I sat down with a glass of wine at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 8th, ready to celebrate. Then I turned on the T.V. and watched the numbers roll in for Trump, one state after the other. I was glued to Twitter as it seemed like the whole world was going through all five stages of grief in about 4 hours, myself included.
To me, this outcome was shocking. It will probably be just as much of a lightbulb memory as the morning of September 11th was. What. the fuck. I didn’t realize at the time that my shock was a byproduct of my privilege. An SNL skit featuring Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock did a great job at illustrating this.
Donald Trump, it turns out, is like one of those lights that lures in bugs at night. He has successfully lured racists out into the open. After he won, pictures of the KKK dotted Twitter, and children started echoing their parents’ racist sentiments in school graffiti.
I’m outraged, but I can’t say I’m righteously so. People of color always knew these white supremacists were there, while we white liberals thought they were a dying breed. Even those of us who voted for Clinton are complicit in a certain blindness and inaction. And now, it’s clear that mistrust between self-pronounced allies and people of color is more rampant than ever. White people, the value of our promises is at a major low.
Beyond that, it feels like all our tools for taking action have gone blunt. Social media feels like a self-congratulatory echo chamber. The news no longer has the ability to change public perception. We thought Republicans were going to tear themselves apart in this election, but it’s actually happened to us.
We now live in a world where House of Cards seems boringly normal compared to our actual political theater. I’m mourning, and resisting any urge to declare victory for taking any kind of action just yet. Before writing about anything that used to seem important and interesting, I felt compelled to add my tiny shout into this increasingly gaping void.
This sucks. There’s no easy way to fix this. I’m going to stay bummed, make art, do some listening and try to fight the good fight.