I am devastated. Over the last few days, I've cried dozens of times. I'm a person who's interested in politics - my parents raised me to care about the state of the world and my impact on it - and because my friends know that about it, it means that my phone was blowing up and my notifications were haywire on Tuesday. I had to turn it off and sit in the dark. I'm still being tagged in political posts and sent messages of "have you seen this?!" and I just am ignoring everything right now because I can barely function as it is.
Tuesday, I fell into a restless sleep until Matt came to bed at 2:30am. I rolled over and asked, "Is it bad news?" And he whispered, "Yes." And then we just clung to each other.
Like grief, it's hitting me in waves. I'm crying as I hear kids as young as 6 and 7 coming off the buses at school, talking about how much they don't like him, that he's mean, that they're scared. Their little faces are so worried and drawn. I cry behind my sunglasses.
I check my phone midday and it's a gut-punch to see his face on my twitter, my Facebook, in texts. Volleyball takes me mind off it; I cry on the way home. I go for a run - it helps a little. I cry in the shower after.
And it needs to be said: white women were complicit in this outcome. He couldn't have won if they hadn't voted for him. A much-too-high percentage of educated white women voted for this monster, and I am ashamed. I will do better to do more next time.
I think of Elizabeth, who worries for her immigrant husband and step-daughter. I think of Scott and Robby, just months ago so glad they could be legally married anywhere and adopt children in the future. I think of the few Muslim students at our school who have always stood out due to their hijab and who now may be fearful of that fact. I think of the 80% of our students who are immigrants or first-generation Americans. I think of my friends battling chronic illnesses that, thanks to Obamacare, they finally had under control and could afford to treat. I think about my friends' young children and the wasteland our world may become in their lifetime because of climate change denial. Not to mention the global threat of war and economic collapse that we're looking at if this president-elect keeps ties with Russia, flouts the UN, and treats our allies like garbage. I think of the strangers in these situations, people I've never met and never will meet, living in earnest, genuine, and justified fear because of the hatred and violence this man has sown.
This man, who will be our president.
This man, who has the House, Senate, and at least two seats on the Supreme Court on his side. We're looking at decades of damage in our future.
To leave this country would be to let them win, to let regressive policies and dangerous racism take root. I imagine the Jews in 1930s Germany whose neighbors hid them in their walls and beneath their floors and did what they could in the face of fascism, and I want to be that person who will put myself on the line for what is right.
I hope it never comes to that, but this tide of hatred won't be easily reversed.
So what can we do now? Donate to organizations that fight hate. Tell those in your life who may be targeted that you love them and are thinking of them. Touch base with them frequently. Don't be silent. Keep speaking up against the propaganda, the lies, the people who tell you that you must respect this man because now he is president.
I refuse to cower. This election lit a fire in me because I truly admire and respect Hillary Clinton and knew she would be the best president - not just this year, but any year. The harsh reality of her losing proves to me how much we needed her to win, and that we still have a long way to go in this country.
I am heartbroken, but in time I will rise again stronger, angrier, smarter, and ready to fight.
Organizations to consider donating to: Environmental Defense Fund, Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Campaign, and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Please, if you know organizations that will help in this fight, post them in the comments below.