Yesterday, so many of my friends and family called and texted to check on me. Many didn’t say why. They just reached out to see if I was okay. I appreciate that. For the record, I am fine.
One thing I realized is that many people that look like me have dealt with a lifetime of “different” treatment. This is our norm. We’ve lived a lifetime of not exactly feeling like we fit in. We’ve lived wondering if we’re accepted when we walk in a restaurant or in a store or our places of employment. We know that feeling all too well. That is our reality. Things going differently than what we would like is just our reality. We persevere and we live on. Some of us fight for change. Some of us fight for inclusion. Some of us just try to make the best life with what we have. Collectively, we just want what everyone else wants. We want to be safe. We want to be accepted. We want to know that our fellow countrymen will fight for us.
I am born and raised American. Today, many of my fellow Americans have called me sensitive for demanding respect. They have called me weak because I want equality. They tell me that I need to “man up” because I am bothered about being called a ni**er or a b**ch or a ni**er b**ch. They sit from behind their computers and tell me how tough I need to be without knowing how tough I’ve already been. They tell me that I need to accept what men say without knowing the sexual and physical abuse that I have endured. They say things as if I am not human. As if I am not worthy to be protected and respected.
I see people saying that people are “rioting” after this election when, indeed, they are protesting. But that’s how they get you. That’s how people convince others that you aren’t worthy. You are something less. They change the words to suit their needs.
Scavenging becomes looting.
Surviving becomes stealing.
Protesting becomes rioting.
Respect becomes weakness.
Equality becomes unfairness.
They trivialize your ideals. They turn your manifesto into a 1-liner that can be made into a meme.
The reality is that this election isn’t and wasn’t about party politics. I don’t care if our President is a Republican, a Democrat, a Libertarian. What I do care about is whether or not our President can represent that American ideal. We are a nation of hope. We are a nation of equality. We are a nation of possibility. We are the melting pot of the world. We are the nation where your dreams can come true. If WE Americans can’t make these things happen, who can? I can’t help but feel that hate won. Hate of choice, hate of immigrants, hate of women’s rights, hate of anything other. At the end of the day, we shall continue on. We will continue to fight for what’s right. We will continue to hope and pray and fight for peace and equality. We won’t let our progress be lost. We can’t. There is no other option.