People ask me how I slept last night. Honestly, I got drunk. I had decided to not look at the polls so I could find out in the morning and have the news spread in front of me similar to a band-aid being pulled off. I was easily awoken when my alarm rang and I tried to put it off. Going back to sleep was a joke so I checked my email to read the daily delivered news.
Donald Trump has been elected president.
First, I screamed. I rolled around in bed, and shouted again. My mom couldn’t hear me. Thankfully, she was drying her hair. Hastily, I went to her room to proclaim the news. I was disoriented and confused, perhaps slightly the lingering alcohol contributed. Facebook allowed me to express what I was thinking as I collapsed into my bed again. I had to go back to sleep.
I didn’t of course. The newsfeed on social media had me outraged and wondering how he was elected. People declaring their anger, and some speaking of peace and acceptance. I didn’t know how to feel or what to say. Swinging back and forth between animosity and disbelief I decided I had to make some kind of statement that he didn’t represent me. He didn’t represent America.
Donald Trump does not reflect my values. He does not serve the ideas of interconnectedness. Our government does not represent democracy. Our culture enforces limited options that is represented in our elections. Our world changed today, and the change was palpable. The only thing I could manage to do to express myself was to make a shirt with the most basic words I could comprehend on this decision.
Of course, I may not be directly affected by what Trump has perpetuated, but my empathy is vast. However, this isn’t about me. This is about people. This is about the man in my Spanish class that couldn’t hold back the tears of fear. When offered help, words couldn’t be expressed, just expressions of pain. This is about the immigrants here because of war and suffering, who may be sent back regardless of what age or reason they were brought here. This is about a wall being built between nations of race, sex, sexual orientation, and two actual nations.
I know not all Trump supporters have these values or ideologies that I despise so much, but their prevalence cannot be ignored. I can only hope that the outlooks unearthed have only caused an open wound that can now be on the way to healing in some form. Can the ideas that have been televised by this person now be addressed? Or will it continue to divide? Is it possible that this person can change his language and direct the oppression into another direction?
No one really knows for sure, and that is one of the reasons this is so scary. Change is supposed to be good, but this change has pivoted into danger. We can only hope that with this new role, he will gain some social maturity that will reflect on the people who don’t want to experience difference in a positive manner.
Last night, I had to remind myself that everything was going to be okay. Now that it is not, I have to remind myself that everything will be okay. I walked through campus and felt a feeling that I had never experienced before. I cried for emotions I never had before. With an open mind, maybe we can use this as a learning tool. We will see what happens.