So that happened.
And my timelines are filled with good, smart, strong people utterly shocked that their country hates them. That in 2016 a candidate can come to power on a bigotry ticket and win. I feel the same combination of intense jealousy, pity, and grief that I do when bad things happen to people who’s parents loved them.
It’s true, America hates you.
So many of us have known this our whole lives. We learned it in the way police spoke to our parents, the way our parents spoke back to them. In the way our teachers spoke and allowed other classmates to speak to us and treat us and the way our parents dealt with that as well. I have been told to keep my head down my whole life. To keep my voice down. To never look angry.
For one reason or another; my race, my poverty, my unwillingness to play the feminine submissive has been a threat to the good people of this country. That applies to you too. If nobody told you until this day that your country hates you because they fear you, I’m sorry it’s shocking, it’s time to own that reality.
As the novelist Attica Locke said in an interview this morning “I’m not crushed. I’m awake to what my country is telling me.”
If President Trump wakes you up to the racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia and white supremacist agenda in America, then I welcome him.
Things are going to happen that will diminish this day in your memory. For better or for worse. Whatever you do, don’t let it get so small in your personal history that you don’t remember how it felt to wake up blasted with the weight of half America’s explicit hatred. Don’t fight this feeling. Let it in.
When you know you are hated, you are freed from the expectation that you will make compromises to avoid what is already true. So America hates you. What will you do about it?
Drink it up. Let it inform your actions. Don’t hide. Don’t tiptoe around bigot feelings, don’t sit next to your racist Uncle at Thanksgiving, don’t brush it off when men dismiss you, don’t assume that people of color in confrontation with the police are safe. Don’t waste this feeling. This opportunity.
Use that hatred to fuel your offense. Lay seige to those who would have us dissappear from our own country. Who would tag us and curtail our rights in our “free” country. Who would institutionalize and outright murder every threat to themselves: from queers to people of color to people who get abortions.
The shades have fallen away this morning and I am ready for the fight to come. What about you?