Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Night

As a rule, you're probably not supposed to blog when you're emotional but whatever. I'm about to get real here. And I won't apologize for it. It's just shy of 10pm on Election Night and I'm holed up on the couch, a cat nestled against me, multiple fuzzy-soft blankets nestled around me for comfort, a glass of mostly-drunk wine that I honestly couldn't even tell you whether it's good or not because I haven't been paying attention. I think I ate a piece of candy with wheat in it and I don't even care.

I'm am scared. Not, watching a B-level horror movie scared. Perhaps I used the wrong adjective.

I am terrified.

Earlier, I watched a video on Twitter taken at a Michigan poling station in which a white woman called another woman the n-word. And it made me feel nauseated and embarrassed and mad and just plain sad. Achingly so.

Let me take a few steps back.

This morning I woke up to a notification that I'd been invited to a secret (but probably not so secret since there millions of members) Facebook group in which people posted photos of themselves and why they voted for Hillary Clinton. Still sleepy, I started crying. It was like suddenly I'd been allowed into a room full of people who too believe in equality, in love, in voting for a strong, smart, amazing woman who has taken beating after beating and stood her ground and fought harder.

Then at work, continuing to read posts as more people visited the polls and explained their reason for voting, I cried again and again. And I thought okay, we are moving towards a positive future. America came through. We're all smart and strong and going to lead the world with our great decision making! We are awesome.

Except, we're so so so not awesome.

Earlier, on the phone with my mom I learned that my 90 year old grandmother voted for Trump. A few minutes later I burst into tears trying to talk to my mother about how historic today's vote is/was.

THERE WAS A WOMAN ON THE BALLOT. Capitalizing that statement doesn't even begin to express how momentous it is.

I guess if I'm being completely honest, I'm feeling upset with myself. I didn't do enough. My friend has never voted in her life and I didn't push her. I sent her subliminal messages for the past year, hoping that discussing the issues in a light manner every day would entice her to make her voice heard. But it didn't. And back to my grandmother who I love very much, but... I have a feeling she's not the only family member who voted for Trump. And I wonder... If I'd told her that her granddaughter had been sexually assaulted, that I'd been made to feel less than, to feel like nothing more than a part of my body, and that the candidate she was voting for has been accused by 12 women of sexual assault and LAUGHED IT OFF on camera, would that have changed her mind? Surely that would have made her stop and think. Right? See, I should have done more.

I guess I just assumed that everyone watched the debates like I did, and dissected the interviews, and read the articles, and paid attention. I just... I guess I'm most disheartened by realizing that America is not what I thought we were. I thought we were no longer racist. I thought we weren't the type of people to make fun of a handicapped reporter. I thought that (aside from Indigenous Peoples) SINCE WE'RE A COUNTRY MADE UP OF IMMIGRANTS that we'd be accepting of people from other countries, with other religions.

I know that it's a small population of people who get the privilege of a private high school education, I was extremely lucky to have parents able to afford me that luxury, but I didn't realize just how uneducated America as a whole was. Regardless of the outcome tonight, education needs to be a major focus moving forward. This electoral race is a piercing siren for the direction we are headed as a nation if we don't address this major deficiency.

Deep breath.

I don't want a president who thinks touching a woman without her consent is laughable. I don't want to watch his wall be erected along the Mexican border. I don't want to live in a country where people wield the n-word like a weapon. I am not okay with electing a man who made fun of a reporter for the way he spoke. I think we can be better. I hope. I pray.

I guess we'll see what tomorrow brings.

With a heavy heart,
~Stephanie
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