I know I’m not the only one sitting here thinking ‘what do I do now’. I know that. I have been through this once before this year, so I was braced for the initial impact, but, still, it’s devastating.
Let’s just get that out there.
This is devastating.
We are living in a world where 59.6 million individuals chose to vote for a man who has openly, loudly, hurtfully attacked almost every group of people who are not white Christian men.
59.6 million people banded together to elect President of the United States a man who was endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan.
I don’t know which I find more devastating. That the United States President elect was endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan or that 59.6 million people said: “Fuck it. We don’t care. We’ll have him anyway.”.
59.6 million people made a conscious choice to tell the world “We’re racist and we want you to know it.”.
I expect a lot of those people woke up on Wednesday and thought “What have I done?” or “It was only a protest vote.” or “I didn’t want him to actually win.”.
And to those people, I say, guess what, too late.
You did do it.
You walked into that booth and you chose to vote for a man who is openly hateful. You chose to vote for a man who will mock people with disabilities. Who will undermine veterans and parents of veterans. Who will laugh about assaults on women and threaten lawsuits against women who speak out about abuse against them. Who will choose a vice president who is so openly hostile to the LGBT community that it boggles the mind. Who will threaten millions of immigrants. Who will suggest that an entire religion should be banned, or at the very least monitored. Who will bury anti-Semitic messages in his speeches and tweets. Who refers to African-Americans as ‘the blacks’ and who, yep, I’m going to say it again, who was endorsed by the KKK.
You did it.
And don’t come crawling out now saying he won’t be that bad or he didn’t actually mean it or it was just campaign rhetoric.
Because, you know, none of that matters.
None of that matters because what he did was tell people that all of this is okay. He told people that all of those who have gone before us – some of them dying in the process – all of their work was nonsense.
He told people that being a racist is just fine, go on, use vile language to describe people, don’t get caught up in that ‘politically correct’ stuff, go on, go on, go on from there.
He told people that it’s just fine to make immigrants feel as unwelcome as possible. All that stuff about America being a land of freedom, open to all, built by immigrants. Horseshit. Kick ‘em out. Go on.
He told people that it’s just fine to harass women, to touch them any way you want to. Go on, grab ‘em by the pussy. Go on, I can even convince a bunch of evangelicals to say it’s okay ‘cause it’s just locker room stuff.
He told people it’s fine to hate ‘the Muslims’, to accuse them all of being terrorists, to terrorize them yourself. Go on.
But, what’s that you say? You don’t believe that. You would never do that. You don’t hate, you don’t abuse, you don’t terrorise.
No. You’re wrong. You do. And you did. And real life people are suffering today because of it.
Maybe you didn’t burn the church, or rip off the hijab, or rape the woman, or tell the Hispanic child he was going to be deported, or beat up the gay man. Maybe you didn’t actually do it, but you elected the man who told all those people who did that what they’re doing is okay.
So don’t come crawling out now and tell us you’re really a good person, that you don’t really think like that.
You want to make it better, do something.
You can’t untick that box. Too late for that. But you can help the rest of us try to make this right.
Remember, more of us didn’t vote for him than did. And we’re going to do our damnedest to fix this mess. And we’d love it if you’d take this opportunity to cross the line and come to the right side of history and help us sort it out.
People, with much more insight than I, have worked diligently to compile a list of organisations that will help foster, support, and protect those now at heightened risk and that will be working over the next four years to ensure the American Dream doesn’t become a nightmare: