I have been feeling so many things after November 8th. My head is spinning, I have no idea what I should do, I don’t even know if there is anything I can do, and I’m scared. Writing about it is really the only way I can process my emotions. So, how am I feeling?
I feel simultaneously guilty and betrayed.
I feel guilty that white America did this to Black Americans, immigrants, Muslim Americans, Latin Americans, and Native Americans and Indigenous people. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t personally vote for Trump, or even that my state’s electoral votes went to Secretary Clinton. I know some of my white family and friends probably voted for Trump. While it is conceited to think I can solve racism myself, as a white person, I am partially responsible for maintaining our white supremacist society that allowed someone like Trump to be elected. I didn’t do enough to combat racism. I also realize my whiteness affords me even more protection and privilege than it did a few days ago.
But I also feel betrayed. I feel betrayed as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I feel betrayed as a feminine of center person, and I feel betrayed as a young person who will have to live the majority of their life in a post President Trump world cleaning up this shit. I look around me at the people I know and I can’t help but wonder which of them voted for Trump. Which of them hate people like me and my Black girlfriend enough to elect Toddler Hitler-lite? Which of them have secretly been bigoted toward me? Which of them am I not safe around? I know none of them filled out their ballots specifically thinking about how they were finally getting to stick it to me personally, but that doesn’t really make a difference. I know those in my life who voted for Trump, one of the most obviously racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, queerphobic, sexual predators that have run for public office in my lifetime, hate me.
I feel terrified.
I know I should remain calm and focus on the good things in my life, but I am paralyzed by fear right now. I have this dreadful feeling that my country is turning into a nightmare for people like me. I have a feeling my only options are to fight or flee, and I don’t know if I have it in me to fight.
I feel like I must either become a die hard activist, or move to another country. Honestly, moving to Canada is a feasible option for me, and it’s looking pretty good right now. Otherwise, I feel like I have no choice but to dedicate my entire life to activism. I just don’t know if I’m the kind of person who can make that sacrifice. People lose their jobs for being political activists… People go to jail for being activists… People are killed for being activists.
I know it’s selfish of me to want to take my girlfriend and move to Canada. I know the moral high ground is in the fray with the other activists, protesting, writing, speaking out, and hiding undocumented folx in our attics. But just the thought of such a long, uphill fight for civil rights exhausts me. The self-centered, scared-shitless part of me just wants to run away.
And it’s not just the thought of a Trump presidency that scares me, but the shear number of hateful, bigoted people who evidently live and vote in this country. I don’t want to live in the same county as them; I don’t want to have anything to do with them.
I feel angry.
I’m angry at the people who voted for Trump. I’m angry at the politicians and public figures who endorsed him. I’m angry the media gave him a platform. I’m angry at third party voters and those who chose not to vote (not those who couldn’t vote) for throwing their votes away instead of voting for a woman. (Let’s not pretend sexism wasn’t a major factor in this election.) I’m angry at the men who supported for Trump because he made them feel better about their own sexism and rape-y tendencies. I’m angry at the white women who supported Trump because they’d rather maintain their white privilege than vote in line with their own interests. I’m angry at the immense selfishness of the [predominately white and/or male] American voter. I’m angry that so many people in this country do not care about disadvantaged minorities, or outright hate them.
And I feel deflated.
A big part of me just wants to give up. I hate people, and I don’t know where to go from here.