Spoiler Alert: I’m Not Happy About This
Strike me down. One blow after the other until I end up dazed on my knees. Take your hands and slowly wrap them around my throat. Squeeze hard at first but then squeeze with all of your strength once you see me resist. Lean in and whisper in my ear the things you were too hesitant to say before but now feel empowered to because your locker room buddy is running the country. Call me a nigger and then smile.
You can do those things because you’ve won, right?
This is what I feel on the inside as a Black man with Donald Trump being named as my country’s 45th president. Sure, a Trump presidency is historic but only because it shouldn’t have happened. Trump supporters are blinded and this has absolutely nothing to do with political party affiliations. It is because Trump strategically chose to join what seemed to be a vulnerable party in an attempt to weasel his way into the White House. Wait, you didn’t know Trump has repeatedly left the Republican Party since the 1980s? Yeah, about that. And there were gay Trump supporters, too! White gays who do not feel attached to the daily struggles of the LGBTQ community (it’s called homonationalism) despite the fact that Vice President Mike Pence is so incredibly anti-LGBTQ. He thinks being gay is a choice.
I’m brown, I’m gay, Donald Trump is our president and I am terrified. Why does my country, the place I am meant to call home, hate me so much? I need to begin investing in better outerwear because with him as the commander in chief, I really am standing on the cold, cold outside. My heart breaks when thinking about my teenaged niece and nephew. They don’t fully understand how the world works and I don’t expect them to as it is something I struggle with as an adult. One thing I’m certain of is that with this morally bankrupt criminal leading our country, I am afraid that my heart will break so many times that there won’t be much of it left long before his first term is over.
He wants to “fix” our inner cities but anyone with half a brain knows what that really means: gentrification and resegregation! Make those dirty roads sparkle again…but if you want to enjoy that new sparkle, it’ll come at a premium. Trump will “fix” things so well in our inner cities that any current occupants will be priced out of their homes to a new location which, in time, will be labeled an “inner city” by officials.
Great fixes. Really great fixes. Massive fixes.
I realize that he might very well be in office for the next four years so I’m trying to figure out how to fix my heart so I can make it through. The hate he has drummed up across the nation should frighten so many people. The lies he has blatantly told should be frightening for so many people. The way he speaks about women, the disabled and minorities? This should be frightening for so many people. But it seems to entertain them. This should be frightening. He says he’s going to be the president for all but I think what he meant to say was “for all…of my people.”
Oh, you thought Trump cared about anyone other than white people? Here’s a snapshot of Donald Trump’s long history of racism.
My heart needs to be fixed so it can withstand the blows of uncertainty coming my way both professionally and personally. I am tough and it takes a lot for me to crack but I am but a human. One can only endure so much pain before they fall down. I don’t want to fall down and I don’t want to be set up to fail.
Like you, I’ve experienced setbacks in the workplace. However, with how our country has conditioned us, I always wonder if my skin color has anything to do with the aforementioned roadblocks. I once read that you cannot gain respect from others if you don’t have power.
If you factor in microaggressions, I have to report that I’ve often felt disrespected at work because white people just don’t seem to know what is or isn’t offensive. I’ve felt disrespected when younger, less experienced white people advance to bigger salaries and grander titles in the same field as me. If my career began with a Black man as our president and I’m still two steps behind because of my skin color, what will a Trump presidency bring?
After his victory speech, I ordered an Uber Pool to take me home from a friend’s apartment. As I approached the car, I imagined the driver suddenly pulling off when he saw me. I’ve been discriminated against before with drivers but thankfully this wasn’t one of those instances. While in the backseat, I couldn’t stop my mind from thinking about Trump’s (foolish) gay supporters who had been victimized by their heterosexual counterparts. Not even Trump supporters were safe from Trump supporters! What could this mean for the rest of the LGBTQ community? Will those supporters who hates us fags think it’s okay to take out their aggressions on us even more? Will they be allowed to attack at will and walk away with nothing more than a slap on the wrist and maybe a few hours of trending on Twitter? Will they be allowed to cause me harm for not being white? Hell, will a cop now feel even more justified in gunning me down? Abused by the public for being gay and abused by police officers for being black.
When I was a kid, I felt like I didn’t belong so I turned to literature and would read just about anything I could. I read above my grade level and devoured books my mother definitely did not approve of. I taught myself how to type on an old typewriter she brought home from work and would noisily create my own short stories. I was the kid who wanted a puzzle for Christmas rather than a cool, trendy Tamagotchi. I also have a speech impediment which, at a young age, was incredibly embarrassing so I chose to speak in my mind most of the time. Growing up, my parents would talk about how easy it was for me to tell stories and it was because I had imagined so many alternate lives and universes for myself that it was easy. It wasn’t until I moved to New York City in my mid-twenties that I learned what true self-confidence was. As I take a look at who Trump is as he prepares to move into the White House, I don’t feel confident with my status here in this country. I don’t feel like I belong.
The beauty in what America is supposed to be is unfortunately not my reality nor is it the reality of countless others that look like me. America is not a utopia. This is the world we have been living in our entire lives but I still choose to be a positive individual. The day after the election results, someone said to me “Keep your head up.” Another person commented on a Facebook post of mine that they were just as “angry” as me. Both white people, both out of touch and both speaking without really thinking. It is not just me who needs to “keep my head up.” It’s the entire fucking country. And I’m not angry. I’m irritated, hurt and scared.
Life goes on. This I know. As long as I rise with the morning sun, I truly believe that I have the opportunity to do something great and be someone who adds value to the world. Even still, I would be lying to you if I said I was totally optimistic about what my future looks like with a man like Trump in charge. Today, it doesn’t feel like a bright future. Today, it feels dark and heavy. If anyone knows how to help clear out some of this thick confusion in my mind and in my heart, please let me know because I’m looking forward to tomorrow.