“Oh come on now..”
That’s what the checker said to me as I was trying to buy groceries this morning after he asked how I was doing and I replied, “Not very good.”
“Oh come on now.”
But then I looked at his face, a white man in his 50’s maybe 60’s, and I realized this is what someone like him has been doing to me my whole entire life. Shutting me down. Telling me to get over it.
You’re a girl, you’re being too emotional.
It’s not like you’re still in the civil rights days.
I will NOT LET WHITE MEN DICTATE MY WORTH OR WHAT HAPPENS TO MY BODY ANYMORE. I will not let someone tell me to be quiet like what I have to say isn’t valid, like my struggle isn’t valid.
I walked into that voting booth yesterday with a swagger. Because for the first time when I voted I wasn’t even thinking of myself. I was thinking about being a black person voting, what that means to my ancestors. I thought about being a woman voting, what that means to my ancestors. I was a black woman voting and that meant so much in that moment to me. We were about to change the world, we were going to stand up to hate and break a glass ceiling.
But then Trump won.
I couldn’t stop crying. All I could think of was the horrible things he had said. The terrible uprising he had started. People thinking it was ok to be vocally and physically hateful. All of the terrible things that could come. That we have to endure 4 years of this. And who knows, after a hard fight again maybe 8? America had shown its true colors, and they were white and red.
But just like the shirt that Ava DuVernay wore to start the filming for A Wrinkle In Time said, “I am my ancestors wildest dreams.” My grandmother did not pick the goddamn cotton fields of Alabama for me to curl up and cry. I think about the lives my father had and his mother and their parents before them. Lynchings and beatings and hate spewed in their faces and STILL THEY SURVIVED. They continued on because they knew one day down the line someone like me was going to be able to walk into a voting booth freely. Vote without hatred, without picketlines.
So this has started a fire in us. I can’t let this be a spark that just goes out until Trump starts his first hateful act, until Pence starts trying to strip the rights of the LGBTQIA. We have to keep fighting, never slow up, never back down. We have to be a constant fire, a constant blaze. We have to keep proving to those who voted that they don’t speak for all of us. This is going to be a hard fight and we can’t crack when it’s not easy. Those before us didn’t crack and it was so much harder. They did it for us. Let’s do it for the people after us.
They’ll put us in the history books that yes we let a monster get elected but we defeated him and came out of it with so much love for each other we could barely stand it.