I went home and cried last night. I sat on my floor and cried on my roommate’s shoulder for what I believe is going to be the loss of civil rights, basic human rights and the actual loss of lives for so many in our country.
Today, many of us are left wondering how a racist, sexist, misogynist, xenophobic, demagogue who is facing rape charges got elected president of the US. Perhaps Donald Trump spoke to a populace who was tired of the broken promises of career politicians.
Perhaps it was a demographic who had lost hope in their government and decided to put their faith in an outsider and see what would happen. Perhaps it was also a demographic who just really didn’t like or trust Hillary Clinton.
While all of these things are very true, we must acknowledge the fact that race also played a crucial role in this election.
The Guardian reported today that “preliminary exit polling showed a stark racial divide in the voting booths, with white voters, men and women, voting overwhelmingly for Trump, while Clinton carried all non-white voters.”
CNN exit polls, which are currently still being updated, show the same contrast. Trump carried white men and women of all ages and educational levels, while Clinton carried all other groups.
We must acknowledge how Obama had to be near perfect while Trump can talk about grabbing women by the pussy, not pay taxes, have an upcoming rape lawsuit, multiple bankruptcies, and three baby mamas. This is the privilege of white mediocrity personified.
Today, many of us have woken up in a country in fear. I truly believe that a major cause of Trump’s win was due to the election of Barack Obama and the Ferguson Uprising, which led to national protests and the Black Lives Matter message.
The truth is that when black people start asserting ourselves, white supremacy refuses to allow this and smacks us back down however possible. History backs up this theory when you look at the Red Summer of 1919, the Ocoee massacre of 1920 and the burning of Black Wall Street in 1921 just to name a few. Black progress has always threatened the reign of white supremacy.
To be fair, it’s less than 24 hours since the results were called, so it’s unlikely we will have any more concrete ideas of what else went wrong anytime soon, but one thing is certain; I now believe this is a Pharaoh Moment.
If you’re familiar with the story of Moses in the Bible, the pharaoh was evil, arrogant, egotistical and believed his power was absolute. He was cruel, violent and oppressive, which caused Moses to follow God’s word and free the Israelites.
Had pharaoh been a middle of the road type guy who was pretty bad, but with some good qualities, the resistance that Moses led may never have happened. It had to be intolerably oppressive for them to open their eyes and see what needed to be done.
If we look at the results of this election the same way, maybe this was needed to make real change and real revolution happen. I realize that it takes a massive amount of privilege to say that we needed a demagogue like Trump in the white house for people to see the true state of our nation, while minorities will be the ones to truly suffer under his regime. This is a privilege that I myself, don’t even have because I’m on the chopping block too.
However, had Clinton won, many of us, myself included, would have been lulled into a state of false security. We would have felt content with our “lesser of two evils” and most likely done nothing to fight back against the continued systemic inequality, war mongering and white supremacy that still permeates our nation and would have continued under Clinton, because in our minds, at least it wasn’t Trump.
This is our pharaoh moment to organize, strategize and commit to this fight. This is our moment to reveal the true underbelly of this country, bring it out of the darkness and face it down head on. Openly commit to dismantling white supremacy, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia.
This is the moment to fight back against the wealthy establishment and career politicians who lie, cheat and steal to keep their seats and line their pockets, while they sell lies to the lower class about who put them there.
This is the moment for all of us to commit to the idea of helping this nation progress. Step out from behind our keyboards and walk the walk. Help people who are unable to help themselves. Volunteer with organizations that are dedicated to progress and the protections of individual rights like the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Southern Poverty Law Center, or the Human Rights Campaign.
Most importantly, this is our moment to show love to one another. We face unimaginable hatred every day we walk out into the world for reasons like the color of our skin, our religion, our gender or our sexual orientation. We look down on one another based on our bank account balance or what kind of car we drive. It’s time to stop fighting each other and fight the corrupt oppressive system that continues to line its own pockets while we fight for scraps.
As Audre Lorde said, “It’s time to acknowledge the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.”
A true reckoning is coming and it’s time to decide what side of history we want to be on because this country is about to learn really quickly that fat meat is greasy.