At this very moment, we are loosing everything we have fought for in the last 200+ years in the United States, all because of the presidential election. Equality, Freedom, Humility, Compassion, Peace. I have no other way of describing my feeling except by saying my heart is broken. No matter if she ends up with a comeback, there is a large majority that believes Donald Trump is a better presidential candidate than Hillary Clinton, and I honestly don’t know how to respond.
Is it because she used email on a private server that tons of the government employees have been doing for years? Because her foundation has helped thousands of people avoid AIDS and be vaccinated? Because she is a woman? I’m out of words, I am running out of feeling. My hope and faith have been crushed. I don’t know what to do, or what to say, or how to feel.
I woke up this morning, anxious but excited. Thinking we might just have a woman president. I thought of my beautiful mother, my beautiful grandmother, who both struggled to be equals, equals in business, equal in marriage. Who advocate for strong women, and also for humility and forgiveness. Who give their entire lives to their families, gladly giving themselves for their children and grandchildren, and strangers at times even. I thought that tonight I would call my mom with tears of joy, saying I wish grandma was here to see her stand on that stage and give that speech of progress, of hope, of love beating hate.
And now I’m in shock. Barely sitting here without bursting into tears. I’m praying, and crying, and trying to think how we will make it out.
As I walk to my car from work everyday, I pull my shirt up and my skirt down, I hold my keys between my fingers, and avoid taking my phone out. Everyday, I see men stare at me while I cross the street, holding my breath until I get to my car. I ask my friends to let me know when they get home because they have to walk to their cars or take an Uber by themselves. I comfort my female friends who are harassed on planes, on sidewalks, at work. I hear of campus rapes, and office sexual assaults, and I’m not surprised anymore.
We had made progress, we had levels of equality, we were trying to change the ways we view women, the ways we view men.
I can’t even try to imagine what will happen to minority populations. I am privileged to be white, to be of Middle Eastern descent, but have a pale face and a German last name. To try to fathom what this means for Middle Eastern people, Latinos, African Americans, Native Americans, Asians. I can’t think of it right now. I physically can’t bare it.
To think what this will do to the world is another factor. The DOW is already crashing, Mexican pesos are down, and that’s not even to mention that the Indian rupee is obsolete, even before the election. To talk of foreign aid, to talk of international development in Africa, and Asia, South and Latin America, and the Middle East.
To the effect on drug prices, on the anti-vax movement, on women’s health and reproductive care. I feel like I’m melting. I am just ranting now because I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know what to say or who to turn to.
I know there will be hope somewhere in this, that the sun will rise in the morning, and those in public health, development, and social justice will continue to fight as they always have and always will. But we need to reevaluate how we do that if this is actually going to happen tonight. How can we prevent this from ever happening again. How can we fight this. What can I do, but I am sitting her motionless.