Our purpose here at It’s A Pretty Simple Life is to encourage people to take a time out from the craziness of life and focus more on things that make them happy. This blog was not somewhere I planned to discuss politics or vent my feelings about the injustices and inequalities of the world. There’s nothing pretty or simple about those things and they don’t make me happy. But on Tuesday millions of people cast their vote with the sole purpose of silencing the voices of minorities, women, immigrants, gays and anyone else that is not like them. Those people woke up Wednesday feeling validated and vindicated in their hatred and I woke up feeling more devalued and disenfranchised than ever. If the way to “Make America Great Again” is for people like me to be seen but not heard, then sorry America. Girl, you’re just not gonna be great because I refuse to be silent.
I was supposed to be writing a post about our Wine Tasting trip to Charlottesville. But I can’t right now. I can’t write now about a light-hearted weekend with my best friends when my heart is heavy. When I started writing my post three days ago, I planned on recounting the good times and good wines we had in Charlottesville over the weekend and over the years. I had no plans to mention the underlying feeling of “otherness” I have always felt in Charlottesville since my very first visit as a prospective University of Virginia student. I had no plans to talk about the slight feeling of unease I experienced with every giant Trump/Pence yard sign and confederate flag we passed while traveling between vineyards. I had no plans to admit that during the middle of a tasting my thoughts strayed from the wine to Solange Knowles’ article about being black in predominantly white spaces. I was going to leave out wondering if the winery staff’s aloofness was directed towards all patrons or reserved just for us because of the color of our skin. I wasn’t going to refer to the subconscious glance I found myself taking around the room to see if I spotted any fellow minorities.
I wasn’t going to mention any of that because the otherness, the unease, the wondering “Do I belong here, Am I wanted here?” are not new feelings to me as a 30-year-old black woman in this country. They are feelings that are fleeting and ones that I don’t spend much time dwelling on after the moment has passed. So why mention them now? Because when I woke up Wednesday morning and saw that Donald Trump had been named the next President, those feelings that I felt briefly in Charlottesville over the weekend came rushing back, multiplied by fifty million, and have not gone away. The feeling of unease, the recognition of my otherness, wondering Do I belong here, Am I wanted here, I am feeling now not because I walked into a room where I am different, but because I woke up in a country that elected a man that represents everything that makes me feel devalued as a woman and a person of color.
Nearly sixty million people voted for a man whose presidential campaign consisted not of the promotion of Republican policy but of xenophobic, homophobic, sexist and outright bigoted rhetoric. Millions upon millions of people in this country voted for a candidate whose campaign excited the Klan and garnered enthusiastic support from White Nationalist. No, I do not believe that every American that cast their vote for Trump is racist and sexist or a terrible person. Many voted out of loyalty to their party, their commitment to socially conservative values and support of Republican fiscal policies- not in support of Trump himself. And though they may not stand in solidarity with Trump or be racist, xenophobic, sexist homophobes, their vote amplified the voices of those who are.
Like many of you I’ve spent the past two days feeling all the feels and trying to process everything that’s happened. Wine has helped, turning away from the news and turning to trashy tv has helped. Go grab a glass of vino and watch the new season of Real Housewives of Atlanta! And you may have missed it in all the post-election madness, but Rob Kardashian and Angela named their newborn baby girl, Dream (because she’s a ‘dream come true’. Fingers crossed that they name the next baby Kash because he’s a payday). I can always kount on the Kardashians to provide me with a good laugh! And if you’re still feeling the need to drown your sorrows, you can whip up a pitcher of apple cider sangria (shameless self-promotion)!
Are you having post-election feels? If so, what pretty simple things are helping you cope?