I don’t know what to do. Ask me tomorrow
Image courtesy of Getty.
Last week, I started writing a post called “Hillary Won, But We Still Live In Trump’s America.” Such was the certainty of my belief that November 8 would mark the end of a long national nightmare. The title was wrong, but the premise remains relevant: that Trump, the President-Elect of the United States of America (I would have preferred pricking my own eyes with a safety pin to writing that phrase), does not represent a new movement in American politics but rather a continuation of our history. The racism, and sexism, and jingoism that characterized his campaign were only more explicit manifestations of ideologies that preexisted Donald Trump and his presidential campaign. The millions and millions of people who voted for him last night weren’t just voting for the man they were voting for the ideological cache of bigotry and vile chauvinism he represents.
So I woke up today really angry.
I’m angry at Donald Trump, for his foul, indefensible behavior towards women; for comments that in no uncertain terms license sexual assault; for his countless statements villainizing black people and immigrants; for running a campaign that was ambitious in the scope of people it hoped to offend; for empowering and emboldening white supremacists like David Duke; for his threats to put Hillary Clinton in jail; for his promise to ban Muslims from coming into the country; for his suggestion that women who have abortions be punished; for normalizing the kind of vulgar, brutish discourse that is capable of electrifying threat into violence.
I’m so angry. I’m so, so angry. I’m angry that I had to call my parents yesterday and beg them to stay home from work the next day. I’m angry that I must worry about the safety of my mother and sister, who both wear headscarves and live in a part of California that is hostile to Muslims.
I’m angry at my friends who stayed home on Thanksgiving and Christmas, avoiding painful conversations about race and politics with their loved ones. I’m angry at my friends who joked about staying home on Thanksgiving and Christmas, avoiding painful conversations about race and politics with their loved ones.
I’m angry at my friends, and especially my white friends, who have stayed silent throughout this election.
I’m angry at white women, who voted in majority for Donald Trump.
I’m angry at the liberal class, whose mealy-mouthed denunciations of Donald Trump only served to bolster his claims to power.
I’m angry at the white men who wore “Make American Great Again” hats in irony.
I’m angry at every pollster who underestimated the vigor of Donald Trump’s supporter base.
I’m angry that we all underestimated Donald Trump’s supporter base.
I’m angry that we’re not better.
I’m angry at myself, because I feel helpless and sad. I’m angry because I don’t know what to do. I’m angry because I don’t know where to put my anger. But I’m putting it here, for now, because I need to put it somewhere, and if I sit here any longer it will fester in my chest. Maybe tomorrow, maybe after tomorrow, maybe in four years, I can feel hopeful again. But, right now, at least, I’m not okay.