If you haven’t heard by now (please take me to wherever your dwelling place may be), Donald J. Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States of America.
This week has been disheartening, frightening, and saddening to say the least.
But am I shocked? No.
Despite what everyone in the media was saying, I am not at all shocked. I
can’t don’t want to read my Facebook feed anymore. It’s just a vacuum of discontent that’s not helping me in any practical way.
Trump becoming president was an almost-unconscious fear of mine coming true, like the chickens coming home to roost. Anyone surprised by this either does not have a basic understanding of American demographics and history, or they’ve wishfully ignored it. But for what it’s worth: those who take issue with this reality can no longer remain complacent. If this is the jolt we need, then so be it. I might be in the minority here, but even though many of us wanted Clinton (as opposed to Trump), I don’t think her winning would have changed anything practically. Just like Barack Obama becoming President clearly did not signal the end of racism, Hilary Clinton becoming President most likely was not going to shatter any ceilings. If the past few years are an indication, an extra layer of glass would be installed.
That’s not to say that misogyny, racism, and xenophobia alone are the reasons why Trump won, but neither can they be completely ignored or discarded. The reasons for the election results turning out the way they did are layered. It’s a muddled mess that I can’t even fully make sense of myself at the moment.
BUT – I am not pessimistic like many of my friends and family members are. That’s not to say that I am not hesitant or fearful. But I am NOT going to let that fear and discontent affect the way I live my life.
The very next day after the election, I had two very important things take place. One, in the morning, was the first official planning meeting with all the key players for the Jewish-Muslim women’s leadership project I initiated. We all agreed that this meeting couldn’t have come at a better time. For anyone who thinks interfaith work is a bunch of baloney, all I have to say is TRUMP. Then, in the evening, we had a very informal but much-needed round table discussion on the current political climate. While the original focus was Muslim Hoosiers, it ended up being a place for all of us to share our concerns and hope for the future.
What will actually happen remains to be seen. But as I’ve been saying, the work doesn’t end after the election, regardless of the result. A mirror is being held up to society right now and if we don’t like what we see, it’s up to us to do something about it.