America has spoken, and what it says breaks my heart. White privilege is stronger in this country than compassion, than progress, than a wider scope of who gets to have what.
To the people who voted for Trump, I say–No one has been asking you to give up your rights. It was asked that you share what you’ve had for centuries with others. But Liberals got cocky. We thought, we actually believed, that recognizing the rights of all in real ways was an actuality. It wasn’t. White privilege raised a paternal fist and snatched it back, “Now, now. That’s enough. You’re getting out of hand.”
The dream of equality was just that–a dream. Women still have only what the benevolent men in their lives agree to give them. The same goes for the LGBT community, and all people of any color other than white. My husband, my beloved Frankie D, said it perfectly this morning, and he has no idea how it exemplifies my biggest fear. “You know how important you are to me.”
To me. Yes. To him. My adoring, white, well-off man. I’m important to him, but I’m not important to this country as a woman. None of us are. That has been proven by the fact that Donald Trump will be our president for the next four years.
Someday, people are going to understand that my brother’s right to marry his husband of thirty years has no bearing whatsoever on their marriages. They’ll understand that a woman having an abortion for any reason is a personal, heart-wrenching decision, not theirs. Saying, “Happy Holidays” isn’t a slap in Christmas’ face, and Black Lives Matter doesn’t mean others don’t. Being Muslim doesn’t make one a terrorist. Identifying as transgender isn’t a new craze destroying our youth and robbing the sanctity of our bathrooms. Someday. This is, apparently, not that day. Willful ignorance has won.
Mexicans aren’t stealing your jobs. They’re working jobs Americans won’t work for a pay they’d never be able to afford to live on. These are not the people bringing drugs over the border. That’s not going to end, with or without a wall. Believing that overseas jobs are the bane keeping Americans out of work is far too simplistic a response, and as right as it is wrong. “Made in America,” isn’t just a patriotic slogan; it’s the reality of paying an American at least a fair minimum wage. When we can no longer go to Walmart and buy a pair of jeans for $12, and instead have to pay $40 for the same pair, let’s see how people feel about a global economy.
White. Male. Straight. Christian. Middle-to-Upper Class America, and those who believe that’s the end all, be all of existence, you’ve made yourself perfectly clear. Global warming is a myth, because believing it’s real is far too scary. You feel threatened by others sharing your privilege. You fought back, and you’re proud of that. You’re taking back your country, and going to make it great again even if it’s on the backs of others, at the expense of others, because that’s how all greatness is attained in the world you’ve built. Not by building each other up, but by keeping everyone else down.
For me, there will still be holidays with beloved family, and vacations. I’ll go to book club and writing group. Books will be written, and books will be published. I am ensconced in the white privilege I eschew; life will continue. It’s darker now. All I believed about the inherent goodness in people has been proven false by the election of a man who represents bigotry, racism, and misogyny, whose platforms hinged on fear and division. He is the face of our nation. The face we are showing the world, and I am ashamed.
I want to be proven wrong. 100% wrong, even 50% wrong. I DO NOT WANT TO BE RIGHT. Time will tell.