Why It’s Not Okay: Grief is acceptable in the wake of the elections

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Photo by Moriah Hoskins

I am a queer, Hispanic, Jewish woman. This makes the past couple of days horrific for me and my communities. People have been telling me all kinds of things to explain the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ and the ever insulting ‘why it’s all okay’.

“Trump won’t be a bad president.”

“He has checks and balances!”

“He’s just president, he can’t actually do all that stuff he said.”

“At least he’s better than Hillary, right?”

And as to the validity of these things, I’m sure you’ve had hundreds of articles to glean from sweeping across your Facebook feed like sand battering against your teeth at the coast.

This one is about why it’s not okay. This one is for my friends, my family, who have suddenly seen a wave of hatred crash down upon them. This one is for my people who have committed suicide during this wave and who will commit suicide and self harm and weep and grieve the loss. This one is for the broken hearted people who sweep up the pieces, the ones holding signs and protesting.

People are upset with the protesters for “doing nothing helpful” and for “being an inconvenience.” People are shocked to hear that my community has suicide ripping through it like a dull knife yet again. People ask me why this is happening after a “mere election cycle.” People have been comforting me by saying that it was “just another election.” That “these things happen.”

Let me explain to you why it is not okay.

Trump has said many racist, bigoted, misogynistic, and horrific things. I could list the people he has hurt, I would list the things he has said. I won’t. You know them. You have read them and heard them, and so has everyone else.

My people have heard them. So have the people who hate them. The people who hate gays, who are racist, who are sexist, who feel as though the progress these past eight years has been an offense.

They just got their golden ticket. A golden ticket stamped with a capital V for validation. Every hateful thing they’ve thought or said has just been elected into office by their countrymen.

My people watched as half of their country voted for this validation, for this man who molests women, who makes fun of disabled reporters, who disrespects heavily and doesn’t have “I’m sorry” in his vocabulary, combined with a VP elect who thinks that electrocuting the gay out of someone is possible and good.

It’s not okay because little Hispanic kids are crying that their parents will get deported. It’s not okay because my queer friends are receiving death threats, it’s not okay because hijabs are being hidden away in drawers out of fear, and those who still wear them are having then torn off their heads in public.

It’s not okay because America just validated everything Trump stands for.

Telling us that we need to stop protesting, and focus on doing something for the next election is cruel. We were voting, we were standing for all the progress we just made. We were trying, and now we are grieving the pool of blood and hate we have been shoved together in.

Let us grieve. Let us protest. Let us mourn, let us band together, and there is where we will prepare, there is where we will fight, there is where we will say ‘Yes we can’ and where we will stand.

Hillary wasn’t the greatest. It wasn’t good versus evil, it was a result of bi-partisan extremism shitting out what it had. It was a contest of which turd was shinier. We just had to watch the one that validated the hate against us win.

We are grieving because it is not okay. Grieving this is okay. It does not mean we are whining. It does not mean that we are being childish about our shinier turd not winning the contest. It means we miss our people who left us through the loop of a noose or the slash of their own knives on election night. It means we can see that our society is still so far away from not filling our lives with hate.

As Obama said, “The sun will rise tomorrow.” And it will. It will rise on our blood, our dried tears and our flames burning brighter; burning for a future for our children where they will not have to fear for their lives because of who they are.

But for now, it is not okay. And that’s okay.  

Story by Moriah Hoskins