Today’s date is November 9, 2016 and I’m in the San Francisco airport en route to Seattle, WA for a conference. It feels oddly cold and I’m not talking about the weather. The world realized last night that Donald Trump will soon assume the role of Commander in Chief and the Republicans will have power in both House/Senate. Walking through the SFO airport was a struggle as I saw people that resembled me look so hurt, anxious, and disappointed. They know that a changing of the guard is coming in January and it is not in our favor. This guard does not care about marginalized groups (LGBTQ, Black, Latino, Chicano, Muslim etc.) and will have a passion for “making America great again” by any means necessary. Photos from Trump’s camp showed white people elated and jumping up and down together for their leader won. They know they’ve won. They don’t have to worry now. However, WE have to worry and its going to be tough. Whether putting up a wall, rounding up undocumented and Muslim peoples, or instituting policies to increase incarceration rates, it’s going to be a long four years in America if you identify as a person of color.
There are people like me who aren’t more or less afraid of America than Monday to be honest. As a Black man, I’ve always been a target and I tell my queen all the time, that I prefer to see people for who they truly are in life. Show me that you’re a racist, sexist, classist bigot. Don’t hide behind your computer screens or in your home, reveal yourself. When I went to Florida last week, I saw nothing but Trump-Pence signs and I can appreciate that. I knew what area I could/couldn’t be in when I saw those signs. America will continue to be America, but where do we go from here? What can we do now?
Below are a few suggestions that I believe can be of use:
- Take what you need and give what you can. America is a rollercoaster and when times are good, we celebrate and they’re great moments that we share with friends and family. Yet, we have some truly horrible moments in this country’s history that we need to overcome and this is one of those times. Do what YOU need to do to regain control of YOUR life.
- Be careful of who’s in your crew. There is a such thing called “invisible voter” which is someone who says they’re voting for one candidate and actually votes for another. Not everyone that says that they’re an ally or friend isn’t always true.
- Pay close attention to laws that are passed especially on the local and state levels. Many people believe that the federal laws are impactful, it’s really the local and state laws that have a real impact felt closer to home.
- Communicate with your village (friends and family). These are trying times so its important to find others that you can check in with or just be vulnerable with at any time.
These are just a few suggestions and I added some links below for your self-care toolkits:
Take care of yourself people as we move forward through some possible dark times.