There's a big part of me that's excited about a new year, seeing 2017 as a fresh start and the next step on my path to achieving my goals and dreams. I'm making big, positive changes in my life to get healthier and to be able to do what I really want to do.* We're four days in, and I've made good choices, I've held myself accountable, and I'm more motivated than I've ever been to do what I need to for myself and for my family.
|Image courtesy of Gualberto107 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
And I get this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Because here's the thing.
We (meaning Americans and others) have been fighting for a long time to try and achieve equality. For white cishet** men, the fight began in the 1700s and was achieved by....1776? Everyone else is still fighting.
Let's think about that for a minute.
For hundreds of years (and longer), anyone who is not a white, cishet man has struggled and fought and been beaten down and continued to fight for the meager measures of equality that have been granted. Paltry concessions.
And those successes have come with white cishet men as allies in the government and in the streets.
In the aftermath of the election, there are scores of people who have been emboldened to act on their hatred, bigotry, and ignorance.*** The people who want legislation to work backwards are no longer held at bay by a measured hand in the government and the expectation of politeness. The president-elect has changed all that.
I've heard people say that we should wait and see what the incoming president does. (Even if that were a valid point, I think he has already shown who he really is.) That doesn't matter. Because the fact that he got elected on the platform he ran means that there are people who agree with that thinking. They voted for him because they wanted a president who believed those things and would act on them.
They wanted a president who is blatantly and violently against women.
They wanted a president who doesn't care about the health and safety of minorities.
They wanted a president who would mirror actions by a man who rose to power and led directly to the death of millions of innocent people. (You know who I'm talking about.)
That means that all of the people who think that way and want those things believe that the election of this president is a blank check to do whatever they want to whomever they want because, after all, the president-elect has their backs.
That's where we are.
So it doesn't matter if the president-elect keeps his campaign promises or not. Because he has told the American people that it's okay to behave the way he does. And even now, when he has been elected and must have some idea of what is expected of him, he continues to say and do things that undermine all the work the government leaders before him and the American people have accomplished.
He won't do what he should do in order to show that he's serious about this role that he's taken on.
He doesn't care.
This is a game to him. Because he's bored. It's something to do instead of Celebrity Apprentice.
This man is literally holding people's lives in his hands and is more concerned with the way he's portrayed on SNL than what the American people need in order to feel safe.
Inauguration Day is January 20, 2017. But just because that man is sworn in on that day does not mean we have lost.
January 20, 2017 is only the beginning.
It is our right as Americans to stand against what is happening right now.
[...W]henever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.We are not safe.
We are not happy.
We will not stand by and allow it to continue.
And I will fight every day. In every way I can.
I will stand on the right side of history. I will fight. I will not give up. It's not over.
It's never over.
*I really want to be a full-time fiction writer.
**cis (born and identify as male) het(erosexual)
***When I say ignorance, I am referring to a lack of education and unwillingness to learn rather than as an insult.