The number of times I have cried since 10pm on November 8, 2016 is too high to count. The last time I felt this despondent was when my dad passed away. The 2016 Presidential Election cycle was long and grueling and I think it will have lasting effect on the psyches of a lot of people.
I want to be clear. For me, Hillary Clinton winning the election was not about having the first female president.
I started the election cycle strongly standing behind Bernie Sanders. With the results of the primaries, and his concession that came with a recommendation to support Hillary Clinton, I respected his knowledge. I learned more about Hillary Clinton’s proposals and watched as she worked with Bernie Sanders to create an updated platform. By the end, her experience, policies, and empathy aligned with my beliefs. Her being female was an added bonus. In big-picture thinking, I saw that having her in office would allow for positive things to happen and repairs to be made to some of the programs that need repairing. In the mean-time we, the people, could work in the background to change the system that is so clearly broken.
I come from a family that is largely conservative. My mom and I are outliers. My dad was, too. I always did my best to avoid the topic of politics at family functions to keep things civil. It was something that I was regularly chided about. Family members would try to trip me up or explain to me why I didn’t actually believe what I believe. Calmly, I would explain why I believe what I do and what statistics supported those beliefs and what I saw as the long term goal. I’m not stupid. I’m not “just saying I believe these things to be cool.” I’m not going to “age out of my liberal beliefs.” I love my family. I don’t have a big one and wanted to keep what I had close, and thus I remained civil without backing down.
This election may be the end of that. I certainly won’t be the one to cut things off, but I will also not be so polite when I explain why a comment was bigoted and/or racist. Why this outcome may literally lead us into destruction if we are not incredibly diligent.
How can I support people who are clearly so filled with fear and hatred that they are willing to do whatever it takes to remain ‘comfortable?’ And here – comfortable is a euphemism for living in a society influenced by white supremacy (I don’t want anyone getting confused.)
I have read countless, “well this is how I felt when Obama was elected…” articles. Do you want to know the difference? President Obama’s policies and speeches did not actively encourage hatred and violence. President Obama was not endorsed by a terrorist organization. President Obama did not base his entire campaign on marginalizing people of color, women, LGBTQIA+, or differently abled people. You tell me he was divisive, but it wasn’t President Obama that was divisive. What was divisive was the large numbers of white people who were afraid that when President Obama said, “we are all equal” he meant that they were going to be punished for everything they have put others through. The divisive element here was unsubstantiated fear – and Donald Trump capitalized on that. He found a way to make it appear to be a justified fear.
When you run a campaign based on this much hate and fear it becomes a moral issue. It means that the people who are supporting you are willing to overlook ALL of the others that have been thrown under the bus. It means that the people who are supporting you are ok with steam-rolling over the civil liberties that have been voted on and put into action. I’m not ok with that.
With all of that said, I respect our democracy. Donald Trump won. It is what it is.
I am telling you now, I am going to be political on this blog moving forward. I am done staying silent, and if that means you need to unsubscribe that’s fine – please do not post hateful comments. I am all for discussion when it is constructive. I will continue posting my normal inspiration palettes and weekend plans, but I will also do my best to get information out about things we can do to make a difference. Whether it’s supporting businesses owned by people of color, women, LGBTQIA, immigrants or making a small donation to an organization that is in danger of being defunded – I will share what I learn. I refuse to stand by as people attempt to normalize racism, anti-muslim or anti-jewish rhetoric, the abuse of women or removal of their rights or any other marginalization.
Whatever your choice about your readership moving forward – know that I love you. I am here for you and stand beside you in the fight for equality and respect. As we move forward with the results of the 2016 Presidential Election, never be afraid to stand up for what is right.