And with no knowledge of what’s to come, her tiny vocal cords stretched to the high heavens.
“We love Trump! We love Trump! We love Trump!”
In an instant, I saw worlds crumble, dreams shatter, and hearts break. She was only four. Her body not yet capable of holding the gravity of her words, she smiled at me, beaming. Her and her sisters were my rays of light, but in that moment, the weather could not be more gloomy. How did it come to this? Swallowing tears just to keep from bursting, I took a deep breath and walked away.
I knew of my family’s dark past. Before they were introduced to color TV and colored babies, they were somewhat naive. I couldn’t blame them. We hadn’t had a dose of diversity since my GG married an Irishman. But when my brother was born, caramel and all, life was sweet. Sweeter than sweet. It was milk and honey.
That is, until it wasn’t. I didn’t know it at the time, but this election was our mistress. The homewrecker with little remorse and a lot of stamina. And this time, it was me who was the naive one. Forgetting some of my relatives’ conservative roots, I assumed the best.
Then the chants came. Like thorns to a rose, I was pricked by my flower. My sunbeam. Where did you go? Ignorance clouded her innocence. It robbed me of my light. Come back, I plea. I beg and I scream, but it was no use. Consensus could not be reached. We didn’t share the same view.
I have myself to consider now. I do not have the privilege to sleep through this. I do not have the privilege to write it away. I do not have privilege. And neither do many of my friends and family.
The result of this puts people at risk. It puts people at risk and I refuse to be a contributing factor. This isn’t even about politics anymore. This is about people’s well being. I am not voting for the candidates. I am voting for the people I love. I am voting for their lives.
And although they do not know it yet, I am voting for my rays of light. Because even though this may only graze their blonde hairs and hazel eyes, it will in fact graze them. And I cannot bare to see their freckles bloodied.
On November 8, 2016, I am going to the polls for my family.
For my friends.
For people of color. For women.
The disabled. The LGBTQ.
For the oppressed and the privileged.
This affects all of us.
Our future is not up for grabs.
I was never here for you. But for some reason, you think I was. For this tragedy? Really? Freedom should be raining in red, white, and blue, but I cannot see beyond the shackles. Beyond the oppression and heartache. Are you listening America? We are screaming your name. Pleading for mercy, but it does not seem to be getting through. There must be a disconnection. A division of sorts. Whites on one side, blacks on another. Men on one side, women on the other. Straights…You get the point, don’t you? Our house is divided. Our grounds unsettled. We beg for peace, and we receive a medal. We do not want your tokens. Just give us justice. We beg of you. Give us justice. Please.