I was not sure that I was going to put this on the blog. I am still pretty upset. I know that this is going to be kind of an incomprehensible mess. But that is kind of where I am at right now. I have given myself permission to be emotional.
I don’t live in America but I am American. I vote, I pay taxes, all the things. My job just happens to be in China. I haven’t lived in America for more than a few weeks at a time since 2008. And maybe I missed something?
I am intensely disillusioned. I had no idea that there was this much hate in America. I realize now that I had a fairly rose colored view. I thought that America was a place of acceptance and opportunity. I thought that although there were many things that were not perfect we were striding forward. I thought that we were better than this.
This was such a core belief that I am not sure that I was aware of it until it died on Wednesday. There is no way to reassure myself that things will be okay. Because they won’t. My country just voted into office the candidate that the KKK endorsed, who is shortly going to be on trial for fraud, who was until yesterday (when I presume the woman in question was intensely pressured) going to be going to trial for child rape, who is on video admitting publicly to multiple sexual assaults, and is so unstable he isn’t allowed to have his own twitter password as president. I cannot even.
American’s chose this. And while I hesitate to call every person who voted for Trump (even typing his name is painful) if you are okay voting for a candidate that is sexist, racist, xenophobic and homophobic then your actions speak for themselves. What does that say about my country? I it tells me that anyone who even remotely touches on helping others develop empathy have some hard work ahead of us. BTW: I would like to personally thank all Black women for doing their damnedest to keep this from happening. I wish I could say the same about my demographic. You ladies lead the way!
I have never been ashamed to be American. Even when I first moved overseas and President Bush was still in office (he was deeply unpopular outside of the US) I was never uncomfortable with my nationality. I am today. I am so mortified. I had at least 9 different people from various countries come up to me to tell me how sorry that they were. It was as if a love one had died. Yesterday my assistant principal (who is Chinese) asked me if I was American and I started crying. In the office.
I guess that what I have woken up to is the United States that everyone who was not privileged in the same way I am has always been aware of. That the idea that we are living in a post-racial, post-sexist society is a joke. Maybe our next step as a country is to actually deal with the deep seated racism that underpins our society and that we (and by we I mean White people) have yet to acknowledge. And I am going to grieve for the innocent ideals that I lost.
I am trying to remember that I am lucky. Lucky that I don’t have to be afraid of being physically harmed or tormented because my gender, sexuality, race, or religion. Lucky that my medical insurance can’t be touched. Lucky that I have amazing friends. Lucky that in China I don’t have to worry about the government trying to control my body (yeah, suck on that). Lucky, Lucky, Lucky. But I am still terrified about what this all means.
I am writing this as a straight white woman of incredible privilege who isn’t currently in the States. If I am this freaked out I cannot imagine how scared and hurt and angry pretty much anyone who isn’t a straight cis white Christian man is in America. If you are none of those thing I just want to offer support and to assure you that you are not alone. You are wanted. You are valuable. You are seen.
I moved on from depression to righteous fury sometime in the middle of the night (thank you brain for waking me up at 4am. I so enjoy it.) I might be stuck in this state for a while. I deleted my Facebook and twitter off of my phone for the foreseeable future. I think that it is best that I not have access to that. China’s block on social media is working in my favor for once.
I am pissed. So I will go back to school on Monday, with the leaders of tomorrow’s world, and I will continue to teach them that we are all part of one world. I will teach them that words and actions matter. I will teach them that global warming is real and that we all need to strive for sustainable lives. I will teach them not to be afraid. I will teach them to stand up for others. I will teach them kindness. I will teach them…