Racism, and all, bigotry, is rooted in selfishness. It’s rooted in the idea that I’m fundamentally more important than you. My needs and desires are more important than yours. I’m more deserving than you. My humanity trumps your humanity.
Trump’s win shows us where we are as a country. We’re in a country where most white people would vote for racism and misogyny in order to go back to the good ol’ days. Where half of us would rather have an unqualified, undiplomatic president than one who is part of the establishment. Where people think that a brazen billionaire whose claim to fame is being rich and firing people is somehow dedicated to working class jobs and domestic labor because he “tells it like it is".
That’s why I wasn’t as surprised as some people when Trump won, why I always felt like he had a chance. I feared that we lived in a country where people would throw minorities under the bus to get ahead. I felt, like many, incredibly tired of status-quo government. But I had faith that, given the final options, America would make a rational decision. We didn’t. People voted out of emotion, not reason. From a place of selfishness, rather than strategy.
Do I think that everyone who voted for Trump is a hateful person? No. I don’t think they would personally burn a cross in my yard, or string me up a tree. But they might watch. Or they might turn a blind eye and do nothing, as long as it didn’t directly impact them. Supporting a system of injustice still makes you prejudiced, even if you’re not the perpetrator.
After this election, it's been harder for many of us to face the day. How do we live in a country that has conspired against us? How to we maneuver in a system that was designed to oppress us, within the white supremacy that’s gaining a second wind? We press on, we become the best versions of ourselves, we get involved in our communities, and we keep fighting for what’s right.
Keep marching. And consider this video your post-election pep talk.