What now?

I cried today. Never did I think I would cry over the results of an election. Maybe that’s because I so wrongly assumed that America would never elect someone like Donald Trump. Everyone says oh don’t worry there’s three branches of government; he’ll never get anything done. But it’s so much more than that. With the results last night, Americans showed each other and the world that we don’t value women’s rights or LGBT rights or immigrant’s rights or the rights of pretty much anyone who’s not a rich white man. I woke up this morning fearing for my future. It’s not lost on me that as a white woman, I am so privileged to have never felt this fear before.

I’m incredibly disappointed that instead of taking a giant leap forward as a society and electing the first female president last night, we elected a misogynistic, xenophobic, homophobic, zero political experience business man who also doesn’t believe in climate change. We learned that you can be the most qualified person for a job [ever] and still lose because you’re a woman. I’m not saying that Hillary was a perfect candidate, far from it actually but I do firmly believe that her emails pale in comparison to all the terrible things Trump has done. (Think: “Grab her by the p**sy”)

So what do we do now? I don’t love Donald Trump, I don’t even like him. But I love America. I love that I have just as many white friends as I do non-white, I love that the Pride Parade in Chicago is one of the biggest events of the year, and I love that last week when two police officers in my community were killed thousands of people came together to lift each other up. Now, we need to come together and help him succeed. If Donald Trump doesn’t succeed, America doesn’t succeed. We must unite as a nation and show him what we expect him to do. Write letters, call your senators, send Trump a tweet, and make your voice heard. Now is the time to double down on America and make sure the rights we’ve fought so hard to achieve hold strong – that the values we hold so dearly ring true. It brings me hope that last night Minnesota elected the first Somali-American to a legislature. Even in the midst of the most divisive election ever we were still able to make some good change and advance hope.

I truly believe that love can and will always be able to topple hate. In the next four years be extra moral. Extra kind. Extra understanding. Extra optimistic. Try to understand your neighbor before you decide that because they voted for Trump their opinions are garbage. It’s ok to cry today, and feel hopeless – to mourn what could have been our future. Tomorrow the work begins.

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