Even Stronger Together

Valentina Caballero Publicado 2016-11-12 11:50:27

 
Students protested in Idaho Statehouse the day after the election. Photo:Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

 

“For the first time in my life, I feel like I do not belong.” That was a text I received from a Latino friend last night. If it doesn’t break your heart, or if you cannot understand why he, and I, and so many others feel that way, my heart aches for you.

Words cannot express how deeply saddened I am by the outcome of this election. It is heart breaking. I did not sleep all night because of it. I wept over it. I’m still weeping over it. And I cannot get why so many people do not understand why it is such a big deal and so utterly devastating for so many.

This is not the United States I honor; the diverse, beautiful United States I am from. We have regressed so, so much with just one election, and so many people cannot even see that. People of color, women, immigrants, the disabled, Muslims, the LGBTQ community—we are all hurting. Yet so many people do not understand why. So many people believe we minorities are overreacting. Imagine how undeniably privileged one has to be to have that mindset. I so genuinely wish they could understand what this means for us.

It’s incredibly disheartening that some of the people who voted for this man claim to care about me, a Mexican woman; they claim to care for my Mexican, immigrated family; they claim to care for their Muslim friends; their gay friends; their friends of color. It’s sickening that people voted for this man who stands for impudence and bigotry. It’s frustrating that they cannot see that he stands for impudence and bigotry.

I cannot understand how a white, rich, Ivy League-educated, incredibly experienced candidate lost the Presidency to a former host of a reality show. What does that tell future generations of women about what they can accomplish? Even if they’re more qualified for a position in every way, they will still lose to a man. Hillary was undoubtedly going to make a great President. She was arguably the most qualified Presidential candidate our country has seen. She believed in diversity; in inclusivity; in equality; in acceptance—everything a country should be comprised of. Donald Trump and Mike Pence stand for the opposite of all these things, yet they are now the leaders of our country.

I was 10 when President Obama was elected. I am in college now as he leaves. He was my childhood. I don’t remember living under any other President. And what a President he was. He, too, stood for diversity, inclusivity, equality, and acceptance. And now, come January 20th, the children of this country will grow up under this hateful man and his VP, and they will be taught that xenophobia, sexism, Islamophobia, bigotry, homophobia, racism, exclusion, and intolerance are normal things. If our President can say these things and act this way and get away with it, they will be taught to believe it’s acceptable. It is embarrassing and heart-breaking that so many people are okay with this.

My heart hurts. My heart hurts for those of us who are directly impacted. My heart hurts for those of you who do not understand the gravity of this outcome; who cannot see the terrible impact this will have on so many communities. So many families. So many human beings, who are no different from you. You support an America where these people do not have certain, unalienable rights. An America that believes all human beings are not created equal. An America significantly less free.

But love will win. Love, equality, and justice must prevail. “This loss hurts. But please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.” It is up to us to stand up and continue to make ourselves heard. We cannot lose to bigotry. We must continue to go high. We need to move forward and become a loving, accepting country, in SPITE of our President.

Love will always, always trump hate.

  

Valentina Caballero estudia primer año en la University of Oklahoma. Estudia la licenciatura de Estudios Internacionales. Comentarios a cabavalentina@gmail.com.

 

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