The Day After
I thought I'd mentally prepared myself for this. I thought that I'd mentally and emotionally prepared myself for a Trump win, but I hoped -- I hoped so hard -- that I'd be wrong. That I'd be pleasantly surprised by a landslide victory for Hillary. Even though I went to bed at 3am, after sobbing on the living room floor about the Republicans taking the House and Senate, I still had small hope that I'd wake up in the morning and everything would be okay. That Hillary would be our next president, and the Trump/Pence ticket would just be some shit stain in U.S. election history.
I woke up this morning, and the sun was shining. No one had messaged me while I was sleeping to tell me jubilantly that Hillary had eked out a win. There was just silence. So much silence.
And I am sick.
I'm hearing the words "heartbroken" and "heartbreak" being used to describe reactions to today. Sure. That's probably accurate for some.
For me, though, heartbreak is for when your team loses the World Series.
I'm devastated. And so unsurprised. And so fucking surprised. I'm not surprised because I'm a woman of color, and white folks show their asses to me daily. Hourly, some days. And then I look at the numbers --
-- and I think, Who are the white women in my life who voted for Donald fucking Trump? Who are the white women in my life who don't give a shit about me, my family, my loved ones? Who are the white women in my life who would rather have a rapist and abuser lead their country, than a woman who would protect your right to a safe and legal abortion?
And then I think about everything that this administration will undo. The decades of work that folks have put in to make sure abortion is safe and legal (though access is a different story -- what little access pregnant folks have now to abortion care is going to get worse before it gets better). That folks have put in for affordable health care -- a flawed system, sure, but we have more people insured than ever before. I get my insurance through the ACA. My mother, who has cancer, has insurance through the ACA. I have no doubt that this administration will gut the ACA and leave us all with nothing.
And I'm just thinking in terms of the every day.
Last night, I started thinking of all the shit I need to do before the new administration. #1 on that list -- get an IUD.
I guess that's basically it. First and foremost in my mind was how to maintain control over my own body.
The small slivers of light for me: Nevada, my home and heart state, went blue. They went Hillary, and I couldn't be prouder. They also elected the first Latina to the Senate, Catherine Cortez Masto. Fifteen years ago (jesus, was it really that long ago?), if you had told me that my state was going to go blue and be called for Hillary, I would've been in joyous disbelief.
But that only matters to my heart. Unfortunately, it doesn't matter for this election.
The amount of things that will be undone by this administration is massive. It's overwhelming. The amount of bodily danger that so many face is horrifying. Having a violent rapist, racist, misogynist elected to office validates everyone who voted for him to act accordingly. The folks who are low-key racist are, at long last, going to show their ugly-ass faces. Men who are abusers and who rape will continue to do so. (White) men will continue to assault people because we've elected someone who also does it.
The person we've just elected president is on trial today for rape .
Today, I am mourning. Today, I have no tolerance for bullshit or white tears. I am allowing myself a day of grief.
And then, tomorrow, the fight continues. At the heart of the fight: the words of Assata Shakur:
It is our duty to fight for our freedom.
It is our duty to win.
We must love each other and support each other.
We have nothing to lose but our chains.