I sat on the rickety, college-funded bus, head blaring, rain pouring on the window, listening to the woman behind me talk on the phone. As we passed soaking wet orange leaves, sadly drooping down from the trees, as the ground below sped by in a haze, I could only just sadly stare off as she spoke.
“I just can’t be around white people today.”
I woke up that gloomy Wednesday, unable to look at my phone, sitting in silence with my friend. We sat with this news, with the silent campus, with the wind blowing angrily against the window. We sat in dread, in shock, in fear. She told me that she’s worried about her family, she’s worried about their Visas, worried about what these next four years will bring to them.
I remembered half-jokingly writing to my boyfriend Tuesday night that I will move to Canada, away from the prospect of getting shot while walking the streets and being denied a job because I’m a woman. Wednesday morning I tried gripping my mind around how that jabbing joke could become such a real concept. How a joke could become so real. How a joke could tear our country apart.
A year ago Donald Trump running for president was a joke.
I thought about Hillary, I thought about how certain I was only a day ago that I had voted for the first female president. How I left the polling room smiling, how no one thought our country could let such an awful human being become president.
Clinton was stopped short by a bombastic political outsider who has been accused of multiple counts of sexual assault, has repeatedly misled the public, has made wild and potentially dangerous insinuations about national security, and has allegedly avoided decades of taxes.
-Tara Golshan, Vox
My college campus was dead Wednesday. We had a stand in, many supportive discussions. Students gathered around the quad, silently grieving with each other. It still didn’t feel real.
I’m not writing this to express my political opinions. But on Wednesday something died within those around me. A light went out. Every political discussion has been weighed down by the results. No longer were heated debates and lively topics. We were brought together, solemnly in agreement.
Such irony has brought us together.
All we can do now is remain strong.
November 9th, 2016, I sat on the bus, holding back tears, listening to the phone call behind me, listening to a woman in fear for her future, talking nostalgically about what she wanted to do, who she wanted to become.
She was coming from a place of pain, despair, and fear. She was coming from a dark, sad void within the country. I hope she remains strong. And no matter what I believe, what you believe, what Trump believes, the truth is: we must remain strong.
Our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years, but all the time. So let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear. Making our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top, protecting our country and protecting our planet… For people of all races, and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people, and people with disabilities. For everyone.
I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday someone will — and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.