Tears flew down the side of my cheeks as I snatched my two-year-old son, Ty, from his bed and laid him next to me to just feel his warmth and be comforted by his little snores as I watched state after state turn red during Election Night.
Tuesday night, Donald J. Trump was elected our next President.
Tuesday night, the people that have called me a “mutt” (among other things) and ostracized my family for being mixed, have won. The people who have shamed me for dating an Asian — based off my child’s eye shape and skin tone — have won.
Every being that feels it is “life” and “time to move on” after being privately and publicly sexually assaulted/harassed, has won.
Last night, people who have degraded me — even long-term friends or family members — for how I think and feel on issues because they are different than their own, have won.
Racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia — fear. It all won. A victory that for many, means defeat and misery.
I still feel sick, saddened, and most of all, angry. I also feel an incessant need to keep apologizing to Ty, even though he is, thankfully, completely unaware of the world’s happenings.
So here is my apology list, Ty.
- I am sorry that hatred, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism, and misogyny all won last night. I know that as a mother I can realistically never protect you from these things. And the guilt of being unable to do so is shearing through my stomach like a knife.
- I am sorry that some of your family members and friends that you call uncles and aunts are celebrating in a win that degraded every demographic aside from the rich, the white, and men. That they feel someone who believes in electric-shocking LGBTQ youth until they are “cured” of their “illness” is a fitting vice president.
- In a world that celebrates individualism and shouts for those to be their unique selves, I apologize that you and so many others may feel afraid to show the beauty that is being different.
- There is a possibility that many Americans’ rights like easy access to healthcare and reproductive rights will be taken away, and because of that, Mommy may never be able to bless you with a sibling.
- You may have to carry your birth certificate with you, wherever you go.
- And lastly, I apologize for the many people who are telling our family that it’s all okay. That the “sun will rise” and “we will go about our day.”
And for the children from the before and after-school program of which I am director, it is fact. At seven in the morning, I helped wiped tears and somehow tried to answer questions like “Why does America hate me so much, that they would want someone to kick me out?”
They are all, aside from a few, low-income families of color, thinking that Trump hates them and will send them to Mexico or jail because they are Black, or that the KKK will come hang them in trees. This is what came out of my K-5th graders that were in the morning program.
Do not tell me that it will be okay. That my son is fine because he is “woke up today, breathing.” No one can know. And no one can guarantee anyone’s safety or security if you do not fit Trump’s mold of America.
But what I do know, is that my worries and the worries of these children and the citizens of the United States, even the world, are true and they are valid.
I will fight, every damn day for them. You will forever have an ally in me and I will strive to show others we will not let hate run rampant in this country, despite my disappointment in it today.
I will help protect you, support you, and love you just as I do Ty, even as I may see my own rights slipping away from my grasp.
Trump is #NotMyPresident, but you are my neighbors.
And love will trump hate.