November 8, 2016
I am always excited on Election Day! I am the girl who checks out the ballot weeks in advance, regardless if it is a local election or a Presidential one! It is my way of being involved in something, in part, so I can say I did what I could to see that like-minded people are representing me. It is something that has been instilled in me from my parents, who didn’t even tell us kids who they voted for, because it is “private”.
I thought it would be funny to post a little political satire, a Snapchat Video of me after exiting my polling site saying “This Pu$$y is NOT up for GRABS”. My mistake. TACKY, I know. For the most part, despite the urge to voice my opinion openly, I had followed my mother’s lifelong instructions, “never discuss politics in mixed company, ALWAYS participate in democracy and NEVER tell anyone WHO you are voting for”. Sorry Mom, I let you down. I didn’t outright say I who I was voting for, but I let you know who I wasn’t voting for that day.
I dragged my teenage daughter from her bed to sit with me and watch something I excitedly called “HER”Story in the Making. As the results came in, state by state, I was intrigued by the tightness of the race. I live in New Jersey, I was confident we would go Blue and we did. (By the way, my child quietly abandoned very early on.)
By 2:00 am, waiting to hear from President-Elect Trump, I replayed the many things that triggered my emotions during the campaign such as his comments on Immigration, Muslims, the LGBTQ Community, the Environment, how he treated the Disabled, Women’s Rights and even our Veterans. When he began to speak about uniting again and going forward together. Things I believe in, things I want to do, I was excited once again.
I resigned myself to the fact many politicians say whatever they need to say for votes. So I didn’t cry or stomp my feet, besides I was exhausted. I am an American and this is democracy at work. I already heard the cries of the people that the system was “RIGGED” when it wasn’t looking to favor them, and I thought that was absurd. Thankfully, all the parts seemed to be working smooth, like a well-oiled machine on November 8, 2016, possibly because it went in their favor or maybe because it is what it is and in a race as tight as this whoever won would need to admit they NEED to take something from the other.
Little known secret about me, I have politicians (ALL Republicans!) in my very own family who held political offices for years and some who are in office to date. We share so many of the same values, they are people of great integrity. We respect one another, it works. I don’t believe HATE should be tolerated on either side. A political party does not define a person.
I know firsthand that most politicians will appeal to peoples inner most beliefs and play on them. I am sure they both said things and avoided saying things strategically.
All in all, the election is over, we have a President-Elect and I will respect this President as I have all others before him, as an American.
November 9, 2016
I went to work with a smile on my face and a caffeinated water in my hand. After all, I turned 38 on Sunday and I know I had been through much more difficult things than an election not going my way. I had received a few texts from friends and family, just expressing their emotions and thoughts on the outcome.
It was otherwise a normal day in my life. UNTIL, my phone rang. It was an unknown number but I get that from time to time, so I always answer just in case.
I could hear a TV playing loudly in the background, a man’s voice slurring the words while laughing “HA-HA you N*gger LOVER” followed by “You and that N*GGER need to get on the next boat back to AFRICA because YOU’RE DONE!”, I asked “WHO IS THIS!” loudly and in shock.
This alerted many of my coworkers to look towards my office, as it wasn’t typical of me to speak that loud while on a call. “He responded “YOU KNOW WHO IT IS! This day has been coming, PRESIDENT TRUMP is gonna kick that N*GGER out of the WHITE House and then you and all the other unemployed, welfare N*GGERS with no jobs who don’t pay taxes… disgrace to the white race… no man would want you after being with a black so you’re a N*GGER now too…”
Honestly, I am not sure what else happened after that. I did exchange some intelligent words with the man and the irony wasn’t lost on me that he called while I was at work, yet he seemingly was under the influence of something at 9 am and hopefully not working in that condition.
Several coworkers came back to my desk to “check on me”, I wasn’t upset or scared, just disappointed. One coworker was brought to tears, so I comforted her, explaining that this wasn’t the first time in my life that I have been called such names and I am sure it wouldn’t be the last. This is a reality of my life, maybe even more so now than ever. This is a reality I face more often than you could ever imagine or that I would ever share.
My thoughts are very simple. While I appreciate the concept of playing into people’s emotions and telling them what they want to hear “to get the vote”, there needs to be some obligation to not incite hate. Did Mr. Donald Trump tell that man to pick up the phone and call me those names, absolutely not, but did he give that man the courage to do that, possibly. Is it fair to say that ALL those who voted for Mr. Trump share these beliefs, NOT AT ALL! It was a singular person voicing their opinion on how I chose to live MY LIFE. More importantly, the fact that I have built a beautiful life with a Black man is not something I will hide or be ashamed of – EVER.
In my humble opinion, people have stooped lower than ever during this election on both sides. We have called names, made allegations, said things that we may have had buried deep inside and all because we have multiple platforms to share our voices. The media is largely to blame, as are we for giving them that power. The “news” played such a vital role in this Election and we can all rest assured that we didn’t research every single meme we read to validate it, right? Where was the integrity? We NEED to do better as Americans and as HUMANS. So, I will counter HATE with LOVE, something I do quite often.
Call me naïve, but I always believed America was great. Like everything else, there is room for improvement and I will look forward to trying to see that through.
God Bless America!