The commute to work was somber today. The sky was grey like the clouds had been weeping all night. The air felt thick with unsettled fragments of hope that once were. Reality suddenly became unbearable.
It was late last night, into the early morning, when fear set in. Trump takes Florida flashed across the screen. Florida. Florida? A state that recently mourned the loss of 49 members in the LGBTQ community. Not only was the Pulse Nightclub shooting a terrorist attack on gays, it was a hate crime toward Latinos. 33 percent of Latino men and 26 percent of Latino women voted for Trump. The battleground state had swung right. But it wasn’t until later, Pennsylvania, a state Obama won last election, delivered the final blow.
Thousands of Clinton supporters were gathered at the Jacob Javitz Center in NYC—a venue Hillary chose because of it’s symbolic glass ceiling—when her path to 270 became less probable. Danielle James, style and beauty editor of HelloBeautiful.com, was among the crowd.
“I stepped into an air of anxiety,” she said. “When I walked in at 10 o’ clock, there was no hope in that room. I felt like people woke up for the first time, but by then it was too late.”
Some cried, while others remained hopeful in the final hours. But all, who voted for Clinton, collectively felt the same heartache when Hillary conceded. America what have you done?
Social media was ablaze with memes. The #Mood hashtag reflects feelings of voters in disbelief. We went into the election confident Hillary would make history as the first woman president.
As a woman, I cringed in defeat. Isn’t is just like life for a mediocre man with less experience to get the job? How many times in life are we going to have to take off our heels to accommodate the low-bearing glass ceiling?
I noticed as Trump collected the majority of the electoral college votes, the red in CNN’s political pundits began to glow. They were smiling too hard and overly joyous in the face of Trump’s “impossible” win. Hillary was robbed.
According to them, America had made a statement and it didn’t matter what Trump said about Blacks, Muslims, Mexicans and women; America wanted a new day in government. One led by an inexperienced and grumpy looking orange man with a pinched pout. A xenophobe. Da fuq? If there’s one job that should require overqualified candidates, it is the president of the United States.
What was missing from the one-sided conversation, was the issue of race. Van Jones’ eloquent breakdown of how America felt in that moment was therapeutic.
Like all candidates, Hillary wrote two speeches, but only intended on reciting one. She was more than ready to select her cabinet and ironed her best pant suit. But instead, she delivered a concession speech this morning that moved me to tears.
A look back at the polls proved Trump’s strategy was right. And by strategy I mean divisive rhetoric that left racists feeling validated. It is also never to be forgotten, America’s lack of respect for women. While this is a race issue, it is also an issue that women know too well. An even more alarming statistic is that 52% or White women voted for Trump despite his infamous “grab em’ by the p*ssy.” All of which I attribute to antiquated thinking, ie: women belong in the house, not in office.
93 percent of Black women voted for Hillary Clinton. We always hold it down. Rolls eyes. 53 percent of White women voted for Trump. They let us down again.
I’m convinced, though the rest of us know it to be untrue that White people felt oppressed under Obama’s administration, which led to their heightened sensitivity and fear of the next president.
Clearly, White America lives in a different world, inherent of unseen privileges like generational wealth, college legacy and more. Middle America chose the vote that worked for them without considering the lives of minorities.
But that is not shocking. Racism has been around for years as evidenced by countless deaths of Black men walking to the store, outside the store and in or around their cars. But this just feels like a veil had been ripped off.
I fear what happens now when a Black man or woman is gunned down. I can picture Trump blaming Trayvon Martin for wearing a hoodie, or Philando Castille for reaching for his wallet.
As the aftershock sets in, I find small joy in knowing we came this far. What Hillary did for women will never go overlooked. It’s making me misty-eyed all over again. I leave you with the most important quote from her concession speech and dare you not to cry.
“And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”
Damn America, you sure went and did it this time.
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