It comes down to this: hate won.
I am not naïve. I never thought America was perfect or without racism or sexism. I’ve experienced both (in America and elsewhere). I just didn’t realize how much hate there is or how intense.
That is what has me, and many other Americans, in such a state of shock and horror. Half of our country voted for hate. Hate is now legitimized.
I am frightened for America. What will happen next? I worry about civil rights, human rights, reproductive rights, the right to love, the economy, the environment, foreign policy, foreign relations, and what the hell kind of future we can possibly have with the politics of hate. A lot of damage can be done in four years.
Look at what’s happening in schools and college campuses. The damage has already started and neither Trump nor a single Trump supporter has spoken out against the racist, misogynistic, and homophobic acts.
In some ways, I am happy to be abroad. I won’t have to deal with some of the things my friends are dealing with ranging from threatening signs/notes to racist and xenophobic insults. In other ways it’s hard to be abroad.
To everyone who says he or she is moving out of the country: you can’t run from it. It follows you. I worry how life will be as an American abroad under a Trump presidency.
Will I be ostracised and discriminated against? Will it become harder to travel? Will people not want to hire me?
What about the Embassy in Kenya (a nation that will have its own elections next year)? How many of the top ranking staff will resign? Will they be replaced by people who are not qualified?
If the US economy tanks, I’m still affected. If there is a war, I’m still affected. And no matter what happens, I have to somehow represent America.
I have reached out to some of my neighbors to tell them that J. and I did not vote for nor do we support Trump. I felt the need, for my own well being, to tell people that we are not racist or sexist. I feel with every new person I meet I will have to do this. I will have to introduce myself with an apology and a qualifier.
The icing on the cake is that, yet again, a highly qualified woman was cast aside in favor of an unqualified man. (Truth be told, I don’t even even consider Trump a man.) This stings in every possible way.
So, now what? I have to find a way to get through my days without depression, hopelessness, and dread. I have to function. I can’t stay in this daze.
One day at a time. I’ll find a way to copy bit by bit. I have to.
Step one is to move back to my regularly scheduled blog posts. Fear not, I am not complacent. I’ll post more on what’s happening in America from my vantage point as an American (Third Culture Kid, woman, immigrant, naturalized citizen) abroad. Hopefully, I won’t have to do that too often.
But, now it’s time for me try my best to regroup. We’ll get back to the usual posts starting Monday.