It’s hard for me to find the words to complete this piece. My whole soul has been heavy for days since the election results were announced; it’s like everywhere I go seems extra quiet and sad. The people I love have expressed anxiety and fear I know I only feel a fraction of.
It seems to me that this election hasn’t necessarily ushered in any new era of American politics, what it’s done mostly is revealed the true ideologies that drive the American people. The ideas and opinions that maybe people felt they couldn’t present publicly have now been emboldened, and within 24 hours of the election there was a rise in hate crime around the country.
Hijabs getting ripped off Muslim women’s heads, taunts directed at Latina Americans to “go home,” swastikas sprayed on the sides of buildings in cities and university campuses; this is the America we are living in now. For many groups, such as people of color and immigrants, the fear for what lies ahead in the future is very real.
I can’t comment on whether President-elect Trump will do any of the things he promised while he campaigned. I do know that his plan for his first 100 days in office involves the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants, the allocation of funding for non-environmentally friendly energy sources, and a “Safer Communities” act that I can only assume will mean over policing of communities of color and the beef up of our prison systems.
I do know that, whether we acknowledge it or not, white supremacy and patriarchy are in part to blame for electing Trump. No, not all the people who voted for Trump are a KKK members, but it’s worth noting that the White American is who chose him as their candidate. Truthfully, the real issue with this boils down to education and misunderstanding about people who aren’t White-Christian Americans.
This nation was birthed out of the oppression of Native Americans and the enslavement of Black people, and everything else that has happened in our short history was built on that. Our culture is laced with racism so deeply that if you don’t know how to look for it you’d never notice it. It is so implicit in our interactions and understanding of the world that, for someone who isn’t oppressed in anyway by it, it sometimes feels like it doesn’t warrant inspection or scrutiny. Trust me, it does.
One of the reasons that many Americans resonated with Trump is that he represents the end of an America that has been evolving for decades. The nuclear family is dead, and more and more the face of America is shifting away from the white face many are so comfortable with. Soon, minorities will outnumber white people in this nation, and that means a shift in culture and values that maybe people aren’t ready to accept.
In a time when minority communities feel fear for their safety and futures, the call for white, cis-gender, straight allies to show up for these communities has never been louder or more necessary. We all have the power to speak up against oppression and hate, as well as engage our own communities in opportunities to learn and expand their understandings of the world. Take the time to hear others perspectives, trust that when people say they feel unsafe, they are, and never stop fighting for justice.