I have a friend. She's seven years old. She was born in the United States, but her mom is a former illegal immigrant from Honduras who has gained amnesty through her daughter. She lives with a large, loving supportive extended family, who are all here in the United States in many different status' and capacities. This girl, who should not even be thinking about politics, let alone be terrified because of them, asked my dad what she should do if Donald Trump became president.
He facetiously replied that we would all move to Hawaii if that was the case (the fact that Hawaii is still in the US is irrelevant since logic and reason don't seem to have a place in this narrative after last night anyways). Today, he had to explain to her that he was joking. That it is impossible. That she has to stay in a place, scared for the safety and cohesiveness of her family, for reasons she does not and cannot fully comprehend. All she knows is that she's in danger from last night, because some man she's seen on TV thinks that people who share her Latin American heritage are "rapists" and "murderers", and Americans have shown their agreement by legitimizing his words with the highest office in our nation.
No matter what policies he enacts or what course this country takes, his rhetoric stands and every vote for him MUST be seen as an endorsement of all of his ideological positions, whether it's his comments about women, Muslims, Hispanics, or any other minorities. This type of speech has no place in our democracy, and yet it has been situated front and center, making human beings feel unsafe and forcing a seven year old girl to ask questions that no child should ever have to ask. This election has been disgraceful on so many levels, and the hurt that it has already caused is immense. I would like to think the bubble that I live in, one where diversity is celebrated, is representative of the country, but last night illustrated that this conception could not be farther from the truth. I truly and deeply hope that the Trump Presidency will surprise me, but words do damage and that damage has been done.