Saturday, November 12, 2016

God Bless America

Two weeks gone.

At first, I had nothing to say.

Then, the election happened, and I had so much to say I didn't quite know how to process it.

I had so many people telling me how I should be reacting in the aftermath of the election being called for Trump...Here was my response on Facebook.

Don't tell me to be okay right now, when I and people I desperately love have so much at risk.
Don't tell me not to be scared right now, when I have more than enough to be rightfully afraid of.
Don't tell me not to be angry right now, when I feel as though the God I love and the Gospel I treasure have been twisted and abused.
Don't tell me to be hopeful right now, when our next president did nothing to inspire hope for the entirety of his campaign.
Don't tell me to be polite and respectful right now, when a lack of politeness and respect is what got us here.
Don't tell me not to be sad right now, when the country claiming to be the greatest on earth has proven it is still controlled by hatred and fear.
Don't tell me to be accepting of this right now, when this is not what I believe in and pains me to my core.
Don't you dare tell me, or anyone upset today, what to feel. Let us grieve. Then, we will fight.

Lecrae said something that really resonated with me: "I know that God is in control. But so did Jesus when he wept after the death of Lazarus." Jesus knew he was going to bring Lazarus back to life, and he still cried. I know God is still the same, but I'm still scared and upset.

As a political science nerd, I'm really frustrated with the Electoral College, to be honest. We're living 2000 again, except way worse. The Electoral College is something the founding fathers put in place literally because they did not want the entire "average" populace to be able to elect the president and fall prey to a demagogue like Trump (hey, Alexander Hamilton!). So even though 570,000+ more (and counting) people voted for Hillary Clinton, we're stuck with Trump. Yes, this is only the fifth time that the winner of the popular vote didn't win the Electoral College, but it shouldn't really be a surprise. The system was set up from the beginning because a bunch of old, elite, white men decided not everyone was capable of or deserved choosing the president. Thanks to these dudes, climate change, women's rights, international relations, safety from guns, the right to healthcare, freedom of religion, LGBT rights, the free press, and more are all at grave risk.

I want to explain something, though: I don't disrespect people who support Trump's/Republican economic or foreign policy, etc., arguments. That requires thought and understanding. I know I have plenty of friends who voted for Trump who are also educated, so I won't stoop so low as to call them uneducated or ignorant. What I don't understand, what genuinely confuses me, is people, particularly Christians, who proclaim that they love everyone yet voted for a man who showed hatred and disdain for SO MANY. People's character may be defined by more than this vote and this election, but to me, voting for and supporting a man with this huge lack of a moral compass, who spent 17 months campaigning on hatred, bias, racism, and fear, says a lot about who people are. I don't understand. I don't understand how you can claim to love people and support hatred. I don't understand how Christians can claim to follow Jesus in one breath and support shunning, attacking, and demeaning the very people Jesus would spend time with in the next. I just don't understand.

There are so many stories of racial, religious, and sexually motivated crimes and harassment that have happened since Donald Trump won the election. Women being grabbed in public. Muslims having their hijabs and turbans thrown off. African Americans threatened with lynchings. Vandalism of minorities' property. White supremacist graffiti. Racial slurs being thrown. Nazi slogans shouted. And on and on. This new "great" America scares me to no end.

If you voted for Trump and don't want people to be angry with you for helping usher in the new acceptance and glorification of hate crimes in America or call you a racist/sexist/misogynist/Islamophobe/homophobe, etc., then do something to prove you're not. Stand up for the ones whose lives are being threatened. Say to the white supremacists that they don't get to win, even if they think they do. Call on the President-Elect to rebuke this rhetoric and these attacks again and again until he listens. Do something. Because if you helped pave the way for this, and do nothing to fight back against it or stop it when you know what is going on, then you're partially responsible. As late-night talk show host Samantha Bee said, if Muslims have to take responsibility for every member of their community, white people, then so do we.

I want to believe the best in people, but right now, I have a hard time doing that. I'm angry. Many of my friends are minorities in one way or another, and they're being threatened by people, many of whom use the name of God to justify it. I thought this country was better than racism and hatred and bigotry. I was heartbreakingly wrong and I'm terrified of the effect the next 4 years will have on this country.

But no matter what, I love my country. And I always will. Donald Trump and his people can't take that away from me.

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