will never be in the danger and under the threat that Tyler is daily, I MUST speak out when I see so many people letting the whiteness of their skin blind them to the color that is around them. Would my white friends feel any different if they fell in love with a person of color? Would you feel any different about the direction this country is headed if they had their actual life on the line? Or their children’s lives?
I will one day have multiracial children. They will be completely and painfully beautiful the very first day they are born, and Tyler and I will love them more than we have ever loved anything in this entire world. Their little fingers will wrap around my pinky and be utterly dependent on me to love them, care for them, and bring them safely forward into the world.
As I share with them all of the different races that make them who they are, I will also have to share with them the danger that they wear on their sleeve.
The color of their skin that I don’t want changed for even one second, will open them up to a world of hurt that I can never experience but have helped create. And, dear friends who I do love, whatever your reason for voting for Trump (and I know there are many different reasons), you DID choose a candidate who created a position for himself in this election due to racism, sexism, and hatred toward minorities.
Whether you agree with those racist, sexist, and hateful words and beliefs of his doesn’t matter – because you just voted for it.
I say, with no threat or hatred, that I will remember in the days, months and years to come, who stood by Tyler and our friends, who supported me as a woman and also a woman in a multiracial relationship, and those who let their privilege get the better of them. I will continue to be your friend because I value all people, but know that I am watching – that Tyler and I (and millions more) are watching. I pray that Trump’s presidency is different than his campaign for many reasons. But if he sets out to do many of the hateful and harmful ideas that have spewed from his mouth, I hope you look yourself in the mirror and recognize that YOU put this man in power.
As we move forward, the sadness will not quickly go away because the effects of this presidency will not go away. Racism poked its ugly head out of the ground this morning and tried to declare itself a winner. Sexism and sexual violence towards women raised its voice. Fear was sparked in millions of people across this country who are working hard just to put food on the table for their children each night. That does not disappear after a few days or weeks…
Don’t tell people “it will be okay” because for hundreds of years, life hasn’t been okay for minorities in this country. There is sadness and hurt and those feelings need to be expressed. You might read this and have a thousand objections and disagreements. So be it. Let us be upset without telling me more reasons why you aren’t.
Let us grieve.
My words aren’t perfect. But I hope if you are reading this and you are feeling fear and discouragement because you are gay or black or a woman or transgender or need an abortion or are Somali – I hope you know that you are not alone, that your voice is heard, that we do care – you are not forgotten, this is not the end.