Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Day After

I have been crying all day.

And it’s not about Hillary losing the election. It’s about who won it. It’s about how too many people lost sight of the big picture. It’s about how these results are setting our country back some fifty, sixty odd years. Maybe more.

And on a personal level, it’s about me feeling unsafe.

It’s about white folks around me –folks I know and don’t know—who DO NOT GET WHY I feel unsafe.

It’ll be okay, they say.
It’s not that bad, they say.
It’ll work out, they say.

They can say this because they’re white. And when you are white, you are safe.

It’s okay. It’ll be alright.

Is it okay for someone to burn down a 111-year-old historically black church in Mississippi and spray paint “Vote Trump” on it?

Is it okay for a man to reach out and grab a woman between the legs or her breasts because he feels like it? To force himself on her because he feels like it? And then for him to admit it? To wave it off as locker room talk?

I’m here to tell you the obvious: it’s not okay.

I have been surrounded by Trump signs on lawns everywhere. There is this town I have to drive through everyday: it is white and affluent and has voted for Trump. This town in the Blue state of New Jersey. While most of those folks are probably well-meaning people, I cannot shake the thought of a certain closed-mindedness that might come with one who supports an open racist and misogynist. The other day, a car in the oncoming traffic lane had a giant sign on its roof. It was the length of the entire car. It said, “Jail Hillary.” Fear gripped me so hard. If that driver thinks that notion is okay, that person does not play by the rules. I felt so unsafe. I have been driving through this particular town with so much anxiety.

I am crying because I am also worried for my daughters’ safety.

Certain boys and men have now gotten a clear message that it’s okay to keep doing what they’re doing – to take what they want from women. Because look, Trump did it and he got elected president! Yeah!


And it’s not going to be “okay” unless white folks help us do the work. I mean really WORK. We people of color have been working for social justice this whole time. Since the beginning of time. Shit just got harder. Real hard.

So take time for self-care. Weep. Mourn. Grieve. Wail. Let it out. All of it.

I even bought mala beads today to create a more concrete sense of safety.

Eat some good comfort food. (I had diner coffee & French toast for dinner.)

Then, wash your face, put on some fresh clothes, and get to work.

As Neil deGrasse Tyson said: “This is the end of nothing. This is the beginning of something new and solemn and so important. You must be part of what comes next.”