Last night, I expected to see Hillary Clinton shatter the ultimate glass ceiling and become the first female president of the United States. Instead, I watched in horror as swing state after swing state went to Trump — including my home state of Michigan, which has not gone Republican in my lifetime. After John Podesta said that Hillary would not be speaking that night, I left the dog-friendly Bushwick bar with vegan pizza and election-themed cocktails and got in an Uber Pool. When I checked Twitter, I saw the news: Trump had won.
I don’t have a take yet. I’m just sad, and I’m just scared. I got four hours of sleep and then I woke up and I came into work and I saw women crying on the subway and I’m just sad. I’m grateful that I work in a feminist office where I can be openly upset and where I can talk with my coworkers about how scared I am for our country’s future. I know that very few people are this lucky, that many of you have coworkers and bosses who voted for Trump, that you have to mourn in secret.
Please, be there for each other. Be there especially for your friends who are people of color, who are LGBTQ+, who are Muslim, who are Jewish, who are immigrants or the children of immigrants, who are disabled, who are sexual assault survivors. And take care of yourselves, too.
I don’t have any more words, but there are some smart, thoughtful people who do. Read them.
Roxane Gay in the New York Times:
On Monday night, I was hopeful and excited. I thought Nov. 8 would be an amazing day. I thought we would finally see a woman president after 44 men held the office. To see the highest glass ceiling of all cracked, the idea of that meant so much to me. Now I wonder, will I see a woman president in my lifetime?
I feel hopeless right now. I am incredibly disappointed, but I cannot wallow in these feelings for long. I will not. The world will not end because of a Trump presidency. Tomorrow, the sun will rise and the day will be a lot less joyful than I imagined, but I’ll get through it. We all will.
David Remnick in the New Yorker:
The election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is nothing less than a tragedy for the American republic, a tragedy for the Constitution, and a triumph for the forces, at home and abroad, of nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny, and racism. Trump’s shocking victory, his ascension to the Presidency, is a sickening event in the history of the United States and liberal democracy. On January 20, 2017, we will bid farewell to the first African-American President—a man of integrity, dignity, and generous spirit—and witness the inauguration of a con who did little to spurn endorsement by forces of xenophobia and white supremacy. It is impossible to react to this moment with anything less than revulsion and profound anxiety.
Jamelle Bouie in Slate:
Fifty years after the black freedom movement forced the United States to honor its ideals, at least on paper, it’s clear this was premature. Like clockwork, white Americans embraced a man who promised a kind of supremacy. We haven’t left our long cycle of progress and backlash. We are still the country that produced George Wallace. We are still the country that killed Emmett Till.
Jessica Valenti in the Guardian:
Last night, seated between my 68-year-old mother and six-year-old daughter, I expected to watch the first woman get elected president of the United States. We bought champagne and cake, and promised Layla that she could stay up as late as she wanted to watch. My daughter fell asleep on the couch, still wearing a shirt emblazoned with the word “feminist” and an “I voted” sticker.
This morning, I’ll have to tell Layla that Hillary Clinton lost, that a woman won’t be president. Even more difficult, I’ll have to tell her that Donald Trump won. The man she knows as a bully who says terrible things about women, people with disabilities and immigrants – the man who brags about hurting people and separating families – will lead her nation.
Last night my heart broke for my country, this morning it breaks for her.
Top photo: Flickr/shanmuga varadan asoka
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Erika W. Smith is BUST's digital editorial director. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @erikawynn and email her at email@example.com.