With Donald Trump winning the election and this blog is supposed to be about compassion, I’m going to go on a rant about how I feel about this election.
First off, the night of the election for some odd reason I got the flu despite having gotten a flu shot. I started having hot flashes, a fever, shivering, a sore throat, a headache and muscle aches. So while the election results were getting tallied I was tossing and turning in pain. I just read to my BBC updates, watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer and tried to feel better with medicine and tea.
When I found out he won Pennsylvania and Ohio I was shocked. I thought Hillary had those. The polling said she was going to win.
When I got the update reading, “Political outsider Donald Trump beats Hillary Clinton to win US Presidency.” I was in shock. My first thought was, “Why do so many people hate me?” Me as in a Jewish, woman of color and a child of immigrants. “Why are so people so desperate they are choosing hate?” “How could people buy into him?” It felt like the people of America were personally attacking me and all the people in my life. You might think I’m overreacting but that’s how I felt. My friends that are of color, queer, rape survivors, women, non-Christians and more. I got so many texts messages, IMs and calls with friends feeling disappointed, scared and hurt.
My second reaction was a barrage of thoughts through my head if he defunds the EPA I won’t have drinkable water, if he gets his tax plan through I won’t have a job and if he repeals Obamacare I won’t have affordable healthcare.
Then I started hearing about the University of New Mexico having assaults, threats and Nazi graffiti on campus. That’s when I got scared. I saw stories about people dealing with a spike in racism. Now I’m wearing my star of David with both fear and pride. Pride because I want people to see I won’t hide but fear because someone might target me.
The people that elected Donald Trump were overwhelmingly white people over the age of 25. Voting hispanics and Asians were almost split in half. Ages 18-25 and African-Americans of all ages overwhelmingly voted for Hillary.
People keep saying things will blow over but the reality is that Trump’s rhetoric has given hateful people license to act out and feel validated. While I must accept the fate of America I just need a little time to cope. If you aren’t scared, you’re either privileged or not paying attention.
What remains to be a small glimmer of hope is people seem to be banning together. We’ve been inspired by Bernie Sanders ideals, Hillary Clinton’s campaign and Donald Trump’s hate to get up and do something. The first things you can do is support Standing Rock. I donated to the Go Fund Me last month and I will do so again this month. You can change your bank from Wells Fargo or JP Morgan to something else like Bank of America, Vanguard or a Credit Union. Wells Fargo and JP Morgan have been giving the pipelines loans to build. Economic protests seem to be the strongest form of protest in America. You can also just look out for each other. If you see someone getting harassed or attack intervene, do not be a bystander. Small moments of compassion echo.
We can be the change we want. We can unify and move forward. We need to be stronger together.