I stayed up late to watch the election results come in–but gave up about midnight. It was looking pretty clear that the election was not going to go the way I had hoped it would, although I wondered if I would wake up to a Dewey-Truman upset situation. That wasn’t to be.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around what we have done.
I do understand that there are a large number of people who do not trust Hillary Clinton. While I don’t agree, I do respect their perspective.
What I can’t get my head around is that she was considered to be the most honest and the most qualified of the two major candidates–and yet, a majority of the people who said that still voted for Donald Trump…because they felt he was most likely to bring about change.
But what kind of change?
I hope he will be more like he sounded in his speech…but I struggle with his statement that it’s time for us as a country to pull together and that he wants to be the president for all Americans. That is what I want to…but his whole campaign seemed to be built on dividing us rather than pulling us together.
And I’m concerned that we still don’t understand each other.
While I know this is a blanket statement that doesn’t necessarily hold true for everyone, those who voted for Trump seem now to be saying “It’s time to get over it…time to move on.” But do they not understand the fears and concerns of many who voted for Hillary? those who were the targets of Trump’s divisive rhetoric? those who now fear that this campaign unleashed hateful rhetoric and actions that will be difficult to put back in the bottle because it was made acceptable?
Too many people who were marginalized in the past–and who had hopes that things were changing–are now finding themselves being pushed back into the margins–and fear for their lives…their jobs…their homes…their loved ones.
- Nazi symbols are being painted on the churches and homes of African-Americans.
- LBGT folks have been attacked simply walking on the street and been told they belong in concentration camps.
- Married LGBT couples are fearful about the future of their marriages.
- Latinos have been told they should go back to Mexico, even if they were born here.
- African-American children have been told they should “get back in place.”
- Women are fearful that crude sexual language has become acceptable–and that sexual assaults are “just boys being boys.”
- Muslim women in many places are fearful of wearing the hijab in public.
- Individuals with disabilities have been mocked.
This may not be happening where you live…and it may not be anything you agree with. But over the last several months, the language of bullying has become more acceptable…and those who are the recipients of it (and their friends and allies) have become more fearful of what the future holds.
Yes, I know that our future first lady has said that she will take on cyber-bullying. I really hope she does…but she’s going to have a challenge with that, since her husband’s campaign seemed to free people to be open about their bullying language and actions.
We will heal–I hope. But we also need to have time to grieve–and to listen to (and try to understand) the fears and concerns of those who find themselves wondering if there is truly a place for them in Trump’s America.