I Wish You Well (but I’m Standing Ready)
Dear Mr. Trump,
For the sake of America, I wish you well.
Let me be honest with you. Since you won the election, I have been struggling to find a way to put words to my feelings. In the meantime, I have gone through the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
At first, I couldn’t believe that people would consciously vote for someone who has said the things you’ve said (case in point: “You know, it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful, piece of ass.”) and done the things you’ve done (for example, most currently, publicly praising a Russian dictator over a sitting US president). I’m confused by the women who support him in the face of blatant misogyny. I won’t lie, looking at photos of you is distasteful to me, Mr. Trump. I had to tell my children that the man who disrespected women – and so many others – will lead our country. So, I fell into denial. This COULDN’T really be happening. Surely, something will turn the tide.
Then, you began the process of selecting the people who will surround you and will direct our international relationships as well as the fundamental departments of our own country. One gut punch after another. Anger. Lots and lots of anger. I could go on and on in this particular area, but I am moving on.
Bargaining. What if? If only. What if the Electoral College didn’t exist? What if James Comey did his due diligence on foreign hacking? What if Hillary had reached out to different populations? If only I had done more. If only Russia hadn’t hacked our elections. Hold it. I am spiraling back to anger. I must move forward.
Damn. Damn. Damn. Damn. and DAMN. There seems to be absolutely nothing we can do as you tear apart this country and insert your elitist friends (and recently introduced friends) as heads of departments. We are going to hell in a handbasket and there is NOTHING I can do about it. No. I can’t stay in this phase.
Maybe I could tweet something on Twitter, since that appears to be the only place you speak about anything. A quick 140 characters is the only thing you are capable of offering, usually with “sad”, “bad” or “mad” at the end. Your “prose” feels like a Dr. Seuss book written by the schoolyard bully. It is discouraging to see when others support this way of thinking. Spiraling downward. Sadness. Depression.
So now what? The Electoral College didn’t change the results of the election nor did the revelation that Russia did indeed hack it.
While I accept that you will be our President in name, this does not mean that I condone your behavior. This does not mean that I will stand idly by if our fellow Americans who are POCs are treated as anything less than equals, or if public schools are torn apart and the right to public education is tampered with, or if millions of Americans are in the position to lose their medical insurance, or if – yes, the list goes on. We are passionate, Mr. Trump, and we are watching you closely.
Please remember that you are a public servant serving ALL of the people of the US in the Age of Transparency. Please remember, the US is about We the People of different genders, races, religions, perspectives and socio-economic backgrounds, and because of this, I will stand. I’m moving past the five stages of grief and into the patriot phase. I’m an American, and you said you would represent every one of us. I’m waiting for you to show a sign that you meant any of that. I won’t hold my breath, however.
I’ll be over here, standing up.
I will stand for People of Color, the LGBTQ Community and Religous Freedom.
I will stand for public education.
I will stand for the Environment.
I will stand for medical coverage.
I will stand for potable water.
I will stand for those who are incapable of standing for themselves.
I will stand because my grandmother lived in and escaped internment camps in WWII with a cross and numbers tattooed on her arm. I will stand because she lost a daughter and a husband to that war. I will stand because she took her two young sons on a ship for weeks across the Atlantic to bring them to a better place. America.
While the feelings of denial, anger, bargaining and depression are lurking in the wings, I will be strong for my family and for my friends.
Wendell Barry wrote, “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” I will add that we borrow it from our children’s children as well.
I wish you well for the sake of our country, Mr. Trump, but I will not lie down. I will stand.
Val Curtis is a contributing author of BonBon Break.
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