Wednesday, November 9, 2016

An Unforgettable Day


Today has been a day that will long stay within my memory. It has been a day of serious disillusionment and I don't know that I have ever felt so disheartened about the state of the world. I have been working in China for the last several days, anticipating the outcome of an election that has been the most embarrassing in our history. Traveling the world and talking to citizens of other countries has been such an eye opening experience. Not only do we affect our own little worlds with today's outcome, but the economies and concerns of the globe are on our shoulders. Our friends in China were on their phones, refreshing for election result updates more often than we were, watching the Hong Kong stock market fall, then rise, only to fall again. The looks of dismay and disbelief on their faces matched ours as we found out that the future for our country looked grim. And as official results became available, it became harder and harder to remain focused on the business tasks at hand. It made for a difficult day, as it was an already ambitious and over-loaded trip.

I don't know whether to cry, throw up or just send for my husband and get a job here in China. I cannot believe that the people in our country carry so much hatred inside of their hearts that they truly believe in electing a leader who discriminates and insults anybody who is not white and male. How did we get to this point where people clearly have no respect for each others' beliefs or skin color? Isn't it 2016?

It's not even the disdain that I have for Donald Trump in particular. I know that there are people out there who despised President Obama, and had to "put up" with him being in office for the last eight years. But with Obama's election to office, it said something about the people who were voting that day. It said to the world, "We are a people who look beyond race and religion. We are courageous enough to pick the best leader, no matter where he comes from or what he looks like." I was proud to live among a population that, while a little late to the game in my opinion, had finally broken barriers on what it meant to be a leader in this country. You no longer had to be a white man to succeed at the very top. We were showing the world that, while things still weren't perfect in this country, we were taking steps toward getting better.

Today, I see the opposite of the sentiment that I felt for the last eight years. People came out to vote with hatred and prejudice in their hearts. They look up to a horrible man who wants to deport anybody who is of the Muslim faith. They think it's ok that if I, personally, were to meet him, he would take one look at me, deem  me a "4" on the hotness scale, and never listen to a word I say because of how I look. They thought it was ok for him to call all Mexican people rapists and thieves, and they rallied behind the redneck bigotry that he has been crying out for the last year. I am so appalled by the people of this country, and to know that I live with people of intolerance and such prejudice is just so unbelievably sad.

I cried a lot today. I cried for the future of the youngest generations of this country. As this hateful man chooses Supreme Court justices and dictates laws in our country, they will be the ones who feel the repercussions of it all, years down the road. I cried for the future of our democracy. With Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote, but not the electorate yesterday, it is a GRIM reminder that our system is broken and might only get worse. I cried for the uncertainty in the world markets, and am only glad that I have decades before retirement to let my savings balance back out after this. But above all, I cried for all the hate that was perpetuated today. I am so sad to feel that hate won today over love and kindness. It is just so heart breaking.

Three years from today, I hope that I can look back and say how wrong I was to feel the way I felt today. I have never so much in my life wished to be so WRONG.

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