Like most of the world, waking up to the election results may have been shocking, depending on your political stance. I found out that morning when my mother tiptoed into my room and hugged me in tears. Over and over she repeated, “He won. I am so sorry,” as if she was trying to wake herself up from a nightmare. This replayed in my head like a mantra: “He won. He won. He won. He won.”
After setting my clock back by decades the night of the election, I was left extremely sluggish the next day. The school halls were silent but also full of screams—that was the first day I have ever considered sitting down during the pledge of allegiance, but I stood. I wanted to remain seated as the final nail in the coffin of my lack of patriotism.
It’s not the fact that Donald Trump won the presidency through the electoral college vote. The most disheartening thing is that there were enough people that voted for a man that ran on hate. Sure, people wanted change, but the popular vote stated otherwise. Most people that voted for him are not misogynistic, Islamophobic, racist or xenophobic as shown by the abundant posts on social media by Trump supporters and surrogates. Many are quick to jump on the defense, but their candidate won. What is there to defend?
My issue with these voters is that they looked past his hateful platform that ran on these ugly principles. How privileged they must be to not feel the way I feel—dispensable. For those that feel so far removed from the implications of his campaign, explain that you needed a change to the Muslim women getting their hijabs torn off as a result of his win. Try to convince the LGBT+ community that they are safe and sound with a vice president that supports conversion therapy. Reassure rape victims that it was never proven that their new president raped a thirteen-year-old girl. Look at your daughter and tell her that her body does not actually belong to her, but rather to straight white men. Tell me Donald Trump is fighting for me when his supporters joke about my boat ride back to Africa. His win has given the green light for hate to spread and further divide the nation.
Do not try and defend your vote if you can’t defend these aspects of his campaign. I’ve never been more sickened when logging onto Facebook and seeing his supporters tell minorities to “suck it up” and “quit crying.” Trump supporters cannot tell me how afraid I am allowed to be. Posts ridiculing Clinton voters for their emotional reactions are nauseating. Calling us sore losers because we don’t want to watch our country revert to a time of even greater social injustice is immature. I won’t speak for every Clinton supporter, but I voted for her because I saw no other rational choice. It had nothing to do with her being a woman and everything to do with her being qualified for the position. It wasn’t because she was a magnificent candidate, but if she had won, minorities would not feel like they have an X on their backs.
As my mother cried, I realized America has a long way to go and that hate sometimes does win.