I have Muslim family living in the U.S., along with Hispanic, Black and gay friends spread across the country, and have been blessed with amazing people who shower my family with nothing but love and respect.
But last night my heart broke into a million pieces watching the election results as the U.S. elected Trump as President of the United States. Trembling at what my family and friends will be enduring in the next four years, the president-elect is a man who speaks to violence, homophobia, xenophobia, racism, sexism, inequality and more importantly of how I was raised, is not the ‘type’ of guy who is supposed to win anything. This election was more about moral decency and ethics than politics, yet no one noticed. And no one who voted Trump actually ever came out boasting about policy. Instead they have a desire to abuse others, hang journalists from trees and this leader stays silent. As it goes, the softest hearts who feel they have so much to lose are the easiest to manipulate from fear.
Last night proved compassion is no longer the basis of morality. It’s easier to be disinterested in others if it means we don’t get hurt. We don’t feel pain. We don’t have to understand what it’s like to be not privileged or in such a case, white. Trump is the person we tell our kids not to be, yet here we are. A few years ago, my best friend and love told me, “Never be afraid to speak up for yourself and your loved ones.” He knew I was this way and always will be. And I am going to make it my mission to always work hard and care deeply for those I truly believe in because the world doesn’t need hate. It’s hard going at it on our own every day, diving into the unknown than to pander to hateful rhetoric and sentiment.
The results have shown us that while we have a divided nation here, no vote for Clinton was cast in vain. Every one who cast a ballot for integrity, morality and the good of loving our neighbors did a great service to each other as a way of showing our support to those who have been degraded by a man who prides himself on how much money he has and how women are easily up for grabs.
But it also shows the silent majority who doesn’t speak up against hateful rhetoric, whether a Trump supporter or someone of the 200 million that didn’t vote (the right to vote is a beautiful thing…), are ones to fear the most. Fork-tongue. Two-face. People who dictate their life based on consternation. These are people I know and have unfortunately come across in the last 24 hours who disbelieve sexual assault, racism, Islamophobia and lately, the KKK. How can you pass such a horrible and inexcusable group of people as a joke and not take them seriously? This is arrogance. This is privilege. Perhaps you are not blessed with people of different faiths, backgrounds and cultures to better understand the world around you. Maybe your heart is not big enough to comprehend the life outside your own.
How can one relate to Trump when his ideals run alongside Hitler’s own disdain for minorities prior to the Holocaust? As a world and a nation that is incredibly divided, we have a moral obligation to be kind to each other and most of all, defend the rights of those who are unfairly treated. I learned friends and acquaintances make up who you are in every facet. Through this knowledge, the circles we create are a direct reflection of who we are at the end of the day. This election was never about policy, it has long been about everything Trump wanted to make it about and of course, millions fell victim to his monstrous rhetoric. Honestly, if you can’t stand up against hate and mask it only as “change” because you want something different, what is left of your integrity? That is an invalid argument on all accounts.
Between the Bible, Quran and Torah, we were taught to love thy neighbor, stand up for others and speak out on injustice. But what is done is done, and every action in life serves a reaction that we may or may not be ready for. Now is the time I pray we practice patience, tolerance and show how big our hearts are to those that repeal such understanding because love overpowers hate. Always.