“Morally, there has been no change at all, and a moral change is the only real one.” – James Baldwin
For weeks, when I would discuss who I wanted to win this year’s presidential election, my answer would be no one—this answer still remains true. The follow up question would then be who I expected to win, and my answer, without a doubt in my mind, would be, Trump.
I don’t really have to explain why I feel this way because the history of American political structure patterns has explained it for me. It makes perfect sense how Donald Trump would win America’s blackened hearts, seeing as how in 2016 I can ride down any street in my home state and see confederate flags plastered in the middle of front yards.
I went into this process knowing that I wouldn’t feel safe in my own skin, no matter what candidate won. My body and my sanity would remain at risk.
On one hand, there’s a rich white man doing what rich white men do. And on the other hand, there’s a rich white woman pandering votes off of her woman-ness. On one hand, one has no policy. And on the other, one makes empty promises. Neither of these motives tell me what’s in my best interest will ever be taken into consideration. My best interest—because history has taught me that I can no longer be concerned with the well being of a collective “we,”—because “me” or “us” or “others” have never been involved in the wellbeing of this “we,” tells me that I have nothing to look forward to—because a big portion of American society possesses some of the same traits as the candidates they are pretending to despise in public. All the while, “the lesser of two evils” narrative that our society has continued to push, never cancels out any of the evil.
First and foremost, we have to address the “we” that has allowed this to happen. It was not the LGBTQ+ community; it wasn’t the Muslims; it wasn’t the Mexicans; it wasn’t the blacks; it was white people.
This is ya’lls problem. Deal with it.
But Trump has won the election and now white people are mad. So of course, if white folks are angered, we just have to take it seriously because it’s real. But white people stay mad. White people being mad is nothing new, yet they clearly weren’t mad enough to vote against him. This is where truth needs to make its way to the surface. Nothing in my body would allow me to understand the uproar or the “surprise” people felt when the results came in because Donald Trump is exactly what America embodies as a country. As much as we pretend to live in an accepting “post-racial,” “post-sexist,” “post classicist” society, we haven’t left behind the trauma and death and bigotry that is engraved into this country’s DNA.
But this isn’t a Trump bashing post. This isn’t even about Trump because he isn’t one man working alone. Donald Trump is just the vessel through which American hate could breathe out in the open without fear of consequence. Donald Trump is just the catalyst to say what the nation has been feeling (since forever) out loud. And he was immaculately successful in executing his mission.
Trump’s presidency affects me, sure, but no more than any other white man or woman has affected me up until this point in my life. And it is not mine, or any other minority’s fault that this happened. The blood of this election is not on our hands for we are not of the majority. It’s in the hands of white people in power who handpick the direction this country will go. And because the majority has to face a semblance of responsibility for their actions, they feel like their world is ending.
But my world felt like it was ending in more literal and detrimental and institutional and systematic ways hundreds of times, way before Trump claimed his power driven throne of presidency. So why should I be active now when guns were pressed to my back and no change was made at my disposal? Because white people are beginning to feel the pressure of their own wrath? I think not.
I think that if this country possessed some form of morality that lasted beyond their capitalist means and their yearning for a title instead of being okay with a member of the republican crowd yelling out “KILL OBAMA!!!” we can begin to talk about change. But tradition has it that when you align yourself with America’s immorality, the sky is the limit. And when you add a billion dollars on top of that, you can even become President of the United States. But without that moral compass, and without the oppression of poor folks ever affecting their pockets, nothing else matters, and change is nonexistent. Therefore black lives still don’t matter, trans lives still don’t matter, and basic natural resources such as water will not matter. Nothing matters until it matters to white people. And gotdammit, this election mattered to white people.
As previously stated, they are mad now. So I guess I gotta be mad with them. But I’ve been terrified, angry, confused, disrespected, and shunned. I’ve been mad. I know mad. I’ve been mad when white folks weren’t mad enough. I’ve been mad when white folks didn’t give a rat’s ass about what was happening in our world. So now, I cannot help but sit back and wonder where all their confusion stems from when what they’re feeling has just been nothing more than my life for so long.
Donald Trump won the presidential election because America thrives on hate. This isn’t a new revelation. This is how it’s always been. And I may get called pessimistic, but I am very optimistic that America will remain exactly the same—and that is the root of our evil.
And yet, I always feel like I am being forced to care more than I do because when white people are mad, a change gone come and we all wading in the water together and we’re one big melting pot because we gotta get the white people what they want. We gotta get them back what’s theirs.
But when we do this, when we help, we aren’t tending to our needs. We help and then we still get left out to dry, because these open arms aren’t always two-way streets and these open arms are sometimes met with closed fists.
It’s been one week since we got the news and people have been apologizing to me for letting this happen and telling me how afraid they are for this country’s future and I don’t care. I’ve heard people say that they now fear for their lives because of this. Well, my whole life, I’ve feared for my life so why does it matter now? Why is this the pivotal moment? Because white America has felt oppressed under a colored democrat for the past eight years?
They have gone to extremes to reign supreme and the price they have paid is gravely.
White America got what it deserved. And I cannot feel sorry about.
I can only try to figure out how I can preserve, how I can maintain, because this country I live in will never make it safe to be my kind of human. I cannot concern myself with something as small as the presidency just because I am supposed to. I cannot focus on protesting because I’ve done that an unimaginable amount of times just to have ears plugged up by boredom. I cannot be shocked or upset that this man is about to ruin our lives because America has failed me, has failed us, long before Donald Trump secured that oval office. But that’s something no one ever wants to talk about.