picture by 8-bitfiction
Part of me feels reluctant to be typing this.
For hours and hours, it’s been the only thing the western world has talked about, and I can’t help but feel like there’s no need for me chime in as well.
But I think it’s important to say something, whether it’s a new idea or not. We all need to express the despair and hopelessness we are feeling, and we need to be vocal about this, because otherwise, who will? Also, I’m too shocked, too angry not to say something.
I, just like everyone made jokes. I made jokes about 2016. My world crumbled in front of my eyes when Brexit got through in the referendum, so I made jokes about how David Bowie was the one thing holding the world together. And last night, when my friends and I placed bets about the elections, I said that the world sucked and Trump was gonna win. And part of me wants to make a cynical comment that someone owes me a bottle of wine.
Because how else are we going to deal with this? We have an openly racist bigot as the leader of one of the most powerful countries in the world. A rapist as president. A man that represents everything my generation has been fighting for years now.
I’m in a privileged position. I’m a white woman living in Germany, a country with a government that is as flawed as any, but a government that fights racism and fascism and tries their best to create equal opportunity. I am blessed with all the human rights, my life is not threatened simply because I have a certain level of melanin in my skin or because I believe in something and want to express it.
We’re all aware, or should be, what police brutality in the US has done to innocent black men and women, their families and their community. We know that the suicide rate in LGBT+ communities is shockingly high. We know how many families have been ripped apart by immigration laws.
And, up to this point, it wasn’t acceptable. Obama has spoken openly about police brutality, how gun laws needed to be amended. Gay marriage was legalised in many states. Unisex toilets were being discussed. Progress was being made and, most importantly, conservative racists and bigots were shut up by a majority of people empowered by a government that shared their views.
And while there are so many things that can be discussed, so many problems that need to be addressed with the election, I want to focus on one thing.
I want to focus on love. I want to focus on how far we’ve come, how much progress has been made, in people’s minds and in real life changes.
Because now, that the tables have turned and the conservatives have an outspoken president who has been endorsed by the KKK, we need to use our privilege, our youth, our ability to speak out, be that online or on the streets, to support those who can’t.
Things are about to change radically because there’s not as much moral opposition towards hate crimes of any kind. Uneducated prejudice is not only accepted but endorsed and not only in local communities anymore. All the fascists of the world can now see how powerful their voice has become, how much they can do.
And it makes us feel small. It makes us feel hopeless and helpless, but we aren’t.
We can stand beside our friends and speak up. We need to look out for one another in a world that has become more hostile for a lot of people, and not only on US grounds. We need to speak up for what we believe in and we need to stand our ground.
We have been building a society of love and acceptance and support. We have been working for equal rights, for equal opportunity, against prejudice and for friendship. And we won’t let one bigot take that from us.
Right now, I’m angry. I’m hopeless and sad and I feel like my hands are tied and the whole world is doomed.
But I’m not going to let one asshole make me give up hope for an entire world. And I think that’s what we need to focus on. That there’s hope, that we can change things and that even if nothing happens immediately, we still need to protect our love, our values, our passion for what’s right – because it’s all we have and it’s important that we do.