On Election Night, you went to bed crying, and this time, I couldn’t fix it. Like half the country, you thought you would be going to bed with a Democrat and a woman as your president-elect. I wiped away a big, globby tear from the end of your nose, proud of you for caring so deeply. I said it was going to be OK. I explained that, “politics goes back and forth, and this year it just wasn’t our turn. Remember when I was for Obama and you were for Hillary, and she lost the primary, but you ended up liking Obama?” Your thirteen year-old defiance broke through your tears, as you declared, “No, this is different!”
You then spouted off a litany of things I didn’t know you thought much about:
“It’s different because Donald Trump doesn’t have the basic morals of everything our country stands for. He doesn’t even have the morals of a normal person, or a normal Republican. It’s not that the other side won. It’s that the person who won is literally against half of the people in the country. He doesn’t like Muslims, he doesn’t like Mexicans, anyone who is LGBT, he definitely doesn’t like women, or people of color. He doesn’t like ME. It seems like he only likes people like himself — white males. How can he be our president?”
He’s our president because people voted for him and he won the election. I will be raising you under a Donald Trump presidency until you go to college in four years. But you’re right, it is different. I admit I don’t know how to talk to you about racism and sexism sometimes, because we haven’t had to face it too much so far.
For most of your life, your president was an exemplary family man who treated his wife and daughters with love and respect and never talked about women in degrading ways. For the past eight years, your president had the same skin color as you, and he was raised by a single mom, just like you. His mother was white, and his father was black, just like you. Your skin color is a ridiculous things to even mention, except in our country, it matters.
As your mom, I find it so hard to teach you that something doesn’t matter but at the same time matters so much. How do I tell you that Black Lives Matter when you can see on YouTube that they don’t seem to? You will be driving in two years. I will need to teach you how to be arrested without getting hurt or even killed. As a white person, how do I tell you what to do when you are treated differently because of how you look? My parents never had to teach me that. I only have until you’re eighteen to get this right — when you’re old enough to cast your own vote.
It’s important to me that you know …read more