I woke up last Wednesday with a crick in my neck and knots in my back. I also woke up to the news that Trump won the presidency in the US. That was a rough morning, a rough day, a rough night.
And to be honest, a week later, it’s still pretty rough.
I grew up in the States. My best friends live there: friends who are women, who are racialized minorities, who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, who are undocumented, who don’t deserve this.
And here, in Canada, I am some rubbernecking stranger, watching the highway accident blaze on, unable to do anything.
I’d like to hold my friend’s hand, who told me that they were terrified for their lives, as hate crimes have spiked after Trump’s win. I’d like to be there for my friend who might be one of the 2 million illegal immigrants that will be “removed” from the country. I’d like to be there, in the streets of Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, and protest, and lose my cracking voice and shattering mind, yelling with all the energy inside me, “NOT MY PRESIDENT!”
But I can’t. I’m here. I am safer than my friends. And for that, I am grateful.
Trump isn’t going to be my president.
So my heart is heavy. Because with the two candidates, I saw powerful forces of symbolism. One that symbolized a new era in leadership and the power of women.
But the one that will play out is the harmful one. It’s the symbol of permission. Permission to hate through the allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, but under what God? With what liberty? And most importantly, with what justice?