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Tag Archives: 2016 presidential election

(TW: Mentions of violence and rape)

I’m pretty open about how I do not expect to come out of 2017 alive. I didn’t expect to survive more than a week past my birthday, aka the day after the election aka the Day Hope Died. I ask myself constantly when those racist/sexist/homophobic shit stains will finally get me. Every time I get on my train. Every day that I walk into my office building. Each week when I host my writing group.

When will I wind up with a bullet in my head from a trigger-happy cop?

When will I be left beaten, brutalized and/or raped along the riverside promenade?

When will I be pushed off of a CTA platform for having the nerve to exist in public?

The answer: I do not know, for this is something over which I have no power. I do have the power to do one thing:

I can tell my story.

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Look, the election affected me. I’m not going to pretend that it didn’t. I drank. I raged. I cried once. I allowed my mind to rush through all of the possible ways in which I could do my part to clean up this mess. Then it hit me [again].

This is not my mess. Therefore, I am not required to clean it up.

I did my job. From the looks of it, me and mine did our jobs a hell of a lot better than white people. Story of the United States of America, amirite?

But I’m not here to patronize or demonize, white friends. I’m here to cheer you on from the sidelines. You have acknowledged that the racialized system in power from which you benefit has fucked all of us over AGAIN. You are out there on the streets, talking to your representatives, writing letters, signing petitions and forming grassroots organizations. White friends, you are out there trying to fix the mess that your culture made, and I love you all the more for it.

I just can’t, nay, I won’t be there to help you clean it up. Mammie don’ left the plantation, and she takin’ the good seasoning with her.

So, I will be over here making my set of Lisa-Frank-Only-Wishes-She-Had-This-Vivacity pom-poms and working on my endurance, because real talk, white friends? You’re in for one hell of a rough ride.

As a kick-off to my long-term cheerleading routine, I’m gonna leave you all with Samantha Bee’s wonderfully insightful post-election monologue. Girlfriend has definitely earned an invitation to my family’s next barbecue.

So, good luck, white friends. Seriously. As part of the demographic that’s been cleaning up after your demographic for nearly 500 years, you do not have an easy task before you.

It started off on Buswell Street in the fall of 2000. I was sitting in my obnoxiously large single dorm room, awaiting two older white men to commence the intellectual sparring match that would confirm who would be more qualified to lead the free world. This was the first presidential debate I would witness after (1) aceing my AP Speech & Exposition Writing class my junior year in high school [third year in secondary]; (2) participating in said high school’s debate club; and (3) finally being able to vote. I was anxious at the idea that the techniques that I, a veritable nonentity, had learned were going to be employed in a forum that affected up to 260 million people.

You know how folk get about the NFL and NASCAR? That was me in anticipation of the Gore/Bush debates.

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