Today is a scary day for me, and for many Americans. I am full of fear, and I honestly can’t say that I am being buoyed by hope and love and friendship. Because I’m not. I’m not comforted by people, including my own husband, telling me that “everything is going to be okay.” I know that these words are full of love and the best of intentions, but they have no impact on me right now. I am terrified. I was legitimately afraid to take my dog on a walk this morning, because I didn’t want to face the outside world and the horrors it holds. I went to bed in tears last night, and I woke up with them as well. I am terrified.
I don’t know what our country’s future is. I don’t know if our President-elect will actually follow through with his hateful rhetoric. I don’t know if the policies and Supreme Court decisions and laws that preserve my choices as a woman and a person of color will be upheld or tossed aside. Hell, I don’t know if I can go to yoga anymore because it’s full of strangers who might have voted for hatred yesterday instead of hope, and I don’t know if I can handle that.
But, even as I give a voice to my very real fears and my lack of knowledge of what is to come, I do know one thing. I MUST RESIST. And I must give my resistance, and myself, a voice.
Yesterday, many white Americans voted for Donald Trump. Not because they are evil, not because they support authoritarian regimes, not because they want to watch the world burn. The majority of white Americans who voted for Trump voted for him because they literally have NO idea about what marginalized people go through every day. They have no idea. They don’t understand that everyday racism and sexism aren’t as explicit as “Grab them by the pussy” or dummies being hung by a noose on Halloween. Racism and sexism in America are implicit. They are ingrained within our language and our behavior, when we use words like “thugs” to refer to unruly black children or when we whistle at women in the street like they are dogs. We have learned these behaviors over time, internalized them, and have deemed them appropriate and normal. Trump’s white voters don’t see these behaviors as social constructs, they see them as objective, biological truths. And for me, right now, that is our biggest problem.
So my resistance today is finally starting a blog dedicated to reading and analyzing books written by women of color. I’ve been putting this off for months, because I didn’t think anyone would care about my words or read them. But today, I realize that my voice is important. I realize that I have to work even harder now to shatter all of the implicit biases we hold inside of ourselves. I want white Americans to understand that women and people of color are so much more than the stereotypes that we have assigned them. I want to help dismantle the ways we think about color and gender in this country, because last night proved that many of our citizens need this. I don’t have all the answers, but I’m willing to work to find them. This is the best way I know how.
I am scared, I am worried, I am repulsed. But I have a voice, and I’m going to use it to resist. You have a voice too, and despite all of the horror and fear I am feeling right now, I hope you join me in using it to fight the fight of our lives.