Make America Care Again.
I came across a tweet the other day that affected me more than I was expecting it to. We’ve all seen the headlines. The pictures. The stories. We’ve been shocked. Disgusted. Horrified. And for those of us who chose to stand against what we saw this person as, I imagine some felt vindicated. How many lives had to be shattered to finally crack the immovable mask this man wore for some?
And when I initially saw this tweet, I wanted to roll my eyes, even though it had come from someone I had respected and in a lot of ways, admired. Screw that, I thought. This is what America wanted. This is their greatness. Children torn from the only families they’ve known because they’re the wrong nationality. The wrong ethnicity. The wrong color.
But for as angry as I’ve been, and for as angry as I’ll be until things truly change, I can’t help but find some shall shred of empathy for those who truly didn’t see. Who truly didn’t think that things could become this atrocious. This xenophobic. This toxic. I liken them to someone stumbling out of the fog, willingly blind for so long that they’re struggling with what’s now been revealed to them in the light. I try to empathize, to downplay my sense of betrayal and realize that they’re only now seeing their actions for what they are. Who they’ve given this kind of power to.
Because, let’s face it. Those polls showed that this country didn’t want a woman. It didn’t want another person of color. The status quo of rich, white men was irrevocably changed when Barack Hussein Obama, a mixed-race Black man took the Office of the President twice, and America wasn’t having that. It didn’t matter that this person wasn’t qualified. It didn’t matter that he had toxic, ignorant and dangerous views. All that mattered was that he promised to make this country great again. To restore that idyllic suburban utopia promised to the working-class masses, disenfranchised and paranoid with their growing fear of erasure.
As disillusioned as I’ve been since I woke up, turned on the television and saw the headlines that declared this man the President of the United States, I truly do hope that this is a wake-up call for all those too scared to embrace change that they welcomed familiarity in the form of a dangerously ignorant man with an equally dangerous Cabinet supporting the bigotry, intolerance and ignorance that has kept this country from being great all along.