November 8, 2016. The day many of us headed to the polls to cast a ballot of either indifference or excitement. No matter where you stand on voting and its politics, chances are you had a feeling that we would wake up on November 9, 2016, with our first woman president.
November 9, 2017, here we are, a year into our first orange president. Many of us have appeased our minds with the fact that this white supremacy that reigns from the current white house is not new, it just now exists in nacho Dorito form.
A year ago, I was on the ninth floor of Saint Louis University Hospital, ground zero of #FergusonIsEverywhere with MSNBC rolling results to the hodge-podge of health care workers. We watched the blue numbers with hope and confidence that we would find solace from this red-tie maniac under a President Hillary Clinton, a broken ceiling at the very least.
That was not to be so.
There is an ever-present palpable suffering looming in the air since that day, a year ago. I have watched this country that has promised to do so much for its diverse populi, renege on so many promises, piece by piece.
The most substantial broken promise is the concept of truth, law and equity. We have seen the depth of racism and what it dredges up in those that harbor it. There is a boldness and confidence in a hatred steeped in something that wishes to devour us all. In this waking fight of the post-2016 election, suspicion has become custom. For one to concentrate and counter that suspicion with peace and facts is the new integration. We believe enough in power to know that the current state of affairs is just that: a state.
A year later, 45’s greatest contribution to society is his ability to mobilize women and minorities. This election, we’ve elected the first Sikh mayor in US history, the first Latinas in Virginia State House, the first openly Transgender State Representative in the US, the first Trans person of color in a major city’s council and the first African American Woman Mayor of Charlotte, NC. He has inspired 11,000 women to run for office since his presidency.
In reflecting over the last year, it forces me to look to the gods of antiquity, namely Janus. The god of the month of January. He is noted to have been able to look through time, the year that passed as well as the year thestands before. Thus, we have seen 45 before in various forms. Each have been defeated. He shall be no different.
Your power lies not in the oppression and bigotry, but what it mobilizes you to do. Whether you are running for office, voting, organizing, educating yourself and/or others, your power lies in your day-to-day commitment to continue to push back against that feeling and reality that we all woke up to on November 9, 2016.
Jennifer P. Harris | Write to Live Team