I guess the worst part is I blame myself. I became complacent with the people who were bigots, homophobes, sexists, and racists. I used to fight and argue fervently. I used to persuade. I used to be informed and I grew into this confident, knowledgable person who acknowledged her mistakes and tried to show people the way to equality. I lose that through personal struggle and from fighting so many people. They would hide their worst qualities and would let their ugly sides show in my presence and I grew tired.
I was tired of being called argumentative and of fighting a losing battle. I just grew exhausted too soon and I thought this is ok you can’t change them as long as they are ok with me. But were these people ever ok with me? Did they just tolerate me because I was friends with a particular person or I happened to be the babysitter or a customer or a client. I don’t know and that is the scary part. Those people camouflaged amongst us equal rights fighters but can I even call myself a fighter? I became a sympathizer. And then this happened.
Also it’s the fact that I didn’t listen to those people who have opposing views. Listening is the crucial part of any discussion but how long has it been since we heard the other side. It may be hard but they deserve an ear. Obviously these people have something to say. Perhaps we are presumptuous to think all those who voted for Trump have his exact view on the world. There are those who are racist and sexist and there are those who simply couldn’t decide or they couldn’t agree with Hillary.
I am worried about those I will encounter in the future. Those who are openly hateful or those that are too ashamed to say anything to antagonize anyone.
This is a time to be angry, sad, furious and point at what is wrong with our country. It’s also a time to listen. It’s a time to acknowledge and it is a time to say what is ok and what is NOT ok. I am in mourning and I am disappointed in my own naiveté.
I studied this. I read this. I knew the facts of the racial and religious divisions in our country. However I wanted to believe with all my heart that change was possible. I wanted it to be, I needed it to be. I thought maybe this time we’d win. But it didn’t happen.
What did I do? I voted.
Not much else though and it feels like our votes did nothing. A night that will in infamy. When this country betrayed itself.