Print

E-Mail Story

Comment

News Letter Sign up


Overthinking It with Katherine Fallon: 'Make America Great Again'


December 07, 2016

I’m not sure of the precise moment or reason that the wind slipped out of our sails on the night of November 8, but we of so little faith assumed early on that our candidate would lose. We were right. 
 
We turned off the television hours before the decision. I felt a punched-in-the-gut hopelessness, and couldn’t sleep, so I left my partner in the bed with all of the animals, and crept into the living room, where I grew dry-eyed from refreshing the results, watching Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania go red.  
 
Each state felt like a personal loss, a direct assault against my life and the lives of my loved ones. Each state was an assault on the lives of people who have fled violence and terror to seek asylum here; against marginalized communities rural and urban, racial and socioeconomic; against gender and sexual minorities. 
 
Soon, there was a red check mark beside his name, and suddenly, he was “ours.” I turned my phone off, put my face to my pillow, and cried. I cried until I got back into bed around 6 a.m., when the alarm went off in the bedroom. We didn’t say anything, just held each other beneath the covers in that protective pocket of our selves, enveloped in what was soft and warm, and would receive us both. 
 
The sun came up, as it always does, and we drank coffee, as we always do. She took the dog out, and fed the stray cat, which happens every day, no matter what. The view of the porch swing from the bedroom window was the same, the groove in the mattress was still there, no bigger or smaller. Our paychecks would still arrive at the end of the month, the bathtub still needed scrubbing, and our people were still our people. 
 
I could not make myself leave the bed, though, knowing that this fact of normalcy, the hush of stasis, would not last for us or anyone else in a marginalized population. The outcome of this election will directly, negatively impact so many human beings. It already has in terms of personal violence, and no judiciary or administrative changes have even taken place yet.
 
This election, from beginning to end, has told us, and all other people who do not fit the paradigm of the dominant candidate’s voter, that in order to Make America Great Again, our freedoms need to be curtailed, our labors exploited, our safety patently disregarded, and our relationships with one another stripped of social sanction. 
 
So this is the America we’ve just elected ourselves into: one that focuses not on the strengths of the electorate but on perceived deficits; one that focuses not on diversity but ostracism; one that tells a huge portion of its citizenry that they are not respected, even fundamentally, as human beings. 
 
To say that I’m disappointed in the election outcome is an egregious understatement. To say that I am being dramatic means you haven’t considered that had your candidate lost, you’d be disappointed, yes, but you would not be unsafe. 
 
To say I am overreacting is to show that you, yourself, have never been so threatened. Clearly, your civil liberties have never been questioned, and good for you. I hope that you stay so safe. I just wish that everyone could be, too.
 
At best, I hope that the people who voted us into this situation did not wholly realize what they were doing. At worst, I am afraid that our own community hates us, our own families don’t care about our wellbeing, and the people we have long called friends find taxes and disillusionment more important than our safety and our value.
 
Regardless, it is going to be a very long four years of looking each other in the eye. A long four years of holding each other accountable, while somehow remaining human.

Print

E-Mail Story

News Letter Sign up

Bookmark and Share
« Previous Story | Next Story »
 

COMMENTS

http://www.connectstatesboro.com/ encourages readers to interact with one another. We will not edit your comments, but we reserve the right to delete any inappropriate responses. To report offensive or inappropriate comments, contact our editor. The comments below are from readers of http://www.connectstatesboro.com/ and do not necessarily represent the views of Publication or Morris Multimedia.

You must be logged in to post comments.  [LOGIN]



You must be logged in to post comments.  [LOGIN]