So this week, I planned to write an informative article about hyper-masculinity injected with my typical wit and humor intertwined with memes and gifs. But what most thought was unthinkable happened – Trump. He’s what some will call our next President (though I refuse to address him with such a title of respect.) And what did we do in response? We looked for a place to blame, which for most weren’t the proper places. Let me explain…
I first saw people blame those who chose not to vote, citing that 43% of registered voters did not participate in the 2016 election. I would first like to discuss that those that decided not to vote for whatever reason, it’s ok. I have discussed previously it is their choice not to vote and we should not demean people that exercised their American right. Also, we’re assuming that a majority of this 43% would have chosen Hilary, when in all actuality they may have not. Had these 43% voted Trump may have won more states than he did; we simply don’t know.
So first they want to force you to vote, then they don’t want you to vote for who you believe in. Ha! Many people were upset at people that voted for third-party candidates. They felt as though those were votes that could’ve went to Hillary. However, this is once again assuming they would’ve voted for Hillary over Trump. Additionally, this is telling people what you support doesn’t matter, which is the entire point of voting. In some states, third-party votes would not have even made a difference. To all the third-party voters, I’m proud of you. You stuck to your guns and voted for who you agreed with the most. You dealt with backlash and stood your ground. You helped future third-party candidates know they may one day have an actual shot at this thing.
Let’s look at the facts, only 8% of black voters chose Trump, while 88% chose Hilary. We did our job. However, in times of adversity, we blamed on another. We fell into old habits that have been ingrained in us for years and decided to put one another down. At a time where the majority of us weren’t happy, we added to the dismay. We have to do better. This is not the end. We have to replace the old habits with new ones. We have to learn to uplift in times of struggle because we can only help ourselves.
Yes, me, a combination two out of three above. I was blamed for Trump’s election. Though, I was in a state in which Hillary won, my third-party vote caused her demise. *note sarcasm* When people asked if I was proud, I said yes. Not proud because Trump won, but proud that I helped take down the two-party system. Though the third-party didn’t get the 5% I was hoping for, my vote still counted. I was then told to “STFU Girl.” To some this wouldn’t have an effect, but it brought me to tears. Simply because it came from a gay black male. Someone I’ve fought for, someone I’ve lost boyfriends over, someone I’ve cut off people in defense of. Because I wanted him to live in a less hyper-masculine homophobic world. I wanted him to be proud of being both gay and black and not feel like he had to sacrifice one for the other. But in this moment, he displayed the perfect example of disparaging black women when we need them most after we’ve defended black men tooth and nail. And even still my response was “I still love you though.” Because even when times get tough, I won’t stop fighting. I’ll lift you up while you beat me down. I’ll pour into your cup while you empty mine. That’s what we’re supposed to do in times of pain.
None of these places are who is to blame; Hillary’s demise was ironically her own people. Not the people she’s been pandering in order to get their approval, but those who you’d think identify with her the most, white people.
This is not on non-voters. This is not on third-party voters. This is not on black people. This is not on me. This is not on us. I hope we can move forward in peace. I hope we can truly learn to love one another in spite of it all. One day. We’ll get there.