More Equal than Others: A Past Example of our Present Situation

I wholeheartedly know the people who take time to read this are either nasty women, such as myself, or people willing to listen. I warmly welcome both. To the people reading this who supported Trump throughout his campaign and are looking for one more thing to talk about on Facebook or Twitter, to whine about our whining, I urge you to stay and listen, but only if you are willing.

I have taken the last few days to come to terms with President-elect Trump’s victory in the election. I have accepted it. I am aware that we cannot change the past, but I am well aware that we can, and should, learn from it. Unfortunately, we as a nation have not.

We’ve seen the poster on our History classroom walls, “If you don’t learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it.”

And I feel we are doomed.

When Trump spoke of the wall, I saw people risking their lives to jump the Berlin Wall.

When Trump spoke of advancing nuclear weapons, I saw the devastation of Chernobyl, as well as Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

When Trump spoke of surveilling Muslim Americans, I saw Japanese Americans lining up outside internment camps.

When Trump spoke of punishing women who get an abortion, I saw women dying in bathrooms, a coat hanger in hand.

I see the shadows of so many devastating past events taking shape again in the 21st Century, and I wonder how we as a collective don’t see it. I can’t comprehend how our first African-American President is handling so well the transition of power to the first President openly endorsed by the KKK.

I’ve tried to sum up this feeling, tried to put into words what this means for the future of our nation. But for the last two days, I haven’t been able to put down in my own words the radical nature of Trump’s campaign, the ideology he brings with him to the White House. Instead, just as I have seen similarities in his rhetoric to rhetoric of the past, I find literature of the past best describes the present situation. While I have recognized the nature and message of Trump’s campaign for the past year and a half, it was only recently that I remembered where I had heard a similar message before. The words of George Orwell’s  Animal Farm kept coming back to me,

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

As I write this, I am doing all I can to check my privilege at the door, to come to terms with the fact that I am considered by some to be “more equal than others.” I sit, writing behind the screen you’re reading, as a white, millennial woman. A woman whose very access to healthcare may be challenged in the next four years, but a  white woman none-the-less. I freely admit that I will come out the other side of this presidency unscathed and, hopefully, whole. But I fear for the people I consider myself an ally of, for the people who cannot say the same.

I fear for people of color.

I fear for people of Muslim faith.

I fear for immigrant families and their children.

I fear for the LGBT community.

I fear for women who are not as fortunate as I.

I know the loudest, most vulgar of Trump supporters don’t represent the majority of his constituents. But you are his constituents none-the-less. You can attempt to distance yourself from his rhetoric surrounding women, people of color, immigrants, muslims and the disabled. But you can’t, because I won’t let you.

You voted for a man who’s never been forced to live off of minimum wage, to represent the working class. 

You voted for a man who rejected political correctness, when in reality he rejected human decency. 

You voted for a man whose greatest weapons include hate and fear. 

You voted for a man who based his entire campaign on division, to unify and lead our country.

What bothers me more than anything as I write this, is that it will only add to the list of growing articles and opinion pieces attempting to comprehend our current situation. Some will agree with my words, other will wholeheartedly reject them.

I am not naive enough to believe my words will sway any Trump supporters. I am hopeful enough that some will read this and attempt to understand where our fear is coming from. I am hopeful that people will understand that words are powerful and influential and, just like any weapon, can be used for good or evil. I am hopeful that we can move forward and attempt to unify a nation that has been divided purely for political gain. I am hopeful we will all, one day, be equally equal.


If you are looking for ways to be active and heard, here are a few ways you can help:

Support Planned Parenthood by purchasing this shirt here.

Support the LGBT community by donating to the Human Rights Campaign.

Donate to help Syrian refugees and their children here.

Discover ways to support Muslim American here.

Support National Immigration Reform here.

 

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