It’s mourning in America

November 10th, 2016

I wish I knew how to start this.

I wish I could say how I’ve made my peace, that time will go on, that the people had their say.

Hopefully, someday, I’ll get there. Right now, I am deeply, utterly, hurt and disappointed.

I am not going to hold back for the sake of salvaging people’s feelings: on Nov. 8th, 2016, hatred won. As a nation, we decided to elect a man who has bragged about sexual assault, called Mexican immigrants rapists, who has called prisoners of war cowardly and who has been endorsed by the KKK. We have decided to elect a man who has disrespected every single group of people besides white men, and frankly, we should be very, very ashamed of ourselves.

What has been made clear in this election is that our nation is cripplingly divided. Yes, by all means, everyone who feels hurt by these results needs to actively work for unity, but in truth, I have no human obligation to tolerate intolerance. I can’t live with myself if my children knew that I gave up fighting for them. I do not empathize with a vote rooted in manifesting your frustration into racism, or sexism, or Islamophobia. No one, I repeat no one, should celebrate that.

I know that not everything in life works out your way. But this is a whole lot bigger than one party losing over another.  I don’t know this version of America; that results to anger when things get tough, that blames your neighbor for one’s own struggles and celebrates a man who brings out the worst in people.

I’m going to say something that is rather contrary to what some of my colleagues on this paper are saying: I will never respect the man that is Donald Trump, nor will I respect his agenda as the leader of the free world. Unlike so many of our country’s leaders have failed to do, I denounce him entirely.  It’s tempting to lie down and let history happen, but I refuse to do so. I need to look back on this moment and know that I was not muffled in the fear that we share today.

What I do respect is the transition of power that our nation has worked so hard to maintain, and I am proud as can be to have actively worked on the Hillary Clinton Campaign. In the course of the election, I met some of the most courageous, compassionate folks out there. I met a 13- year-old girl who took the bus to the Hillary Clinton campaign headquarters to canvas every single day.  Contrarily, I also met a 95-year-old woman who campaigned for Secretary Clinton in the rain. It is their courage, along with Secretary Clinton’s and the courageous leaders who line the history books who fought for equity and justice who motivate me now. We made the wrong choice, but it’s not the first time we’ve faltered. We must keep fighting for the country I know we are capable of being.

To the children who are witnessing their first elections, to little girls who thought they would live their adolescent life with a female president, to the young muslim woman who took off her hijab in fear or the young LGBTQ person who is terrified, I swear to you, there are folks fighting on your behalf, myself included. As our courageous First Lady once said, “when they go low, we go high.”

The time is not now to become silent.  As Scripture says, “let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.”

It’s time to get going, good people. We have a lot of work to do.