When the US election results first rolled in, it was about 5am in Prague. I honestly couldn’t sleep that night, and my facebook/snapchat/whatsapp was filled with messages from friends around the globe commiserating at the election results. So when my dad said ‘Trump won’ all I could think is ‘….No.’ A few friends even messaged me to ask if I was okay, knowing how much I adore my nation and how completely devastated I am to see such hatred and fear fuel the largest miscarriage of justice we have seen since before the Civil Rights Movement.
That day will always be remembered by me as one of the worst days in American history, and in my lifetime (and trust me, I’ve had a ton of bad days, so this is really saying something). Why was it so bad? Because it was the day that I truly questioned why I have chosen to remain American. I have lived in Canada 5 years, I have a 3-year work visa there, I can become a resident and later a citizen. And to be perfectly honest, my first reaction was to do just that. And part of me still wants to. But then I saw something that I care about more than being ashamed of my nation – my facebook feed has been filled with detailed accounts of homophobic, racist, xenophobic and sexists attacks on my fellow citizens – some even to close friends, and not just within the borders of the United States. Anyone who knows me at all knows I am one of the most protective people on this earth – you hurt my friends, you hurt me. So this is one thing I cannot and will not stand by and watch idly, whether I know those being discriminated against or not.
No – I do not feel like this is my America. No – this is not the country I know and love. Yes – I am still ashamed to be American, and have still told those who ask where I am from that I am from Canada. But does that mean I am going to leave the US? No. Because another thing I saw – those who voted for Trump want the liberals to leave. They want the liberals and minorities to stay quiet and allow them to ‘cleanse’ our population. What I realized is – if we leave, if we pack up and say we are done, if we stay quiet and allow the horrific proposals of Trump to be passed, we will have failed those discriminated against a second time. And I, for one, am too ashamed that we failed them once to let it happen again.
So my conclusion – I still haven’t decided whether: a) I will stay in the US and volunteer with every organization possible to protect the rights of the US citizens, and the immigrants and refugees who came to our country hoping for a better future; or b) I will go abroad for more schooling (because the reason I didn’t this year is I can’t afford US graduate schools, but I can afford international graduate programs – another extremely big problem in our nation, which is absolutely deplorable: how can we expect to remain a world power if our citizens can’t afford a good education?) so I can come back and fight for the rights of my fellow citizens, immigrants, and the refugees who have feared so greatly for their lives that they risked everything to come to a nation which is treating them like the very people they were fleeing from. But one thing is for sure: I am an American liberal, and I will do everything in my power to fight for the rights of the the immigrants, refugees, and my fellow citizens – all of which do not deserve the hell we have put them through in this past week.
And for those following my blog – Yes I will still be posting about my travels, but I am also starting a series of political posts. It is up to you whether you wish to read them or not.