“It’s just an election. Why are you people so angry?” “Get over it. Your side lost. Everything will be okay. It’s just an election” “Move on. You will be okay.”
These were the things I read on Facebook after people started to share their worries about a Trump presidency. There were even a few people who voted for Hilary telling others to calm down. “We will be okay. We survived Reagan and Bush, so we will survive Trump.” While I applaud their sentiment, I’m really tired of hearing from and reading thinkpieces from white women, albeit some well-intentioned white women. Frankly, I’m not there yet, and given the information we now know about the percentage of white women that voted for a Trump presidency, most of you need to take a seat and let people of color be heard. Let’s be clear, everyone didn’t survive the Reagan and Bush years. There were thousands of gay men who could’ve lived longer had it not been for the Reagan administration’s abhorrent handling of HIV and AIDS epidemic. Thousands of men and women died in the Iraq war that we recklessly engaged in. Elections have consequences, some more severe than others. While there are many who will be okay during a Trump presidency, there are far too many who won’t.
People voted against their best interests solely for the purpose of staying at the top of the racial hierarchy structure. Their irrational fears of Democrats taking their guns, the factless notion that Latinos are taking their jobs, their narrow-minded idea that gay marriage is ruining the family, and the bigoted idea that all Muslims are terrorists have elected a man who has no plan for the country, bankrupted his businesses, threatened and assaulted many people, repeatedly lied, and stoked racial aggression.
He openly promised to build a wall to keep brown people out. He threatened mass deportation and a ban on an entire religion. He promised to tear apart LGBTQ families by invalidating their legal marriages, and he threatened investigations of black protesters. He sometimes acted like a petulant child, a vindictive bully, a racist, a bigot, a self-serving opportunist, an alleged sexual predator — and they still voted for him. They didn’t vote for him because he’s better for the American economy, because he’s not. They didn’t vote for him because he is going to create jobs because he’s not. They didn’t vote for him because his foreign policies will keep them safer because they won’t. He doesn’t even believe our intelligence agencies. They voted for him to hold on to their privilege. His supporters voted for him because the thought of extending rights, opportunities, and privileges to others was too scary for them to elect the more qualified person, who happens to be a woman. While I don’t believe every one of his supporters is a racist or a bigot, the ones that aren’t stood by and refused to NOT vote for him, and that makes them complicit in his bigoted agenda.
The cornerstone of the Trump campaign was hate and fear of the “others” and rest assured, the policies of the Trump administration will strip the civil rights and further oppress the groups he promised during the campaign. Millions of people will lose their health insurance because he really has no idea what to replace the Affordable Healthcare Act with. Poor people will lose the opportunity of early detection, and some will die because they can’t afford medication or treatment. The environmental protection laws will be gutted and poor people will have no legal recourse when fully mechanized manufacturing facilities pollute their land and water.
Millions of Americans of Mexican descent will lose their parents because they will be deported, regardless of their contribution to this country’s economy. A Trump administration promises reckless and dangerous policies that put trans individuals, especially trans people of color, in danger, rolling back all of the progress that the Obama administration started. Many LGBTQ families will be disrupted because the legality of their marriages will be challenged. Their jobs are also at risk because Trump promised he would repeal Obama’s executive orders, including the executive order protecting LGBT employees working for federal contractors. With the October surprise controversy thanks to FBI Director Comey and the Department of Justice, we can be sure the promises of dismantling the Department of Justice will be kept and will reverse progress on police reform and the safety of people of color.
This country decided that people of color really are second class citizens. This country decided that anyone other than Christians is not welcome here. This country decided gays, lesbians, and trans individuals and the families that they’ve created don’t matter. This country decided that women shouldn’t have agency over their own bodies and healthcare and on election night, this country decided that women who are sexual assaulted and raped don’t deserve a voice. These are some of the people that will not be okay, so stop telling them that their anger is over-dramatic, their fear is ridiculous and that their protests are not American.
Top photo: The AIDS quilt, via Wikipedia
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Jacy Topps is a New York-based writer and PR executive. She writes primarily about fashion, NYC, music, LGBT culture and wine. Her love for Lifetime movies is bordering on an obsession. When she’s not attending fashion events in NYC, you can find her sipping wine and binge watching Gossip Girl on Netflix. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @jacytopps.