What the fuck, America

The preliminary election results are in; Trump leads Clinton, 288-215.

You only need 270 to win.

What the fuck. 

Now, get this. I hate how underhandedly the DNC orchestrated her into being the Democratic nominee. I hate that Bernie was recognized by my generation as being the one guy with an ounce of integrity, the one fit to represent the Democrats in a bid for the White House. I hate that after he was cheated out of his chance, my next best hope, Gary Johnson, didn’t know what Aleppo was, let alone where, let alone the crisis that has been happening over the past few years.

I hate that Trump is the best we thought we could do tonight. I hate that as the rest of the free world moves toward gender and racial equality, my country just decided to take 15 steps back and remind me, yet again, that I am second class citizen and my body is not my own.

I hate that we, as a nation, failed to draw the parallels between a narcissistic demagogue and a fascist leader who promulgated the same fucking rhetoric in the 1930s.

I hate that I have to go in tomorrow and face down the living embodiments of all the ideals which have held me down and told me I wasn’t good enough or reminded me how my gender made me soft, emotional, incapable of doing the work I do. I hate that if I ask for space or respect or just to be left the fuck alone, they will either fault my generation or my sex; nevermind that this election was intensely personal to me.

Nevermind that I am a woman; how about my grandparents who were immigrants?

Or both of my grandfathers, who served in the Army and the Air Force? Or me, who still serves?

How about the man that raised me, who is Mexican?

How about my nephew, who is half-black?

Or that I’m a quarter filipino?

Or that I have two daughters, one of whom is already being ogled by disgusting old men? SHE’S FUCKING EIGHT.

Why? How could you do this, America? How could you elect a misogynist, a racist, an ignorant, classless, philandering, lying, failure of a man as our Commander-in-Chief? Even with the mirror to your nose you don’t see how ugly you are.

Maybe he is you. But he isn’t me. He will never represent me.

 

Last of the Last

Sleep did not come easy last night. I don’t know why I thought it would. After a two mile run-walk with a friend, I went home to a lonely house that still needed to be packed. I tackled the girls room, throwing old clothes into a donation pile, and gathering the other pieces I thought they’d want in Virginia. In my son’s room, I gathered up his recently purchased bedding and tossed into one of my standard giant moving bins. I swore when we moved into this house that we weren’t moving again and I’d thought to get rid of the things. Procrastination is sometimes a blessing. Continue reading

Praying for Us All

The cold lately has had a way of pulling from me the most apathetic of moods. The past two years I’ve noticed a listlessness, a disinterest in almost everything. It’s as if the moment the first frost strikes, a switch has been flipped and the light I strive to keep on is temporarily broken – until spring springs again.

The first frost here was Thursday evening, November 12. I took Friday off from work and spent the day tending to chores – I think I was mostly happy. Mostly busy.

Perusing Facebook before bed is a nighttime ritual (a poor one, I know), and as I was scrolling, doing a final check and finishing up bits and pieces of conversations, I see one or two status updates mentioning “Praying for Paris.” I’m a curious person, naturally, but a few more scrolls and a quick Google search and the story unfolds before my eyes.

Terrorists attack Bataclan, a venue hosting a band, Eagles of Death Metal, and by the end of the weekend, the total dead comes to 129, 352 injured.

129 innocents. Not military members. Not Yazidi. Not Christians. Just people, enjoying live music, eating dinner, savoring life.

129 people who do not get to enjoy the holidays or ring in 2016. They will never know if the world was able to unite and take down Daesh (ISIS/ISIL).

I have friends who have vacationed or studied abroad in the City of Light, but I myself have not had the good fortune of crossing that particular city off of my Bucket List. But my soul cried for Paris.

For Beirut, Lebanon – another Daesh target –  where 43 lives were lost on November 12th.

For Garissa University in Kenya, who lost 147 Christians, attacked in April by al-Shabaab, another Islamist terror group.

I know that this is bigger than just Daesh, al-Shabaab, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. I know that I want to fix it all, to save all the children from the pain and suffering of the cruel actions and decisions of men who do not know their names, let alone their pain.

Part of my sadness comes from knowing I cannot save them, that for all the good I want to do, I’m not a superhero and I’m not a politician or the leader of an army. I have a voice, but it is but one in a sea of many.

France has responded swiftly to the attacks, having already launched an attack on Daesh strongholds in Syria. I wish that there was some other way – America has been at war since 2001. But it isn’t just us, and it never was just us.

I’m afraid that the only language terrorists speak is violence, war, pain, suffering.

I know I spent most of my Saturday watching one daughter play basketball and another daughter cheer and I know I spent most of my weekend in a foggy haze, unable to comprehend the atrocity of Daesh, and their unceasing proliferation of hate, fear, pain, and destruction. For the whole of Saturday, I was here but not here because my thoughts were with how blessed and fortunate I am, we are, to live where we live, to be able to do what we do on a day to day basis, and how all that we worry about is so trivial compared the Syrian child who sleeps in the dust, unsure of where his next meal is coming from or the Afghani girl who may not get an education.

I’m still praying for the world.