January 20th, 2017. What a day. Usually the United States of America is full of excited energy. Yet, I know so many of us are overcome with a sense of dread. Fear. And more importantly, rage.
As an American, much thought has gone into this post. As a writer, I can only hope my words will hold some weight. Additionally, as a global citizen, I endeavor to help mitigate the fears of friends throughout Earth. I have heard that America is doomed now that Trump is President. I have felt the trembles of fear rippling through international news and minds.
This morning on Facebook I shared these thoughts:
I usually don’t write long statuses on FB, as I feel they have no meaning when it comes to making waves. I don’t know how many people read the opinions of others, but I cannot contain these thoughts. As a daughter of the nation known as America, today I woke up feeling ill. I remember growing up, reading history, looking back at how much has changed and thinking, “America is headed in the right direction.” I remember holding hands with people of every ethnic background and thinking, “We’re coming together.”
I believed that it was the essence of being an American that made it possible for me to have friends from all over the world and call them “brother and sister” despite having no blood relation.
Yet, there were times to when I was not proud to be an American. One of these moments was when I was in a convenience store in Japan, looking at the news reports of the 2016 Presidential Campaign. In the background I heard some Japanese people pondering what is wrong with Americans. How could we be so blind? Around the same time, I was repeatedly confused for a European. Whenever I said, “I’m from America,” people were both shocked and confused.And this was not just the Japanese. It was Australians thinking I’m from Britain, or Italians thinking I’m from France.
I inquired as to why so many people assumed I am not American. The response was staggering. The overall consensus was that because I am not obnoxious, bigoted, racist, overweight, bombastic, and unintelligent, there was no way I could be American.
Then I would whip out my passport or say something only Americans would know. In a way, I thought I was proving that Americans are nothing like Donald Trump. I thought that this election would prove we are bigger than our fears as a nation. That ethics, morals, and justice would prevail.But today, America is swearing a man into office that I just cannot accept. Some of you may celebrate this inauguration. But for me, it is a day of lamentation on a Grecian scale.Yet, I do keep a sliver of hope in my heart. Great and terrible things have happened in America. The country has endured horrendous events time and time again. When Americans come together, we accomplish amazing feats. So, to my brothers and sisters of every ethnic and cultural background and sexual orientation who seek to resist, fight on. The American Dream lives on in all of you.
Many of my friends are ready to rise up and fight for what they believe in. “Our existence is threatened by Trump and his administration,” they say.
Yes. You might be right.
But do not crumble in the face of this threat. Stay strong, stand together, and know that in times when the inconceivable happens, there is someone close to keep you safe.
Fight on, fellow Americans. Rage on.