As I finally have a little room to breathe because I took ½ day from work to go turn-up in Atlanta, I can finally reflect upon all the rage and anguish I have had since that unexpected turn of events on Tuesday. I’m currently still receiving information about the difficult time my coworkers are having as I said I was an anchor in the school. This, I repeat, this is the only reason I haven’t planned to leave next month. You haven’t really felt fear become palpable until you have had to be with a terrified child. You also haven’t felt anger until you can’t trust your parents to fight for you. It’s a pretty emotionally draining three days and based on my work people are even becoming sick and having to stay home from it since we’re not getting a break to process it. As such, there are a few thoughts and ideas I’m still processing and I will outline them as I write.
Hillary Clinton - First of all, I was never a fan of Hillary, I was a fan of Bernie Sanders and I was pretty sure that he could have won a few states Hillary didn’t. I know Hillary would’ve kept the status quo and in all reality have not done much to help Black and Brown people; however, what I was most in favor of was the power of continuing an overall Democratic agenda. Many of the foundations Obama laid out would’ve continued with Clinton and while I honestly think we still would’ve lost the house and senate we would’ve had a progressive Supreme Court Justice instead of whoever the hell we will get to set the country back – abortion and gay marriage be damned. Furthermore, Hillary’s supporters didn’t promote racism, sexism, and xenophobia and encouraged youth movements that Obama really kick started.
The whitelash – We’ve already seen it and it’s probably going to get worse. White supremacy allowed to run rampant is a dangerous and scary reality now. The fact that America has shown it’s true sense of wanting racism to continue and return to power tells us what this country thinks about life. You have people who want a return to the racism and sexism and xenophobia of before. This seems supported by the government and quite possibly the police and other government services who have the potential to damage the lives of many people. Where this becomes an even larger issue is that we’re not backing down. You’re going to have race wars and riots even more. We are a far more educated force of color, LGBT and religiously free set of people who won’t tolerate the issues. As such, as I tell my students we must become a more unified front and protect our own. We can no longer trust white people to do anything for us in nearly any capacity.
The Branches of Government – This is where I am most defeated. Trump is president, the Senate and House is majority Republican and there is a vacant seat that I still wish Obama would fill before he heads out as that seat is probably going conservative (and based on the age of Ginsberg even further right). This is hardest for me to deal with because that means executive orders, congressional legislature and judicial review will all become conservative basically blocking all the progress Obama has made in the last decade. This means that the law of America can no longer protect us regardless of how much we advocate and fight unless some miracles happen. This is the hardest to tell my students that their efforts will be in vain for the most part.
International Fronts – Pay attention Americans because we have the following happening: Marnie Le Pen in France, Brexit, Trump Presidency, Putin’s powers consuming East Bloc, and Turkish conservatism. This is not progressive. This will lead to serious backlash from ISIS and many other countries throughout the world. In a sense you’re seeing a renewed Colonialism called Isolationism in which the white Western powers are distancing themselves from progressive and multicultural nations. This will escalate to possibilities of nuclear war. You have been warned.
My own personal experiences have been filled with a myriad of issues, which I will convey as follows:
Work – Work is insanely stressful because the charter school has not relented or slowed down because of this. I’m glad I took my half day which took forever to get to Atlanta as it seemed a little universe trying to keep me unhappy. However, because of the lack of slow down, I am not getting any work done unless I’m around the students. This makes it very difficult to focus at work and even care. My best coworker buddy had to remind of an agreement I made last year in that no matter how much I hate teaching math, a subject that prevents me from being to have full discussions on our issue at hand, and as much as I hate our school network I have to finish the year for the students.
White people as a whole – My fear for police is back up again, as is my disdain for white Christians who don’t comprehend the moral high ground of their religion. I was making progress with both but now that all is lost. I have purged myself of 90% of the white people in my life ever up until this point and even some more after as I had no more tolerance for any deviances from a progressive ideology. I’m cautious to talk to any new white person I meet and refuse to trust them. I will always make it about race, LGBT, women’s movement and religious freedom. I will always try to deflect your nonsense in some capacity and I will ask questions regardless of how uncomfortable they make you. You don’t have to live with it, we do
Protector for my students and everybody I know – I am compelled to protect my students with their confusion, sadness and fears from any and all threats to their physical, mental and emotional security. Many of my students want out and away from this country that they were once excited in. They know Trump’s rhetoric and they can already see why this presidency is a danger to them. But I will protect them and any of my Black and brown, Native American, Asian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, LGBT crew fiercely if I have to.
Lack of familial support – Here is the hardest part – most of my family disagrees with me. The entire white side of my family has proven themselves to be racist. It’s scary to think that your family is against you, your students and your peers but I have seen the twitter rants from my racist uncle and I have seen the support from other members of that side. My mom’s subtle but outright ignorance of her racism is mind boggling, as I don’t feel safe around her. I will most likely send her an email this weekend as I still am going to stay with them in Christmas to get my stuff and I still see them on my birthday, but I need their support with some student loan debt and a rental car as I wish to honor their costs otherwise I would cancel everything. There are other moments knowing that my brother didn’t vote, my Black uncle in Michigan went third party and a good swath of my southern Black relatives didn’t participate. However, the one huge issue is my father. He is a Black man who lived through the Civil Rights Era and is Trump supporter. It completely boggles my mind and it makes me angry, but most of all it makes me absolutely distraught. The fact I can’t trust my father, a Black man who taught me to be ok with being Black in America and while teaching how to be strong in the face of so much adversity is now a complete Uncle Tom who doesn’t support me. As such, I have a near complete lack of familial support and I feel truly like I’m standing on my own two feet as I ignore his calls and our texts are heated in that I think he is an asshole. Where there is once love for my family there is hatred and that is a sorrowful pain that I don’t fully know how to deal with.
What will I do – Leave. I was about to leave tomorrow or next month, but I really need to sit and hammer out the details of these applications while possibly joining some more organizations. Though work has given me zero time to do this and it is insanely stressful. We have no substitutes and being out means finding a coverage plan instead of simply stating that you can’t be at work for personal health. It’ nauseating. Still, for my students, I will finish out the year and begin to leave in June. At the moment Africa (South Africa), Asia (East Asia in particular with Korea, Japan and Hong Kong maybe China), Latin America (Brasil and Colombia looking like the most prominent with possible Mexico, Costa Rica or Panama) and the Middle East (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman being some of my favorites) are where I would like to be. Europe, Australia and anywhere there are a lot of white people are an absolute no. Furthermore, I am not here to be the one person to save everyone when I have been worried about students of color and changing white people’s minds for 10 years now. As such, it’s time to worry about my self-care and take care of myself.
When will I return? I don’t know but most likely in four years with a new family in tow or maybe longer, but America has failed to show progress it has failed its people and I want no part in its inevitable downfall.
Stay safe everyone, stay safe.