In the wake of last week’s election results, emotions have been running high across the nation. People of color, non-Christians, disabled persons, women and members of the LGBT community have been voicing their fears and concerns about what a Trump presidency could mean for them as individuals and as a collective.
But despite hearing our outcry, people continue telling us to calm down. We are told that nothing can possibly be as bad as we imagine. Our country has faced bad presidents before and we survived. We need to give President-elect Trump a chance.
Here’s my problem with that–the issues we are currently facing are larger than Trump.
Throughout his campaign, Trump travelled across the country making derogatory and inflammatory comments to the degree that his own campaign team did not give him access to his Twitter account on Election Day.
He mocked disabled people; he re-kindled the racist argument that President Obama is not American; he ranked women based on their bodies, just to name a few of his declarations.
Despite all of this and much, much more, Americans continued to support him and gave him their votes on Nov. 8 including 53 percent of white women voters.
Trump was elected because he gave a voice to the self-named “white minority”–the same group that feels that they are being oppressed by affirmative action and dismays at the annual “War on Christmas.”
It is members of this group that are tired of not being able to be themselves anymore. They want to use hate-speech because it’s freedom of speech, wave a Confederate flag because it is part of their heritage and grab a woman by her p—y because that’s what real men do.
It is members of this group who, even if they do not believe that they are racist, made the ultimate decision that racism is not a defining factor in who they want for their president.
While I am afraid of what a Trump presidency will mean for me as a woman and for my friends as members of the LGBT community, people of color, children of immigrants and people with medical and physical disabilities, I am more concerned about will happen to them in this renewed culture of hate.
Because conservatives could be right, Trump might not be the worst president we’ve ever had, but we don’t live in communities with Donald Trump.
We do, however, have to live in communities where people hate minorities, have prejudices against people who are LGBT and disrespect women.
We will live in an environment where police brutality and hate crimes reach a new high and where sexual assault increases. We will live in communities that reverts back to the standards of the 1960s and will be forced to fight the same battles that we thought conquered fifty years ago.
We will be members of another generation that has to fight for the rights of its grandchildren because it is doubtful that we will see equality in our own lifetime.
So, please, stop saying that we will survive this. Stop telling us that it will be okay because you’re right, the nation will survive the next four years and we will have another election, but how many lives will have to pay the price of the decision made last Tuesday?