Swipe Right

Swipe Right

I have no words.

I’m a fairly good student with honors credentials. I’m majoring in English, News Editorial Journalism and Photojournalism. I have legions of poetry, novels and articles under my belt. For as long as I can remember, I have trusted in words.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved linguistics and language, grammar and syntax and communication – but for the first time in my life Tuesday, words failed me.

No – for the first time in my life Tuesday, I realized that there are simply not enough words to express the very real fear many marginalized people will now face every single day they wake up in a universe where a man as vehemently repulsive as Trump can obtain the highest public office in the greatest nation on Earth.

How do you explain such a thing to people who willingly looked the other way in spite of warnings, in spite of raw discussions about fear and intolerance and America’s increasingly divisive climate? You don’t. You can’t. There is no way – not when half your country buys into the most divisive, hateful rhetoric ever spewed by an American candidate.

This is not a happy or humorous post. Indulging in such at a time like this is disrespectful to everyone who has been hurt and will continue to be hurt by the long-lasting consequences of Tuesday night’s results. Indulging in such at a time like this is ignoring the very real fear that I am now forced to confront as a hijabi in the Bible Belt.

I will never forget the horror and tear-stained faces I saw last night.

I will never forget the shocked, tense silence and utter disbelief.

This is more than just another contested election. No one who wished for his loss is upset because he won – rather, they’re upset because he was able to so in this, the greatest nation in the world, with nearly half of the population’s support.

Trump’s America is an exclusive, isolating place more reminiscent of dystopia than the nation that has been my home for nearly two decades, the nation I’ve grown to love and the nation that allowed me the opportunity to foster deep, meaningful relationships with people of all colors and creeds.

I am horrified and deeply saddened that so many of my friends will now face their worst fears. I am horrified that dystopian books I read just years ago now serve as stark and painful reminders that anything can and will happen. I am horrified that a man who claimed he “could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody” and still not lose any voters will serve as our president for the next four years. I am horrified that so many of those I considered friends voted for him.

If you still don’t believe it matters in the grand scheme of things, you are wrong. There is no other way to put it. A nation that touts progressiveness has voted to regress. A nation that claims greatness is split evenly between nobility and unfounded fear.

A people once great have voted to become much, much less.

I have no words.


 

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