This morning, I woke up feeling sick to my stomach. I didn’t eat; couldn’t fathom eating anything until quite late in the day. I was certain that if I tried to eat something, I would absolutely vomit. I have been walking around all day stunned and mostly silent after last night’s American election.
Yes, I’m a Canadian. Yes, that means I didn’t vote in this election. Yes, that means many Americans think I should mind my own business.
However, I am a woman. I am the mother of children who are partly of Asian descent (which means the vast majority of people do not identify them as white). And I am a human being who cares deeply about social justice and the other humans with whom I share this earth, including several friends who live in the United States.
In the lead up to last night, I have been as engaged as any Canadian who is interested in world politics. I’ve been following since well before Clinton and Trump were the nominees for their respective parties.
Last night, I watched, stunned, mouth agape as Americans voted for a man who has made his misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, transphobic, homophobic views abundantly clear. There is no mistaking them. No one had to infer anything from or make assumptions or guesses about what he was saying. He said all the words himself.
He wants to ban all Muslims from entering the country. He wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. He wants to appoint only anti-choice judges to the Supreme Court. He thinks the police tactic of “stop-and-frisk” is a good one. He bragged about sexually assaulting women. He wants to overturn same-sex marriage rights. He is pals with Putin.
Really, the list goes on. And on and on.
Trump’s campaign was driven by hate and fear like no other we’ve seen in modern history. Comparisons have been made to Harper and our recent federal election, but – as one of my colleagues said this morning – Harper was a kitten compared to Trump.
People voted for Trump based solely on self-interest and with no concern whatsoever for the greater good; no concern for their neighbours.
And I will not let my fellow white women off the hook for this.
Last night, there was a lot of chatter on social media about able-bodied, heterosexual, middle-aged white men and how they are to blame for this outcome. And, by and large, when compared to men in other demographics, they are. That said, they are not alone. A shocking amount of blame lies with white women.
White women voted for a man who admitted to casually sexually assaulting women; who then degraded women who accused him of sexual assault; who – at present – will be heading to trial in February for the rape of a 13-year-old; who has vowed to revoke women’s bodily autonomy; who has cheated on his wives; who has vowed to appoint only anti-choice judges to SCOTUS; who has vowed to eliminate Obamacare (which has helped working class women access health care); and who has promised to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
Again, I could go on. And on and on.
If you are a person of colour, especially black or Hispanic; if you identify as part of the LGBTQ community; if you are Muslim; if you are a woman, there are tens of millions of people with whom you share a country who simply do not care about your interests; who simply do not care about what many of us around the world consider to be your fundamental human rights.
I am ashamed and disappointed in and disgusted by the women (and the men) who voted for Trump.
Harsh? Probably not harsh enough, to be frank.
Millions of people voted to put a man into power who is – by all accounts – a danger to society.
This is not a lone Canadian overreacting. People from all over the world who have far more education and experience than me have been saying it for months. There’s no way we’re all wrong.
And, America? We are very, very worried for and about you. Deeply concerned. And afraid.