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.