This inauguration day is one that weighs heavy on my heart. I cannot bear to think about the future that awaits me and people like me. Over the next four years, I will try to remember what I love about this country; it feels as if every year that passes chips away at my remaining hope. People who I respect, who I aspire to emulate, keep reminding me that I must have hope, but honestly, I don’t know how.
I don’t know how to stay positive with a president who gropes people like me, who openly mocks people like me. His actions normalize that kind of behavior, and I have to ask myself: what am I going to do if someone does these things to me? How will I respond?
I want to say I’ll respond with honor and decorum, but it’s more likely that I’ll respond with self-hatred. I’ll find myself agreeing with the evil things that our president says about people like me. I already get these feelings from my own mind. Why not believe them from an outside source? Why not believe them from someone this country elected to the highest respected position?
How do I pretend that the people who elected him care about me? People who I love and care for did elect this man. How do I grapple with the fact that their choices show a blatant disregard for my being? They argue that they elected someone whose values most align with their own. If that’s the case, I don’t think I can continue to associate with them. I can continue to love and value them as humans, but I cannot use the word friend. Friendship is built on mutual love, respect, and trust. If your values align with DT, you have none of those things towards me.
I feel as if my perceptions of humans as a whole have been splintered. Part of me, the part my parents raised, wants to believe that people are just people: that we’re all doing the best we can. The other part of me looks on with a critical eye and says “if this is the best we can do, we’re not worth saving.”
Edited by: Kara Mercer