In the Aftermath

Yesterday we watched Donald Trump claim victory in the US Presidential election. It felt like a day the world will never forget. My friends and family were shocked, exchanging a flurry of emails and texts, and on Facebook and Twitter many others I know did the same. We were flayed. So if we’re all the way over here, mostly middle class, mostly white, how do marginalised Americans feel? How do people of colour feel in America right now? What about people who are LBGTQIA, how are they coping? And Mexican Americans, what emotions are they experiencing? How do Muslims in America feel right now, to be vilified in the way they have been by this man, to have been branded as terrorists purely for their religious beliefs? How do women who have been sexually assaulted feel now that this man, who has been caught on tape boasting of his ability to get away with sexual assault, has been elected to the highest political position in the land? I don’t know what they’re feeling but I’m guessing it’s not good. I think I’d be scared and angry and betrayed – not so much by Donald Trump but by the people all around me who voted him in.

So now that this has happened, what next? It seems like many of us have needed time to process this information – to let the result sink in, to despair for a humanity that would vote for this man, to cry or swear or roar with anger. And I’m talking Australians here, so again I can only try to imagine the distress many in the USA are going through. But after this acknowledgement of pain, what next?

I guess we have to go on. We have to look to the future, and each do what we can to combat racism, sexism, homophobia and anti-Muslim sentiments. We have to treat each other with love and kindness, and that includes all the people who voted for Trump. Here in Australia, we have elected members of parliament who have racist and xenophobic platforms, and we still don’t have laws that allow gay marriage. So we have a lot of work to do right here.

I might have fears but I don’t want to be fearful. I want to stay open to others, open to possibilities, open to love. And yes, I’m aware it’s a hell of a lot easier for me than for many others. So that being the case, I better work harder.

5 Comments

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5 responses to “In the Aftermath

  1. I don’t remember another day like it ever in my life—when the world erupted like that. Everyone was so shocked, and then angered, and then disappointed.
    I felt all of those emotions, too. And I wasn’t just angry at Trump, but at the millions of Americans who voted for him, and inflicted him upon the rest of the world who had no say in the matter.
    But today, I’m calmer, mainly because I realised one thing—I don’t have to change my values. None of us do. We don’t have to take on the values of this man. He might be President of the United States, but we can still live by what we hold dear—we don’t give up on the battle for marriage equality, or for standing up for the rights of marginalised people or women. And we don’t let him legitimise hate.
    Then, I felt a little better. 🙂

    • Louise you’re very wise 🙂
      I’m also trying to remember that a lot of people voted against Hillary Clinton and against mainstream politicians, rather than necessarily *for* Donald Trump. Although, of course, they DID vote for Donald Trump! But it helps me to think that not everyone who voted for him supports all his bigoted beliefs.

      • Yes, I think you’re right. People are over the system, and stupid as it may sound, they see Trump as an outsider like them, someone who’ll stand for them.
        I think Trump’s win was a protest vote against so many things. Many people have lost their faith in politicians—as I have—however, I think it was a protest against other more sinister things, too. A protest against having a black President, against women in power, against the straight white male’s loss of authority in society.
        I know society has progressed quickly in the last couple of decades and I understand it’s hard for people who’ve been brought up with a certain set of values to change them. I think they voted for Trump in the hope they won’t have to, that their sense of world order can be returned.
        The thing is, he’s not going to be able to do that …
        And at least half of America, especially the younger generations, and the rest of the world, don’t want him to. We just hold our values and keep living as we always have …
        I’m not losing my faith in humanity. xx

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