The past week has been a spiritually exhausting one, to say the least. Never in our wildest dreams did we expect to see the outcome that we did, and our country is mourning. We’re mourning a death of justice, a death of peace, and a death of comfort. Trump is our President.
I cannot speak for everyone, only myself. I sat on my couch from 8pm to 2am on Tuesday night, and watched CNN as the votes poured in. I am surprised that I still have nails left, as I was a nervous wreck for those 6 hours. My heart was pounding and I couldn’t stop the sweat, as I sat in my apartment, alone, and thought about the world that I would now have to survive in with a man such as Trump as my President. Knowing that my voice, and the voice of the people like me, would not be heard. I felt as if someone had taken needle and thread to my lips and began sewing them shut, silencing me from the rights that I’ve had for 26 years.
For the first time in all of my life, I was afraid to be in this skin. I was afraid of the environment that I would have to face day in and day out every time that I left my apartment. The kind of people would I encounter. For the majority of my life, I have been blessed with being surrounded by people who genuinely care about me and my well-being; people who are white, black, gay and of different religious backgrounds. Every once in a while, I would come across someone, an ignorant person, who did not like what they saw when they looked at me and I’ve always handled it with grace. Now I feel scared. I cannot take that chance. I’m full of anxiety every time that I have to pull into the gas station or go into a store. Who am I going to come in contact with?
In the last 16 months, individuals have been given the platform to foster hate for people who do not look like them, for people who do not worship the same way as them, for people who do not love the same way as them. For a very long time, these groups of people have felt insignificant, powerless and forgotten about. They sat for 8 years, while a black man held presidency and silently waited for the day when they would gain back that power and coming swinging with vengeance. And their time has come.
I cannot account all supporters of Trump as racist or misogynistic. I know quite a few people who have voted for Trump and as much as that puts a tear in my heart, I cannot judge and I cannot be mad at them for exercising their right to vote for who they felt was the better candidate. But I do have a message for my loved ones, that made that decision…
I do not think you are a vile, nasty or hateful person. I feel that each and every one of you had perfectly good reasons for doing what you needed to do. But it pains me, that in those decisions that you made on Tuesday, you forgot about me. You forgot about those around you, in your lives, that have finally been given the opportunity to love the person that they want to be with. You forgot about those who have the right to worship freely. You forgot about the countless men and women who have been killed to gun violence.
You see, a friend of mine explained something to me Tuesday night that helped me understand the dynamic that we are in. White people have always held this level of comfort. You guys created this nation. The laws, regulations and amendments that we all hold so dear, were created with one person in mind, and that is the white person. You’ve never truly had to fear. Black people have always lived in fear. Yes, I’m gong to bring this up and I know a lot of you are sick of us using this example, but here I go.
Slavery… Jim Crow…
Year after year, day after day, we had to worry about whether or not we would lose our lives the moment we stepped outside that door. And some of us did. And when things started to turn around for the better, we began to let ourselves get comfortable. We had shelter. We had jobs. We made families. We went to universities. We became doctors and lawyers. We travelled the world. And slowly that discomfort became less and less. We forgot what it felt like to CONSTANTLY live in fear. But, things have been shaky lately. Black men and women are being shot in cold blood, unarmed, for no good reason. We’re being mocked when we peacefully protest and told that our lives are insignificant. We are silenced every time we want to say BLACK LIVES MATTER. And now, on Tuesday, that fear, that we forgot about, was placed back into our hearts. And like I said, I cannot speak for all people, but I’m sure that this is the same fear that Muslims are experiencing, that our Hispanic/Latino brothers and sisters are feeling, that our dear refugees are feeling, and that our LGBTQ comrades are feeling as well.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. – 1 corinthians 13:4-7
I don’t think any of you are racist. But I do think that their is a veil over your eyes and as your loved one, who happens to black, I feel that I have to show you what my reality is like so that you can understand.
What hurts me the most, is that you’ve been able to turn a blind eye to the racism and/or pretend that it doesn’t exist. And cannot acknowledge the danger that so many of you have put lots of people in now.
I’m not trying to make you feel bad. I’m not trying to make you feel guilty. I’m not trying to change your mind. Those are not my intentions. But, listen. If you read a post or you see something and it makes you feel a certain way, that is not my fault. If you feel bad, guilty or sad after reading this post, or any post for that matter, that is a feeling that you need to consult with yourself about because there is something there, in your heart and soul, that you are not addressing. It is sometimes painful to have to look ourselves in the mirror. We suppress those feelings so we do not have to deal with it. But I challenge you to deal with it.
Right now I feel as if my loved ones, who so happen to be Trump supporters, do not see me. They do not see the problems that I face daily. They do not see the issues. And that is also why I am so hurt.
What do we do now?
We support each other.
We fight for one another.
We talk to one another.
We listen to one another.
WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
Of those, the most important are to listen and love. Listen to your neighbors. Listen to their experiences and keep an open-mind. Remember that your experiences are far different from theirs. And because it is something that you may have never experienced and seen, that does not make them any less valid. Respect them. Listen to them. Understand them. And once you have done that, love them.
Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
— Isaiah 58:6-11
I love you. All of you