To watch a man, who you’ve seen for nearly a third of your life, step down from the highest and most respected office in the world and be replaced; by a man who you know is going to do everything in his power to tarnish the legacy of the man before him, is indescribable. I have grown up knowing that the color of my skin and the texture of my hair is a cross I must bear. I have grown up knowing that everything I have worked for, or will have to work for, will feel like a relentless fight that my melanin deficient neighbors will not understand. Yet growing up, with knowledge that there is a black man as President, with the same rich skin tone, kinky curls, and crosses of his own which mirrored mine inhabited the Oval Office, made my fight that much easier. Hope. Truly, that man inspired hope, resilience, and fortitude for all Americans.
Hope was not the feeling I felt January 20, 2017. Grief. Anguish. Sorrow. Melancholy. Fear. That is what I felt last Friday. I realized that day that I am not scared of Donald J. Trump, he is but one man. However, I am afraid of the fear that he spreads, and the open bigotry that he stands for which is now modeled in the highest office of the free world. I fear that the men and women who support him will act on that hate, fear, and ignorance and make it unsafe for my friends and family who all fit the category of either a minority, disabled (family units with a disabled member), LGBTQ, Muslim, Christian, any woman of any race. I feel like we have all been attacked and it’s only a manner of time before things start to turn for the worse.
As I walked the National Mall, riddled in red hats and tacky slogans under the gloom and misty clouds, it was difficult not to cry. It was difficult not to scream out in frustrations and agony, but I wasn’t alone. For every 10 red hats, I saw a protestor with signs, and people like me not there in support but in awe of what we wished was a practical joke. Those people, white and black made me feel like I wasn’t alone, and not so hopeless.