I woke up this morning to sexism, racism, bigotry, and hate.
I woke up to fear.
As I got out of bed this morning, I felt peace for a split second. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.
I remembered the headlines from the night before: “Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States.” I remembered walking to the living room, to the television turned off, and my mother sitting in the dark. Maybe she was playing bingo on her phone, or maybe she grew tired of watching a map change to the color of hate.
As I got ready for work this morning, I just couldn’t believe it. I felt my heavy heart, and I felt my eyes almost swell with tears.
I walked over to my mom’s room, and I just couldn’t bring myself to say anything. What can I say to bring her reassurance? Or a gleam of hope?
I just don’t want her to feel fear, but I can’t ask her not to be afraid.
On November 9, 2016, we woke up to a country that will show relentless disdain toward Latin@s, Muslims, Black people, women, the LGBTQ community, and any other minority.
I woke up to a country that doesn’t care about our families, or ripping away our mothers and fathers from us. Instead, I woke up to a country that is determined to do just that. We woke up to a country who will thrive off of that. We woke up to a country that doesn’t give a fuck about our ancestors, our siblings, our undocumented friends or relatives.
Today felt surreal. When will this start feeling real? Today I felt a strange type of fear, and a strange type of sadness. I felt fear not for myself, but for my mother, for my friends, for their families, and for people I haven’t met who are seriously afraid of the threats and promises this man made. I felt fear for the future of our children – how can we help them understand? Today felt like something in many of us died.
We woke up to a country where HATE TRUMPED LOVE. But it didn’t. It hasn’t yet, and it will not. I hope to dear life that it does not.
The jokes, the memes, the unthinkable – it all became our reality this morning. We ignored it for so long, and now we have to face the truth.
I said on Twitter as soon as the results came in on Wednesday night that we should not look away from our news feeds, “don’t look away from your television screens – let’s face this head on, more united than ever.”
We have to be more resilient than ever. We can’t turn the other cheek, not now. We’ve seen worse. We will see worse than November 9.
This country has gone through uglier days, yes. But we can’t let that make us complacent. Our parents, their grandparents, and their ancestors have lived through tougher times. They’re still standing, and for those who are not – we must fight even harder to make them proud.
The least we owe everyone who has come before us and everyone who will come after us, is to never give up. Keep fighting. Keep working. Keep educating. Keep inspiring. Keep motivating. And above all, keep looking out for one another.
Let’s not become cynical. Let’s not become even more disconnected and divided. We must stay grounded, focused, and wholly unapologetic of our existence.
Let’s remember the feeling in our chests, and the knots in our throats when Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States.
Let’s remember that feeling, that fear – let’s remember it today, tomorrow, and for the hard years to come. For if we forget, we will have given in to the hate this man will continue to breed.
I can only hold on to the fact that resilience is in the blood of our immigrant families who came to this country, to give us the little they had, which has been more than enough.
La lucha sigue, and to everyone out there tonight, or tomorrow, protesting this indecency in U.S. history, be safe.