A Nation Divided

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“It's hard to be a parent tonight for a lot of us. You tell your kids, don't be a bully. You tell your kids, don't be a bigot. You tell your kids, do your homework and be prepared. Then you have this outcome and you have people putting children to bed tonight. They're afraid of breakfast. They're afraid of, how do I explain this to my children?” - Van Jones

Van Jones brought up a real concern for many in America, including myself. How can I tell my children they live in a culture that embraces bullying, bigotry, and hatred? How can I tell them they live in a country where unconditional love does not abound? Better yet, how can I get them to believe that having good morals and character is still the way to go?

Being a double minority in the United States puts me in a unique position. I am not upset that Trump won the election per se. The pill that is difficult to swallow, however, is knowing how he won. To know my new commander in chief won based on a campaign that showed disregard for people of color, individuals with disabilities, women, Mexicans, Muslims, and the LGBTQ community, speaks volumes. I heard a Trump supporter indicate his elation because he felt Trump embodies and speaks for all Caucasian men in the U. S. Pardon me if I do not share elation in this privilege--a privilege many minorities are still not afforded. 

To know my new commander in chief has been a proponent of violence (as was demonstrated at several rallies) really makes me question the safety of my fellow Americans who do not look like our President-elect. I was saddened to know Trump threw out minorities at his rallies, only to find later that some of these individuals were, in fact, among his supporters. How is it 2016, and we are, again, being judged by the color of our skin? Political preference should not be assumed based on an individual’s physical characteristics. 

How can I believe my new commander in chief (and especially many who look like him) will not continue to judge based on the color of skin, religious beliefs, and more? I have already heard reports this morning from fellow African Americans who were told to “go back to Africa”. Many Muslims and immigrants alike woke up wondering if they need to leave before being forced to do so. This is not the direction our country needs to head in. This is not the way to bridge the divide. Our country has a lot of work to do if we ever expect to become unified.

Let me be clear: I am not a sore loser. I am not losing my faith in God’s ability to protect my family and friends. I am merely voicing some concerns that many share within the communities that were targeted in the past eighteen months. At the end of the day, I recognize God as the Ultimate King. However, I am not naive to think we don’t have some important questions to answer now. So, I ask you, America:

Where do we go from here?

How do we heal from a wildly shocking Presidential election? 

How do we make those of us who were targeted in this election feel welcomed, wanted, and loved now that the same man behind the hatred will be the 45th President of our country? 

How can we bridge the divide in our nation?

I don’t have all the answers, but I will say what I’ve said before: Love is the key. 

Proverbs 10:12 (NIV) tells us: Hatred stirs up conflict but love covers all wrong. 

Regardless of my views, I have always told my children that no matter the outcome of this election, God is still in control. We will not live our lives in fear because fear is not of God. We will, however, continue to love and treat ALL people with kindness and RESPECT. I can only pray the same is extended to my family and me.