November 23rd, 2016 as I recovered from November 8, 2016 or so I thought.
Tomorrow, Thanksgiving, the sun will shine again. Tuesday November 8th, 2016 was election morning. Ever since, I’ve been in election mourning. Time to move on. Time to be me again.
America has been around for a while. Surely it’s elected racist presidents before. But I thought that was in America’s racist past. Surely it’s elected sexist presidents before. But I thought that was in America’s sexist past. Surely it’s elected xenophobic presidents before. But I thought that was in America’s xenophobic past. But then November 8th happened. And now the person I used to be is in the past.
I never imagined that I needed to build an ark. I’m a weather junkie. I read all the forecasts. I’d been reading them for months. All the meteorologists said the sun would shine. The Huffington Post’s meteorologist said there was a 99 percent chance of sun. The Princeton Election’s meteorologist said the
same. The meteorologist of all meteorologists, Nate Silver’s prediction hovered around 80 percent chance of sun and bright skies.
I love sunshine. I planned a party. I bought food. I bought drinks. I invited my friends. I cued the celebration music. I cleared room for the sunshine soul train line.
But then November 8th happened. The deluge happened. Not all at once, clouds and scattered showers at first. North Carolina turned cloudy. That was okay; it rained there four years ago too. Florida turned cloudy. That was okay, too; rain in Florida can never be a major shock. But then the rain started in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Then the flood drowned my party. It left us desperately searching for higher ground.
I’m okay with the fancy prognosticators being so wrong. They make their
predictions based on models and polls and witchcraft. But I am profoundly bothered that I was so wrong. I made my prediction based on the America I thought I knew. The people I thought I knew. I have never been so wrong.
The people I thought I knew couldn’t abide a racist, sexist, xenophobe as their
president. Any of the above should be a deal-breaker and certainly all of the above must be.
The people I thought I knew wouldn’t vote for a man who views me as inherently less intelligent and moral because I am black. They wouldn’t vote for a man who views attractive women first as objects and less attractive women as worthless. They wouldn’t vote for a person who views Mexicans as rapists, murderers and drug dealers and unqualified to sit as judges. People I know wouldn’t elect a bigot.
But then November 8th happened. People I know elected a bigot. 80 percent of the white men with whom I used to make small talk at the gym. 53 percent of the white women for whom I used to hold open the door. I was angry with 100 percent of them. They all looked alike. There was nothing scattered about my glower. I couldn’t think very much of anyone who thought so highly of anyone who thought so lowly of me.
The world continues spinning, as it must. But mine was knocked off its axis. My ground shifted. My fundamental belief in humanity and decency was shaken.
But tomorrow, November 24th will happen. When my morning starts, my mourning ends. I have not so much found higher ground and survived the flood as I have learned to live partially submerged in infested water.
But alas, all is not lost. Now I know the people I once thought would help me build an ark, very well may be the people aiming the hose.
Never again will I be fooled. By the meteorologists or the person next to me.