My parents moved to this country nearly 25 years ago. I wish I could say that being born and growing up in America has always made me feel like I belonged, but it has not. As I phrased it growing up, I was "American by chance"--my parents could have just have easily decided to move to another country, which would have led to me having a completely different identity. But my parents, as well as countless other immigrants, believed in the "American dream." And for that, I'm sorry.
Over the past several years, I've realized just how much disregard there still is (and I think, will always be) for POC, women, Muslims, the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, immigrants (documented and undocumented), people living in poverty--you name it. I've truly come to believe that America is not a great place. So, the phrase "Make America Great Again" just doesn't make sense to me. I wholeheartedly question whether this nation has ever actually been great. Sure, we have made progress, an example of which is by having an incredible, intelligent Black man lead our nation, over the past 8 years, but at the core of this nation has always been hatred (too many historic examples, past and present, to name). Just usually well-masked.
All things considered, living in America is often better than living in other parts of the world, and there are certainly privileges that come with being American. (I wish I could say there are certain freedoms as well, but as a non-upper class, Black woman and a member of a family of immigrants, I'm not sure America has granted me much of those freedoms. I think my fellow POC, my LBTQ+ friends, non-Christian friends, fellow women, friends with disabilities, and friends who identify as a minority in any other way, probably share this feeling.) However, this country (as well as essentially the rest of the Western world) was literally built on the blood and bones of indigenous people and slaves, and built with the principles of exploitation and oppression guiding the way. In short, hatred and discrimination has always been present in America, and I am definitely disappointed with where we are now, but I am not completely surprised. America does not truly uplift anyone unlike those (namely, greedy White men) who oppressed and hurt others to build this nation.
I am ashamed. I really looked to the nearly non-existent amount of faith I had in America and its people to believe that we'd do the right thing in the end, and save ourselves from electing a man who embodies every form of hatred you can think of. But we didn't.
All I can say is that I am so sorry for all of us who are affected by this most explicit and blatant act of America rearing its hateful and ugly head. I am so sorry for Hillary, for the Obamas and for other leaders who really tried to guide us in the right direction. I'm sorry for the progress that has been made and will now be undone. I'm sorry for my parents who moved here in hopes of seeing what democracy & freedom actually look like. I'm sorry for all the people who will be unprotected by the new leader of this country. I'm sorry for those who put trust into America as an institution and system. I'm sorry for the people who voted for this man. I'm sorry for my 5 young nephews. I'm sorry for the future of this country.
Hopefully, I will be able to have a positive outlook on this at some point. For now I don't, and that's how I feel. If you need to remove me from your social media connections or in real life because of what I've shared, please do. Please do not try to engage in a discussion, especially a contentious one, about any of what I've shared because I have no interest in doing so. I am, though, here to provide consolation in any way I can for those of us who need it.