*Disclaimer: Not my usual post. This one is political and may be hurtful to some. Stop reading now if you don’t want to read my political views.
I woke up this morning, looked at my Mexican husband and beautiful, half-Latina baby girl sleeping next to me, and I cried. I cried because I knew when my daughter woke up, I would have to tell her that we wouldn’t be celebrating the first woman president today. Instead of looking her in the eye and saying, “See, baby, one day you will be a fierce, smart, caring woman; you can be anything you dream of, even President,” I would have to tell her that her new President is a narcissistic, misogynistic, racist man who believes she is inferior, that he can do whatever he wants to her without repercussion, and that her place is in the kitchen cooking his dinner and beautifying to his satisfaction. I would have to shamefully say that her leader is at worst, if any of the allegations are confirmed true, a rapist, and at best, a woman-disrespecting ego maniac. But this isn’t even the worst of it.
I cried because I knew I would have to look in those sweet little eyes as she was curled up in her daddy’s arms and explain that so many millions of people in her own country hated her daddy. That they hated him for sacrificing 14 years of his life to come here and tirelessly work to make sure his parents, grandparents, and siblings in Mexico had food, a comfortable house, access to health care, and the opportunity to go to college which he could never have dreamed for himself. That while he was here, giving up the opportunity to ever see his grandparents again, who he adored, people in this country hated the very thought of him in their community.
I cried because, heartbreakingly, I would have to tell her that those same people hated her too. They hated her for everything she symbolized. The perfectly tanned skin that Mommy sees as beautiful, so many millions of people in her country see as something to fear. They fear the fact that you are different, sweet girl, and that, to them, you represent a change, a shift in demographics that makes them feel powerless. Your beautiful mix of culture and language and skin color is, to us, the greatest symbol of love that ever could exist. You are proof that love conquers all – skin color, cultural barriers. To Mommy and Daddy, you symbolize the greatest of mankind. But, baby, today it’s obvious that so many millions of Americans see you only as a threat and a sign of some imagined evil takeover of THEIR country. When they “make it great again,” you won’t be welcome.
I cried because I’m ashamed that my fellow countrymen, that my fellow friends and even family members chose a future for our country that values fear, hatred, racism, and sexism above love and openness. That so many millions of people don’t see my husband or my daughter or even me, a woman, as worthy human beings. I kissed my baby on the forehead, rubbed my hand down the cheek of my sleeping husband, and I cried.
Tomorrow I will figure out how to move forward. We will unify. We have to. But today, I cried.