The past four years as a black woman in America
Something in the air shifted today and I breathed a sigh of relief.
This is my personal story and you don't have to agree. If you have not walked in my shoes you will never understand. On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, I, along with other people of color, and the LBGTQ community felt a tightening in our chests. we braced ourselves for the worst and it came. My best friend said Trump would fire everyone as if he were still on The Apprentice and he did. I told her that racists would come out of the woodwork and they did. We both said The Donald would not be able to show himself presidential and he never did.
For 1460 days many people of color, Jews, and the LBGTQ community got up each morning with a lump in our throats and pressure in our heads. For the entire duration of the Trump administration, of 2008 weeks, we watched as hate crimes, antisemitism, and indifference to women increased. We endured many white friends we had known for decades suddenly acting as though they were possessed by evil spirits. Caucasians that we had lived next to, worked with, and sat next to in church for many years seemed to flip overnight. The more they supported Trump, the more their words and Facebook posts became divisive and hateful.
It was as if a spell had been cast and it became difficult to live in this nation as a person of color. I personally became paranoid wondering if the mailman, my doctor, or store clerks were Trump supporters and hating me behind my back. I was terrified when the children of Mexican immigrants were put in cages and many Americans did not seem to care. Things really came to a head when George Floyd died from a knee in his neck.
There have always been those in this nation who were intolerant but what was different now was that they were being endorsed from the highest office in the land. No president is perfect but not one before Donald Trump actually gave winks, nods, and dog whistles to those who were openly saying they hated Americans different from themselves. I had no choice but to delete a lot of my social media friends as did other members of my family and also friends. There were white siblings attacked each other on social media as if they were in the war between the north and the south. Brothers and sisters disagreeing and it was all because of Donald Trump.
The president never changed and continued to lie on a daily basis. I was shocked that so many Americans continued to support this man who said vile things, untrue things every single day since he had been elected. Even now he tweets that he won the election. Surely he deals with an alternate reality and maybe even mental illness. A sadness overtook me as I lost more white associates because of the venom they spewed because of Trump. How could any sane American not see how dangerous this man is I asked myself?
I spoke with others of all nationalities who said they felt sick upon waking up every day. Never in my life and I felt like this and I knew it was wrong. There seemed to be a cloud over the nation and although the coronavirus came from China, I wondered if somehow it was related to the vitriol coming from the White House. It was as if something evil had been unleashed in the nation and we were back in the 1960s. I watched Trump supporters like Mitch McConnel and Jerry Falwell Jr. and I was seeing Bull Conner and George Wallace.
I worried for my husband, sons, grandsons, brother, brother in law and nephew. I prayed protection for them that they would not end up swinging from a tree or being dragged by a truck. Stories began popping up of missing black men found hung and it terrified me to no end. I understand that each person has to live with the content of their own heart but the flames of hate were being stoked by Donald Trump. I was nervous as I went for my daily walk, expecting to be yelled at from vehicles. I looked around for a man who used to drive through black neighborhoods in this area his red pickup truck with a Confederate flag in the back.
I realize that the things I was concerned about can happen at any given time no matter who is on Pennsylvania Ave. Even so, this afternoon something lifted. That black cloud and paranoia that had been lingering for 1460 days was beginning to lessen. The announcement that Joe Biden had won the election caused me and so many others in American of all races to breathe a sigh of relief and the atmosphere seemed to shift a little bit. It's not over, however, because we still over two months before Biden takes office and Trump may pull out his most dastardly moves between now and then.
At least now there is hope that without a poisonous leader in charge, perhaps the majority of the haters may go back to the shadows. If Joe Biden promotes peace and unity, then maybe just maybe someone who is LBGTQ, Jewish, red, yellow, black, or even white will not lose their lives because of the evil. Who knows, perhaps now the Coronavirus might really go away with the wind and waves of change. I am watching my fellow Americans on television who are dancing in the streets and I get it. A rainbow coalition of United States citizens celebrating because they now feel as if they can breathe and perhaps have a chance.