The Morning After

“…We’ve spent a year and a half bringing together millions of people from every corner of our country to say with one voice that we believe that the American Dream is big enough for everyone — for people of all races and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people, and people with disabilities…”

-Hillary Clinton, the morning after the 2016 presidential election was decided, November 9, 2016.

The morning after November 8, 2016 was not an easy one to stomach for millions of people in the United States of America.  The morning after the 2016 presidential election was a morning of anger, sadness, fear, shock, as America came to face the painful reality of what had happened just a few hours earlier.  The morning after was not one to celebrate.  The morning after was a time when people were genuinely concerned not only for the future of this country, but also for themselves.

And these feelings don’t just end once the clock strikes noon and the “morning” after is technically over.  No, these feelings will remain for at least the next four years, while Donald Trump is President of the United States.  Donald Trump, an enigma himself, a man who has singlehandedly shattered my faith in this country, and the faith of many others.  This man is now our president-elect.

People can keep denying all they want that racism, bigotry, homophobia, discrimination, don’t still exist in the world, and America particularly, but electing Donald Trump, a man endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan who has spoken such hateful rhetoric, is proof enough that these horrifically backward ideals still exist, and are entirely more prevalent than we care to acknowledge.

Today, I am not proud to be an American.  Today, I am ashamed to call myself an American.

I am ashamed because as a feminist and a woman, I know the glass ceiling is still very much intact, and women are still fighting for representation, equal rights, and the ability to be respected.  I am ashamed because as someone who struggles with a disability, I am unsure of how more ignorant and hateful ideas will affect others living with these and other disabilities.  I am ashamed because we will now have a Vice President who believes in conversion therapy for LGBT people.  I am ashamed for immigrants, for minorities, for anyone who feels their voice will never be heard.

And I am ashamed because the great strides and change we have had throughout the past eight years have now been eliminated.

I want to live in an America that celebrates diversity of people, of thought, of opinions and ideas, rather than stunting that diversity.  One day I would like to see an America where all people feel important, and nobody has to live in legitimate fear for the well-being of their lives.

Even still, although the morning after the 2016 presidential election was a disheartening shock, I still have not lost all of my faith in this country.  As Hillary Clinton stated, we truly have spent so much time bringing people all over the country together, and we can’t give up now.

Now, more than ever, our country needs to come together and be strong against the ideas of bigots, of racists, of homophobia.  And I believe we can.  We can be strong, even in times of adversity and times of fear, in times of anger and times of sadness.

Together, we can turn the morning after, and every day next, into a renewal of hope.

“…You know I believe we are stronger together and will go forward together. And you should never be sorry that you fought for that.” 

-Hillary Clinton