Donald Trump Has Won: A Letter To My Little Sister
To My Sister,
I was up for hours on Election Day and into this morning. A lot of this time was spent thinking about you. What this election meant to you; for you. How you would interpret modern politics. How your world view would be shaped; your perspective skewed. The toll this would take on your psyche; your self esteem. The tension you'd have to navigate through in your predominantly white middle school. The Trump yard signs you'd see on the bus. The white teachers who would tell you that everything would be okay, or not to be a sore loser. The twinge of pain you'll feel now when you see "Make America Great Again" baseball caps. The awkwardness that will now permanently reside between you and your classmates. The peers you'll be surprised to learn, aren't really your friends.
It's gonna be rough, sis. I wish I could tell you otherwise in good conscience.
The good news is, you are who you are. More understanding, accepting and mature than most thirteen year olds. You've proven to be sharp; to be confident; to be levelheaded; to be purposeful. Now is not the time to shrink yourself or retreat. There is no need (and frankly, no time) to be fearful or apologetic. You'll need to hone in on these qualities more than ever. All of these strengths you've had--some of which I've envied, and all of which I've admired--are why I don't worry about you out there. You'll be straight. If it comes down to you and the Donald himself, my money's on you, kid.
I know it's unfair, though. That your blackness and your womanhood and especially your awareness means that you don't get to skip through middle school like your peers do. You don't have the luxury of ignorance, or of complacency. You don't get to live with the wool pulled over your eyes. You don't get to believe the teacher's notion of post-racial America. Middle school should be passing notes, petty gossip, and other painless cliches. The coexistence of this election, it's outcome, and your radical act of being both black and woman have underscored your time of inter- and intra-personal growth negatively. I'm sorry. Know that you still deserve to have fun. That you still deserve to skip through middle school, even if you do not get to. Attach nothing of this election season to your worth.
You've been endowed with a certain magic that pulses through you, attributed to your melanin and your extra X-chromosome. You are worth more than ballots and bias. You are larger than extremism. Nothing about you or your people is or ever will be defeated. We've survived invasion, the Middle Passage, chattel slavery, Jim Crow laws, segregation, black codes, lynchings, assassinations, housing discrimination, economic apartheid, mass incarceration. We will survive Donald Trump.
I know this election is your frame of reference for contemporary politics. I know it's ugly and painful. I know it's been contradictory to everything you've been told about this country; about the "American Dream." I know this isn't like the happy endings of the movies you've watched and the books you've read. I know you don't like it. I know you may even hate it. But I also know that you can change it, if you so choose.
For now, keep being you, in all of the fullness and the glory that "you" encompasses. Hold your head high. Never shy to bigotry. Take up as much space as you fill. Squeeze your greatness into small rooms, and small minds. Bend to no one's will but your own and kneel to no one but God. Skip, if you can.
Love you and see you soon,