Fight or flight? Post-election thoughts.

Last week we decided to do a special edition of our #DiversityJC to discuss what’s next for diversity in #STEM after the election. During the past few weeks before the election, I was terrified with the path things were going and became obsessed with Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight predictions and pre-election daily podcasts. It interfered with my work. With my life. With my sanity. I could see on my social media feeds that this was a general feeling among my peers, so I tried to post something nice and hopeful everyday. Because this is who I am, I always avoid conflict and try to “always look at the bright side of life”. When the results came, I was shocked. I cried. I despaired. After a few desperate and useless days, I decided to take a break from social media and tried to get back into my bubble (I still haven’t watched Trump’s acceptance speech, and not sure if I will).

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But simply putting your fears aside doesn’t mean that they are not still there! That’s why I decided to join this #DiversityJC discussion, even being on the road, in the middle of training week. Recap post will come soon, and in case you are curious about the discussion, you can read the storify here.

Yes, I’m scared. I’m skeptical about talking too much in a public space and people will realize I’m an immigrant. I’ve decided to carry my green card with me all the time now. Lots of people told me I’m over reacting, that my life will not change, and nothing will happen to me. They might be right on a micro scale, but how can anyone believe that life in America will be the same in the next years?  There’s a lot at stake. Although he already started backing off his deportation ideas, his recent statements about the H1-b program are terrifying. His tax plans to cut taxes will probably cause a large economic growth – of course, with the side effect of a dramatic increase in deficit (even though I don’t think that would be different under other republican president). On the other hand, his trade ideas will probably cause people to pay more for what they’re buying, and that would most likely hurt the economy.He also somewhat softened his promise to repeal Obamacare but nothing have changed about his promises to defund planned parenthood.

I could go on and on with the political aspects of a Trump presidency. But in fact what scares me the most is not really the Trump presidency itself. What scares me is the monster that his campaign has awakened. The selfishness to worry about your own ass and simply don’t care about anyone and anything else. The spread fear and hate that his campaign was based on. The naturality of bigotry and the white supremacism. It’s scary and also disappointing, on a personal level. After all, USA is the country I’ve decided to live, the place I learned to love and call it home for almost 10 years. Maybe you can understand my feelings better after reading my post-election facebook post:

Well done, America. You elected an repugnant human being, and confirmed what everybody says about you abroad, that you are a selfish country that doesn’t give a shit about anyone else other than yourselves, Despite all this, this is the country I chose to live. Despite all the jokes, I used to defend the Americans. And Trump’s win hurts more than anything, not because things are really going to change in my life, but because I’m ashamed of my choices, I’m ashamed of living in a country where the elected president grab women by the pussy and that’s fine. Good job America. Tonight, you chose bigotry. Tonight, you chose ignorance. Tonight, you chose hate.

Now I see that a lot of people decided to fight. Protests, social media posts and groups, vote recount… I’m somewhat included into that group. I joined ACLU and donated to Jill’s recount fund. But even in the case that the results of the election can be undone, there will still be millions of people out there that supported Trump despite his lack of morals, repugnant statements and ideas. And that’s what I’m really scared of. And that’s what I’d like to fight against.

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