Hello everyone, thank you for reading this post first of all, and because I just have way too much to say, I’ve split the post into two parts, the one below, and part 2. Part 1 is heartbreaking; reading it might make you cry, but Part 2 I hope inspires you in this hopeless time.
It’s currently November 9th at 5:08 am, and I am quite sure that there are still millions of Americans awake processing the results of the election. Everyone around the world, even if you’re living under a rock, has heard that Donald Trump, man of no political experience whatsoever, has been elected to be the new Commander-In-Chief of America.
Now it’s Friday November 17th. For over a week I tried to process the results but I couldn’t put into words how I was feeling. There were moments of defeat, disappointment, heartbreak, anger, and sometimes all of the above. To quote my mom, “it feels like we’ve suffered a big loss, like someone in the family has passed away. It feels like all of your hope is taken away, and we are going backwards now.”
I scrolled down Facebook for hours and everyone on my newsfeed was talking about their reactions to this event. There were a few posts on Tumblr that really stuck with me, especially the following.
“Literally millions of Americans right now are telling women this: It doesn’t matter how qualified you are. It doesn’t matter how smart, capable, or experienced you are. It doesn’t matter if you are the most qualified person for your job in American History… You are still not as good as a sexist, racist, bigoted, misogynistic fuckboy who paints himself orange. In my opinion, that’s a fucking shame.”
It is a shame, and it is heartbreaking. And dammit Hillary Clinton has worked so hard to get to where she is, in Arkansas, in Senate, as FLOTUS, and now as a presidential candidate.
Back when I was in Tennessee, covering the DNC as a part of my internship at FiscalNote, I wrote a blog post regarding how I don’t want Trump to be president, and not because I’m a Democrat, but because I’m a believer of equality. I copied the text below:
I made it a mission to go to every state in the United States, and I’ve been to many of them, but I’ve never been to a state like Tennessee. I’ve grown up in suburban Maryland, where there are people of all different races and backgrounds, where we are taught to always celebrate diversity and embrace culture. This is not a pass at Tennessee, but it’s surprising how different the lifestyle is. For miles, my family was the only Indian family.
For the first time on vacation, I felt unsafe. I felt targeted. I could feel people’s beedy eyes staring at me while I passed and questioning looks wondering who I am and where I came from. It was such a change from home. I would pass stores that sold guns and had crude and dark humor regarding people who are different, and I wondered “Is this really America?” For years America has been described to me as a “melting pot,” and then slowly that analogy changed into a “Summer Salad,” where many components come together.
Yesterday while I was covering the DNC, I knew that majority of the people around me supported Donald Trump, and that scared me. It scares me that people are supporting a bully, someone who says anything he wants with no realization of the consequences it can bear. They are supporting a man who wants to legalize gun control in a country where school shootings are becoming more and more popular, and who says he will reverse Obamacare causing millions of families and children out of health insurance. I am not part of a minority that Trump has actively spoken against, but I still feel unsafe.
It is now day 9 of President-Elect Trump, and everything feels bleak and meaningless. It feels like everything we’ve been fighting for is coming to an end. We had the chance to witness the first woman become the president of the United States, and right after eight years with the first Black President, it seemed like the next progressive step. Instead, it feels like we’ve traveled back in time, and that all the progress that we have made in the past decade are being undone.