Editor's Note: This isn't a political site, nor is it a space for us to push our political beliefs (other than our love for sneakers and girl power), but I'd be a fool if I didn't say that, in some way, CNK has really become a reflection of our ideals and our core values. If you're working on something that you love, how could it not? That said, I think it's important to address the feelings of discontenent in this country before we head back to business as usual. So, here's some post-election #Chickspiration for you. I need it just as much as you probably do.
In the wake of last night's stunning election results, it's quite easy for many of us to be negative. Hillary Clinton supporters and Donald Trump critics across the U.S. are shocked and absolutely indignant at Trump's landslide win. Those of us who stood #withher are simply in disbelief, we are depressed, disappointed, and even angry — just like millions of other Americans.
In a country that was built on the backs of slaves, endured (and continues to endure) the seething glare of racism, classism, and gender bias, we are now being tasked with supporting a president who has irrevocably done everything in his power to justify and adhere to those prejudices.
After President Obama was elected in 2008, many of us thought - with the election of the first African American President - that finally America was a place of long-fought-for equality. It was a moment that will be forever etched in my mind as one of pride, patriotism, and most importantly, hope. Hope that maybe we could finally begin to heal past hurts and change the world together. Perhaps we were a bit too idealistic.
In the 4 years since President Obama was elected to his second term, we have all witnessed an eerily familiar increase in the bigotry seen by our mothers, fathers, and grandparents in the 50's and 60's. African American men and women have been subject to unbelievable police brutality, men and women in our Muslim communities have been targeted due to their religious beliefs, women - for the first time since Roe v. Wade - have been increasingly aware that their bodies will not be their own if some have their way.
These incidents have shook us to our very core as a community but, we came together and fought as best we could. Which is why, for many of us, this election was a no-brainer. While both candidates weren't ideal, the overall sentiment was kind of clear: we're not going to elect the guy who doesn't seem to be for everyone. And now, the majority has.
America got back to its roots, and Trump's campaign persona stands for every injustice this country was founded on. Those who have been counting down to the end of an Obama Presidency saw him as their savior, protecting them from those "bad hombres", from the LGBTQIA+ community, from women, Muslims, and the black people that dare to declare that they too matter.
Campaign Trump wants to build a wall around his Eurocentric, priviledged ideals. He wants to keep Muslims, Mexicans, and immigrants out. He wants to govern women’s bodies. He is beloved by a KKK he's "never heard of" and doesn’t believe in marriage equality. He is, effectivly, White America’s Obama.
Last night, I saw panic on my timeline. I saw and even through a few nervous jokes, but all of us recognized the real fear that was palpable and real enough to penetrate screens. I went to bed last night and I cried. I cried because it's unreal that hate can foster so much. I'm scared for my friends. I'm scared for my family. I'm scared for anyone who doesn't quite "fit" in the America we really live in.
Today, we have turned the page in our country. And while a new President will not effectively take office for another 60+ days, a new President has been elected. Is the world going to end? Probably not. Although, I do understand how some of you could feel that way. I truly pray that the racist, sexist, classist, and prejudiced rhetoric reflected in his campaign will have no place in the Oval Office. And, as I fight my own fears, even though this seems like a truly devastating turn of events, the last thing we can do is live in that fear.
Instead, I'm celebrating a sea of key firsts. The election of former refugee Ilhan Omar , now Minnesota's first Somali-American female legislator and Oregon's choice to elect it's first openly LGBT Governor, Kate Brown . Pramila Jayapal , who just made history by becoming the first Indian-American woman ever elected to Congress and Catherine Cortez Masto , the Democrat from Nevada, who will be the first Latina to serve in the history of the U.S. Senate. And, finally, Senator-Elect Kamala Harris of California who made history as the second African American woman elected to the Senate and who has also has urged unity and action in Donald Trump’s victory.
It's scary right now. We don't know what will happen, but the election is finally over and we can no longer harp on the things we cannot change. Now is the time to get up, lace your sneaks, and GET GRINDING. Allow this dose of reality to fuel you as you protest injustice, put a voice AND action behind your commentary, resist the urge to just sit by and not participate, inform yourselves of the FACTS - not the things you see in one Twitter feed. And for everything you hold sacred, PAY ATTENTION.
The Presidency is 4 years. Everyone else has to see us again in 2.
Pay attention. The only way to stop a true reversal of all we've gained is to turn the house and the senate in 2018. MARK THE DATE.— Ashly Perez (@itsashlyperez) November 9, 2016