This morning, in true expat fashion, I set my alarm at 1:30am to see the initial results of the 2016 Presidential election. Seeing that there were numerous states to predict, and the margins we significant, I headed back to sleep.
At 4am I gradually woke up, hoping (and slightly excepting) to witness history: The first woman president. Instead, I watched the map slowly turn red…representing a great divide in America that hadn’t been anticipated or predicated.
Now, politics is one topic that I very rarely discuss on the blog (if ever) but today was too momentous for me not to write my thoughts and feelings here on my little space.
I’ll be the first to admit, it’s relatively easier for me to reflect, as I am watching this unfold with the Atlantic Ocean separating me from America. I am impacted by this Presidential vote, but only indirectly, and it reminds me how much my roots of life are constantly evolving as an expat.
Essentially, I am watching from the sidelines. Feeling without hope and powerless to contribute.
My heart is sad, at the potential impact for immigrants, Muslims, women or the LGTBQ community in America. What will America look like for these Americans after the dust settles? How will we bridge the gaps, and become unified?
This election is being compared to the Brexit vote in June, especially for how surprising the results have been. Days after the Brexit vote in June, there were immediate racial backlashes against immigrant populations in some of the city centres like London or Birmingham. Families were threatened, told to return to where they came from. Instead of hiding, many British neighbors and community members stood shoulder to shoulder against racism with a resounding, “No.”
We have the capacity to innovate, to change the world, to be inclusive and to have empathy with our fellow humans. We need to stand up against hatred, rasicm or narrow mindedness with open dialogue. We need to love each other, to make our voices heard and to stand up against anger or racism against members of our community….together. If we see someone marginalised, let’s stand shoulder to shoulder with them.
To quote one of my favorite movies, The Godfather: ‘I believe in America.’
More importantly… I believe in Americans.
But, I’ll be honest … even after writing this post, I still don’t feel any better. I am anxious and sad and nervous for what it means for America. I guess, all I can say us that we need to stand together … to protect one another… to love each other and get ready to fight the good fight.
PS- If you are like me, and feeling overwhelmed by the election results.. here are a few helpful ways to get involved or take action.
PPS -I was able to do an interview on BBC Radio Wales tonight sharing some of my thoughts on the election. You can check it out here.