Thursday, November 10, 2016

post election post

You need more election thoughts like you need another picture of a red Starbucks cup, but I need to get this out of my head so that I can process and move on. This is one for me, not for you.

At first, I was with her because I was for anyone but Trump. As the race went on, though, I started to feel like I was more with her. Yes, the email situation was bad. Yes, Benghazi is a whole score of things that went wrong and there is blame on many, many people. But there were things she said and was going to work on that are important to me.

I respect your right to own guns, but I don’t think you need a semi-automatic weapon. I work in a school. I get messages about “troubled” students we need to be on the lookout for. Every time I’m reminded of the uniformed officers who patrol my campus, who are fathers and mothers working this extra job to help their families, I send up good thoughts that they never have to put their lives on the line to save mine. I stood with the candidate who was going to work to get the most dangerous weapons out of the general public’s hands.

You may not realize it, but I’m half Mexican. I never had much of a racial identity growing up; I was definitely raised identifying as white, but normally felt not white “enough.” I’ve had people say derogatory things about the Latino community in my presence when they didn’t know my last name. Luckily, my grandparents were born here so I pass Ann Coulter’s test. But crazy people on the streets don’t know that. If they see my darker-complected grandmother or aunt or father walking around, I fear that those who support our future president will harass them or threaten to deport them, simply because our leader seems to think that’s okay. There is absolutely nothing in my heritage that gives my family more of a right to be here more than someone trying to come to America today (but perhaps there’s a prize for getting here first? May I remind you that it does not say RSVP on the Statue of Liberty). I also – since I look like your average Caucasian – feel the need to apologize to the people of color I encounter on a daily basis, out loud, even if I don’t know them that well. I’m sorry that it seems that so many in my race failed you and didn’t take your actual daily struggles into account.

I’m with her because I couldn’t be with him. I couldn’t support a man who would decry an entire religion based on the actions of some. Are we going to stop allowing white men in public? They seem to commit the most mass shootings, after all. I believe marriage is between two people who love one another. Period. I believe a woman has the right to control her own body, whether it’s from the unwanted advances of a man or an unwanted pregnancy. I believe in America as a land of opportunity and that there should be a path to citizenship for good people. I don’t believe in breaking families up through deportation and I don’t think a wall is the answer to the war on drugs or illegal weapons. I admit, I believe in these things SO MUCH that yes, I was able to overlook any flaws that Hillary Clinton has. And there are many. She IS human after all. No candidate has ever been perfect. A certain amount of trickery is always involved in getting things done in government. Haven’t you seen Lincoln?

I will find it hard to support Mr. Trump in the next four years. I believe that the 16 women who spoke out against his treatment toward them were speaking the truth. Men of America, please know that sexual assault isn’t something someone would claim for attention. I do think his financial privilege puts him at a disadvantage when dealing with most of America, his quick temper will cause him to spend more time apologizing than getting things done, and his ugly rhetoric will continue to incite his most ardent supporters and disappoint those of us who don’t see the same version of America he so clearly does. I have never before wanted to be wrong about a person so badly, though, and I definitely hope to be proven wrong.

Let me be clear: Democrats aren’t “whining” because their candidate lost the election; they are feeling lost and helpless in their home country because the president-elect has made promises to do things that will disenfranchise them moving forward. His worldview seems to indicate to him that Latinos work for him and the black community is limited to inner cities. He may nominate a Supreme Court Justice who will tip the Court into overturning longstanding cases, or encourage additional profiling based on ethnicity or religion, or hell, he may even push a button in a briefcase just to prove he can. We don’t know now, but we do know we don’t want to live in that world. People have rioted for far less; at least this time, it’s more. We are also afforded the right to peaceful protest, and I hope that Mr. Trump sees these groups and what they stand for and takes them into account when January 20th rolls around.


But this is America and democracy is king, so we have to move on. I have hope in those who will stand up for what’s right, even if it’s against the President. I have hope in this wakeup call so that we all begin seeking and respecting different viewpoints. I was under the impression most Americans, regardless of party, thought Trump was a joke; clearly, I was wrong. So was the media and the pundits and the late night show joke writers. But we all still have to go to our jobs and love our families and live our lives. It’s now our burden to do it in a way that shows increased love, tolerance, and strength in order to combat whatever lies ahead.

7 comments:

  1. I feel shame when I look at any minority on the street. Like, sorry people who look like me failed you. I feel like they can't even look at me.

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  2. I've said my piece (in many pieces in many different places), so you know I'm in agreement. I want to thank you for touching on something I forgot (in my swell of emotion) to include in my post: We're not sad we lost. We're not sad our pick didn't get the W. It's not a sporting event. We're scared and disappointed and ashamed. We're devastated at the thought of people in our lives voting against US and people we love. We're troubled by our knowledge of what the president and an unbalanced congress and SCOTUS may be able to do in the next four years, and we're grieving the evident loss of progress the last four years have brought about.

    If nothing else, I hope this will rally people to stand the hell up and vote in the midterms, support candidates they believe in from the start, and restore the checks and balances of government before the next four years are up. And hopefully the "this is the best we have?!" crowd will be able to hold their heads high next time and support a candidate they believe in because they didn't sleep through their own democracy for four years.

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  3. Thank you agree with everything you've said. Don't ever feel bad/ashamed for speaking out and writing about stuff like this. I'm a hypocrite because I've been struggling with that very thing as a blogger, an outspoken human and a person with so many feelings/opinions that I have a hard time keeping to myself. Just know people are out there that want to hear from you, so thanks again!

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  4. I agree with Steph. When I pass by a minority I just wonder if they think I'm one of those who voted against them. And even if they could somehow psychically divine that I'm not, I'm still ashamed that so many did.

    One of the most frustrating things is all the people saying we don't have a right to complain. It's like you said, it's not because we lost. It is SO much deeper than that. And even so--did they not complain about Obama for eight years straight?!

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  5. My mother's father was first generation American, and his siblings, and parents came from Italy. At that time in New York, Italians were a minority and they were not to be made welcome. My dad's grandparents fled from the Ukraine and were Jewish. There will always be a race that someone else deems unworthy, and it angers me so so much. We all come from somewhere else, and that is supposed to be the beauty of this country. I truly feel the majority of people in this country agree with that, but the minority of ignorant people seem to be more vocal. It's definitely hard, but I agree about continuing to be a bigger person. (Also I didn't mean to go nuts in this comment, the whole thing just still blows my mind)

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  6. Your first line about the picture of a red Starbucks cup had me falling over with laughter because I having been eye-rolling some Starbucks cups. Ha!
    Lauren, I have so much respect for you for writing this post...sharing what you believe in, what issues you support, and why you believe and support those things. Thank you for sharing.

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  7. thank you for writing this. i agree with everything you said. i had a guy at work say to me the other day that immigrants should go back to where they came from. i was like.. you know i'm an immigrant right? he said it was okay because i don't look like one. i was so ashamed to look like him in that moment, so ashamed that people on the street might think i had any part in this or that i agree with trump. this whole thing makes me so sad, like you said it's not just because we lost. it's so much more than that. and i want to be wrong about him, i want him to surprise us all, because how can i wish for him to fail? then we all fail. i don't want that.

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