Like most people, I've got a lot of thoughts in my head, so what follows may or may not make any sense. I'm sure many of you are upset or even inconsolable. Its hard not to be, especially if you are personally effected or personally interested in issues like LGBTQ rights, women's rights, immigration, xenophobia, Islamophobia, civil rights, the list goes on.
As a black man, its hard not to feel dejected and fearful about the state of race in America. For years and decades we've been told by elites and media that racism is over. Or at the very least on a linear path toward equality. I think the rhetoric and result of this election finally reveals the reality that black Americans have been aware of this whole time: white fear and white anger are still very much a strong political force. And all of the people who support this rhetoric just got a big confirmation that their ignorance and hate is not only acceptable but victorious.
Given all of the negative aspects of this election, you may still find yourself emotional about the election. That's okay. Take a breather and let yourself feel all the feels. Do whatever it takes to make yourself feel better.
And since I am a helpless optimist, I think I have to end this on something that gives me a sliver of hope. If you watched Donald Trump's speech, you probably noticed that none of his patented vitriolic hate speech was present. His audience hated his speech. He was level headed, respectful, and talked about brining the country together behind easy solutions like infrastructure investment.
And don't get me wrong, he's still a horrible person at his core and he may spend the next four years dismantling the political and social progress of the last 40 years. But if his speech is any indication of his time in office, there's a chance he won't be a maniac. In a 1998 interview, Trump stated that if he ever wanted to be president, he would run as a Republican, since he believed their base was so dumb that he could easily convince them to vote for him. Prescient. This is a man who has previously supported progressive, liberal policies, and maybe in office he will pivot closer to that. After all, we've been wrong about Trump plenty in the past, maybe we're wrong about what his presidency will look like. Maybe he just successfully made the biggest sale of his life: himself as a Republican candidate.
Either way, the fight is not over. And after you take the time to recover, focus on the future, since that's all we can do. All social movements face backlash and although this may be a hard piece of backlash to accept, it is not the end of the social progress that you are fighting for. Resist. In whatever way you can and want to. Write something, protest, start a group, talk to people, embody your beliefs more strongly, there's no one way to do it. Keep your head up. Our generation now knows what complacency and hate can bring. Let's make sure this never happens again.