I, like every disenfranchised person of color, LGBT+, woman, handicapped, <insert marginalized group here> in America; like every lover of humanity; like the world, I woke up to what feels like the erosion of my sanity and I heard the metallic clink of slave irons. I turned off the television before the final call of the election with 4 states still out, and did what I do every night. I prayed. But my prayers were different last night, my heart was racing and I quivered on the inside. It wasn’t from my love and veneration of God , but it was because, for the first time ever in my life, I truly had fear creeping its way around my heart. Its icy grip piercing into my soul, I saw what the future could be and I curled in around myself, trying to break free. I’ve seen the ugliest part of humanity these last months, not that I wasn’t glaringly aware of how nasty people can be.
I was fearful that the bigots, the xenophobes, the homophobes, the sexists, the racists and the demagogues had won. I was fearful that the precious freedoms that I have, like the ability to vote, would be torn from my hands by those who deem me unfit and unworthy. And I cried. I shed tears of frustration, tears of solitude, rivulets of emotions I had surpressed because this couldn’t be possibly happening. This hurt is real, my tears are real, my fear is justifiable. I fear for everyone, every population of people, who were insulted, disrespected, mocked and bullied by Donald Trump and his supporters. I fear for those of us who found out on social media that our “friends” were Trump supporters and closeted bigots, racists, etc. I am genuinely scared that now that Trump has won. I am scared that all of the predators with their racial epithets, slurs and violence will feel absolutely no need to keep hidden anymore. They will feel free and justified in letting it all hang out and that violence against minority groups will ensue, unchecked, as it has with the police force in this country.
A little more than 50 years ago Blacks couldn’t vote; my mother was born in 1960 and she was born without the right to vote. Slavery didn’t officially end in this country until December 6, 1865, that was only 151 years ago. The memories of Jjm Crow are still fresh in the minds of Black America. Last night’s election nightmare has proven, without a doubt, that Jim Crow never died. It was festering in the souls of men all this time and finally reared its ugly head and came out of hiding. This hurt and injustice didn’t just happen to our ancestors. This injustice just happened to us. But for all my fear… I have hope.
I have hope because there will be a resurgence of the Civil Rights movement. A new breed of revolutionaries will take on the mantle of the disenfranchised and we will fight! We will raise up our children to tear down the walls of intolerance and oppression. We will arm them with truth, humility and we will embolden them to challenge anyone who seeks to denigrate others. We are blessed that we still have mentors who fought the good fight and can guide us. This is a rallying cry and we will not be silenced. America, the world, will see that though we grieve at this moment, we don’t grieve as those without hope.
My Seat On The Bus
In the last 72 hours I have learned so much. I opened up to the general public and let the discourse come in. I welcomed the opportunity to have a respectful, open dialogue with others and to share with them the “why” behind the fear and anger that millions of us feel. However, I have seen the paper thin veneer of decency in this country ripped away to expose the seething and venomous hatred that lies just below the surface. It isn’t that I didn’t know how oblivious and hateful some people are. It’s about the people who, for whatever reason, still think and contend that the hurt, anger, grief and protest (which is protected by the Constitution whether people agree with what we’re protesting about or not) is simply and ONLY about Hillary not being elected. Frankly that is woefully inaccurate, ignorant and delusional.
I wrote in my previous blog post that it is so much deeper than that and I meant it. I put it in the plainest of terms; I shared the terrible, painfully racist, xenophobic and violent encounters that were and continue to be reported and was dismissed as spreading propaganda. Are you serious right now?! I don’t know what kind of fairytale world you have created for yourselves but I live in reality. Not some diseased figment of my imagination where racism, sexism, Islamaphobia, xenophobia and hate don’t exist and where all that give voice to discrimination are silenced and told “that isn’t an issue” or “put it back in the deck”.
From my seat on the bus it isn’t the millions of upset people in this country who are wrong, it is those who perpetrated this atrocity who are. Here’s the kicker as I ride the bus of discontent and heartache and look out the window at the scenes as I pass by: many of you see absolutely NOTHING wrong with all that Donald Trump has said and done. You dismiss and trivialize the POV of millions and you refuse to believe or repudiate any of the hate speech and violence that is being perpetrated by Trump supporters. Hate speech and violence that he spurred on and approved of during these last 18 months. But now wants us to tow the line and unite and heal the racial divide. It’s so much bigger than a divide, it is a chasm that is deeper and wider than the Grand Canyon.
Posted by grahamcrackercrumbs09 on November 11, 2016 in Grinds My Gears, Social Commentary
Tags: Donald Trump, Election 2016, Hillary Clinton, Protest, Racial Divide, racism, Rosa Parks, Social Commentary, T. Nicole Graham