What to Do If You Are Shattered by the Election

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09:  Marta Lunez prays on her knees as election results come in at Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's election night event at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center November 9, 2016 in New York City. Clinton is running against Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump to be the 45th President of the United States.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

What to Do If You Are Shattered by the Election

I am, and I'm taking a break today.

Published November 9, 2016

If you are shocked and devastated by the 2016 Election results, you are probably, like me having a very hard time focusing at work today.

I am an educated Black female who was raised in an upper-middle class family in the Northeast. I reside in New York City, so while sheltered from a lot of the people in the states that I saw go glaringly red last night, I can only write from this perspective, my own. I do not for a second take for granted the blessings that life has afforded to me, but I am writing this piece because today I feel irreparably shattered.

On an ordinary day I write about what Ciara wore to a party the night before, about tips on how to maximize your curls, about what workouts will tone your butt the best or about how many times Kim Kardashian blinked. Seriously. And I love my job. It’s fun. It’s creative. It serves people. Today, I can’t do that.

Suddenly and disturbingly, it is not possible to have a “normal” day. I cannot give you trivial haircare tips or wax poetic about Kylie Jenner’s imminent lip kit release. As a person of color and as a woman, I am rendered helpless to the profound sadness that I feel as a result of Donald Trump becoming the president-elect. 

Scripture tells us: Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.

A photo posted by Hillary Clinton (@hillaryclinton) on

I am terrified for a future that threatens to take away my choice to do what I want with my own body. Terrified that a candidate that has been endorsed by the KKK ran a successful campaign. Terrified for the hateful misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic and racist rhetoric that has snaked its way into the American vernacular in the past year. And I am deeply saddened that it would be expected that I can do otherwise but be sad today.

Today, I think it is OK to press pause on productivity. We are going to be fighting for a long, long four years and far into the future because anything that we might have thought we accomplished with the Obama administration has been painfully nullified. While I don’t want to wallow in negativity, it is hard to see the immediate solution to this despair.

I asked my Twitter followers for their thoughts today because, if this election has taught me anything, it is that those who do not feel that they have a voice become embittered and resentful. One of my favorite responses came from a young woman named Andra Lee. She said, “My feelings about America don't revolve solely around Donald Trump's 2016 Election win. It revolves around the choices that Americans make in deciding what voices we choose to listen to and the messages we believe in. This ain't about no president [to] me, it's about what we surrender to and what we are committed to. I'm here for Love and Peace not Fear and War.”

I voted yesterday for Hillary Clinton. I was sure our two previous historic elections would inevitably lead to a three-peat. I was wrong, but that doesn’t mean that I will give up on fighting for what’s right. Black lives still matter. I donated to Planned Parenthood today because women’s rights still matter. There are 72 days left to urge Congress to nominate a new Supreme Court justice. There’s plenty to be done. But today, it is OK for us to take a break. 

Written by Danielle Prescod

(Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)


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