The past 24 hours have been anything but easy. Yesterday around this time, I was beaming. So many friends had taken the right actions and voting, either candidate… at least they were voting. Doing what we are asked by being a citizen of this country. As the day came to a close, it became more and more apparent that this race wouldn’t be as easy or simple as many Hillary supporters had thought, but they were up for the fight. Then by around 10pm… it was made pretty clear that it would take a strong pull of votes that most likely weren’t there for her to win. At around 2:30am our time here in Columbia, Missouri… it was called. Donald J. Trump would now be the President of the United States and I never imagined the serious amount of pain and heartache that I would feel by this happening.
Women, Muslims, African-Americans, the LGBTQ+ community, Mexicans/Hispanics, non-Christians… all groups of people who have felt undermined by the rhetoric of Donald Trump. Last night a shrew of Tweets and Facebook posts emerged all showing the same reaction. Fear. Some were angry, some were sad, even enough to cry… but almost everyone that seemed to be affected negatively by Donald’s win felt a similar reaction of fear occur within them. I felt it. Friends felt it. Family felt it. Strangers felt it. Last night our country took a big step into a world that they had not yet encountered, one where half of the country is incredibly pained by the results of the election. Not annoyed because their party didn’t win, but defeated in that someone who has spread so much hate and anger, won over such a large majority of a country we call home.
There are so many things I want to unpack after last night, but first I want to make one thing clear. I don’t hate anyone for making the decision to vote for Trump or not to vote or to write in a dead gorilla as a candidate. I ask simply that while reading this post that you show the same respect and understanding for where I’m coming from, for who I am and what I believe in. And why at 2:00am last night, I was crying in my bed rather than just sleeping like every other election in my life. Also, if you are a member of a group that has felt betrayed by your Fellow Americans, I ask that you open your heart to understanding how this happened, but also know that I’m here if you need to talk about anything. Emotions are rampant and that’s okay. We deserve to mourn as needed, but we also must keep the conversation going.
To the LGBTQ+ Community:
I’m so sorry for all the hostility you have experienced. People seem to be so afraid of people they cannot understand and that is an unfortunate reality of our world. We say we have separation of church and state yet conservative Christian values still rule our society and breaking them here is seen is wrong by so many. There have been some wins (shoutout to legalization of Same Sex Marriage!) but there are still so many obstacles to overcome and even more now that an anti-LGBTQ+ Vice-President is in the White House and has stated that the president will also be. But I also want you to know that there are some Christians who love you and support you for all you are. I'm one of those Christians. There are those who won't accept you in the church but except your life beyond it, and there are some who will always fight your ways and who you are. But I hope you know there are some people out here ready to support and love you no matter what. I pray you know there are churches, if you so wish, that are here for you with open arms. This election, it has challenged you, I see that every day. But keep fighting. I'm fighting for you, others are too. So let’s keep going.
To Minority Groups: Muslims, African-Americans, Hispanics and beyond.
Growing up in Indianapolis, I never really understood racism because it wasn’t something I encountered. I belonged to a school system where almost every minority group was represented, so I was adjusted to that sort of setting. When coming to the University of Missouri, that world changed a little bit. I encountered people who truly had never been anywhere else in the world except their small town, and with that had never met someone who didn't look like them. A white, Christian, heterosexual individual. That's not a bad thing, where the problem comes in is when those individuals or even those beyond that group spread a message of hate and disgust. My heart breaks because who are we to say that one race is better than another for that one religion is better than another? If we're coming from a Christian standpoint, Jesus was a Jew. Born in Israel and most importantly, was not a white man. Yet, for some reason the white Christian population has made it so that it's easier to believe Jesus was a white man. I bring this up because over the past 500+ days of the election there has been so much hatred spewed towards minority groups who are just surviving. But Jesus would have been a part of those exact minority groups. To those feeling abandoned by the Christian faith or by white conservative individuals in this country: please know you are not feared by all. We are here to show you support and to love you for all you bring to this country. I pray you don't lose faith or hope. New challenges and obstacles create more chances for change. I'm here to tell you that I will walk with you. I will stand by you. And most of all I will love you.
To Women and Sexual Assault Survivors:
Rape culture is an issue. Most women have experienced some form of sexual harassment in their lives, many individuals will be sexually harassed or assaulted during their lifetime also. We've known that this is been an issue because we have watched documentaries and statistics continue to rise in regards to campus sexual assaults continuously being pushed under the rug for the benefit of the university or the individual involved. But, I personally never imagined that we would have a president representing this country who has been accused of sexual assault and harassment so many times, including a minor. For this, I cannot apologize as this is a group I personally represent. I have encountered sexual harassment, I've watched women fall apart at the hands of a campus that refuses to investigate a possible sexual assault, and I've watched as friends consider ending their own life after so much is been taken away from them. But it doesn't just end there, we're facing women's rights issues all over again. Planned Parenthood is on death row right now, we are now represented by a Republican President, a Republican Senate and a Republican House of Representatives. On top of a possible Republican judicial system in our Supreme Court. Planned Parenthood represents not only a place for prenatal health, it's also place for women's health in general. It's a place for women who may not have
strong health care to go to get checked for breast cancer and have annual check ups with the doctor who can truly benefit them. Then there is the possibility of an overturned of Roe v. Wade decision... a major decision that gave access to safe and legal abortions when necessary. Women, I look to you now partially defeated and partially empowered. We have individual to representing us who don't care about what we have to say about our own bodies, yet have the audacity to make laws regarding our own health and decisions. I'm empowered to continue fighting for what's deserved in our country, we will not let men continue to define who we are and what we do. I will continue to fight. Because I will not be controlled by someone who does not know what I have gone through.
I refuse to turn my back on this country, but I also hope those around me can come to understand the pain that this election has brought upon so many individuals. It’s all connected, a giant cycle of uncertainty that has been provoked by someone who has honestly divided the country in ways I think many of us never imagined. I pray the the Lord guides us where we need to be, that friends and family find it in their hearts to look at those around them and show love not hate. But, most importantly I pray that our cities, states, country and world be at peace.
The decision has been made, all that’s left now is to stand up.