I don’t normally write this sort of thing, but this isn’t a normal sort of day is it. I’d hoped that today I’d write some sort of cynical analysis of US politics, but instead, I’m writing this, as an open letter of sorts. This is a letter to people who voted for Donald Trump. This a letter for people who are celebrating his election on social media. This is a letter to those who are saying that people who are afraid of a Trump presidency or need to “get over it.”
I know you’re angry. I know not all of you are bad people. Some of you are. You know who you are, so if you wouldn’t mind, treat yourself to a holiday. Somewhere near a volcano. Or in one. But to the rest of you, I have one question, really. Now that the USA will be led by a man who branded Mexican as rapists, who wants to ban Muslims for entering the country, who wants to defund Planned Parenthood, roll back Roe vs Wade, end fragile stability with Cuba, bomb the family members of ISIS, and who thinks his status allows him to sexually assault women….
What am I supposed to say?
What am I supposed to say to the kids I tutor? Those four year 9 boys, decent kids mostly, who come to me for advice on Shakespeare, who I overheard talking in a sexist manner about a girl in their class? We had a long chat after a lesson about respecting women, about using the privileged position as men to fight for a better world, and they listened and they learned. They look to me for guidance. They listened to me when I told them not to be a bully. What am I supposed to say to them now?
What am I supposed to say to some of the young girls I work with, who have opened up to me about sexual harassment they get, about how they feel afraid to talk their desires, hopes and dreams, about how they get pestered to send nudes, how they get groped, how they don’t feel comfortable asking questions in case because of the sniggering of the boys. They’re 13. I tell them that they can find strength in solidarity, that they can value themselves, that they can respect themselves. What am I supposed to say to them now?
What am I supposed to say now to the American girl I met, who is queer, and half Mexican, and whom I have spoken to for hours today, because she wanted to take her own life, because she is now afraid of going home, afraid she will not have a home, afraid that she will be attacked as soon as she gets off the plane? What am I supposed to say to her, now?
Revel in your victory. Be a troll. Plant yourself on an ironic, detached pedestal and laugh at “snowflakes.”
You still can’t give me an answer can you?