Election Hangover

It’s three days after the election and I am suffering from the worst hangover ever, an election hangover.  I’m pretty sure the definition of this type of hangover is when not only does your candidate lose, but you feel like your entire country hates you, you’re terrified for your friends and family, and you feel completely alone.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you know by now Donald Trump, yes that Donald Trump, won the election.  He beat a woman who was the most qualified candidate for the job, typical.  I digress because this isn’t about politics but it is about what I felt when I saw  red take over the map.  Throughout his campaign, Donald Trump basically polarized this country.  He separated us by race, religion, sex, social economic class, etc.  In the course of his campaign  every brown person became an “other”, whether it was because they were Mexican criminals, Syrian Muslim radicals, Black Lives Matter sympathizers or simply just women.

Somewhere in those months I began to feel more marginalized than I ever had in my life which is strange considering I’ve been brown my entire life.  Somehow I never felt more out of place until this past year.  I didn’t actually believe anyone could support the things he said and the platforms he proposed but slowly people I thought I knew started to turn against me and people who looked like me.  Fast forward to November 8th and the guy that has been accused of sexually assaulting 20+ women, wants to deport all undocumented Mexican immigrants because they’re “bad hombres,” is going to go into the inner cities to help “the blacks,” and with absolutely zero political or governing experience is president.  And on Wednesday we all had to go to work like that was OK.

I cried Wednesday, a lot.  I cried mostly because I was fearful of the future and what was to come.  I was scared for my family, my friends, women less fortunate than me and women as fortunate as me who currently have the freedom to choose what to do regarding their reproductive health.  I cried to my NJB early in the morning and although he sympathized he didn’t feel the severity of my emotions.

I felt like this all day, that no one in the world felt what I felt like besides my fellow “others.”  It was hard to get through the day and to make matters worse at some point my “otherness” was pointed out again when I was asked if i was an interpreter.  For the record, I’m a lawyer.  However, in a room full of attorneys I looked most like I was the interpreter probably because i was the only brown one.  It’s not the first time I’ve been asked this question but on Wednesday it stung that much more.  So, I came home after a day of not being able to look anyone in the eyes and cried.  I wondered how I could pull myself out of this rut, how other people were already pulling themselves up and I finally sat down and read an email my fellow brown girl and best friend sent me.  She’s an attorney too, a much better one than me with a much more difficult job.  I couldn’t imagine how her day was dealing with with her clients, who are mostly undocumented, calling asking her, “What is going to happen now?”  She told me that at work she’s using her steady voice   She’s going to work everyday and she’s going to do the best job she can do for them and she’s going to continue to use her steady voice.  She’s not going to give up on them because they aren’t giving up on her.

Since then, I decided I couldn’t sit idly by and let the world change around me.  So, I’ve challenged myself to get up and find my steady voice, whatever that may be.  I started with researching causes I’m passionate about and finding ways to be involved and make my steady voice heard.  I challenge all my brown  and non-brown people alike to go out and find their steady voices too, whatever that may be to you.  Whatever you do, do not give up and do not stop fighting for progress.  Find your steady voice and make it heard, I know I will be.

Maybe you can find your steady voice here:

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/get-involved

https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/get-involved

http://www.refugeeone.org/volunteer.html