On Tuesday, November 8th I rushed to a bar in Culver City, California to meet with friends to watch the election result. I had not slept all night the day before. I received my mail in ballot months in advance and I took it to the nearest polling place in Baldwin Hills on a Saturday morning. The lines were long and I felt the excitement rushing through my body throughout the week, but it was the night before the election where I started having doubts about what the future will hold for the Clinton clan. I arrived early at the bar. No one seemed to be fazed by the results that were coming through. The bar was filled with millennials. I overheard two woman boasting about Clinton’s win in New York.
My friend Kiran and her friend arrived shortly after the result of Ohio. It was 8:40PM and I was shivering. Florida had gone red. AGAIN. I held my fist tightly. I chugged my beer and told them I was leaving. I felt as if Florida had stabbed me with a knife and kept twisting as the color of the United States appeared red by 9:30PM. I drove home while listening to NPR. I knew it was over. Our next President was going to be a predator-in-chief.
I arrived home and turned off my cell phone, unplugged the internet cord and shut off my computer. I hid it underneath my bed hoping for a miracle. I went into the kitchen and stared at my neighbors glaring window. I heard a scream. It was now 11:00PM. There was still hope. California had turned blue by now. I went to the restroom and sat on the toilet to pee, but the anxious made me stiff, scared and sick. I tried to sleep that night but laid restlessly and worried what the next few years would bring for communities of immigrants, LGBTQA and the environment. Laws can be undone, but harm to climate was irreversible . I was not only worried about the Earth, but minorities, veterans, and everyone who not selfish enough to vote for a man who told them lies over and over through his teeth. I thought about all the regulations that were going to be reverted. What would happen to the Paris Agreement? What about the investment in renewable energy?
I took my laptop underneath the bed around 3:30AM. I quickly typed New York Times in the address bar. The Times front page read: “Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States.” Did the Democrats lose the election due to lenient immigration policy? Did we shove gay marriage in to the lives of conservatives? I took the next day off from work and drove to the beach early morning. I knew I would not be productive. I read the op-eds published by liberal pundits blaming liberals and Clinton and stay at home voters. They blamed Black Live Matter. They blamed Equality Marriage. And lastly, they blamed immigrants.
I was wrong to believe in climate change, equal rights, equal pay, for stricter and safer regulations and essentially a better life for everyone/ I went through several comment sections and many believed in Trump that he would put immigrants in their place and return American to its pinnacle of White Supremacy. A whiter and fresher America. The United States has always been divided. Trump supporters always blamed immigrants for their jobs being robbed and stolen; however; the same people never assume personal responsibility. Personal responsibility was a concept preached by the right, but used against immigrants who were making end needs and using social programs to pull themselves out the poverty.
I grabbed a cup of coffee from a nearby coffee shop by Venice Beach. I took my slippers off and inserted my feet in the cold sand. As I walked over the shore I turned on NPR to listen to Hillary Clinton’s concession speech. I was reminded that we will overcome this. She said, “So my friends, let us have faith in each other, let us not grow weary, let us not lose heart, for there are more seasons to come. And there is more work to do.”