This has been an emotional week. We at The Struggle have struggled (ha) with finding the best way to talk about what happened early Wednesday morning. As you know, Donald Trump has been elected as the 45th president of the United States. My stomach turns every time I write that. Come next year, Trump and fellow garbage human Mike Pence will soon take the highest seats of power in the US. I still can’t believe it.
I (Chelsea) started last week full of hope. The nightmarish election was finally coming to a close and I had an overwhelming (and false) sense of confidence for the future of our nation. I woke up at 6 am on Tuesday, unable to sleep from nerves and excitement. As I filled in that little bubble I was beaming. Not only was I voting for the first major party female nominee (!!!!), I was voting for the most qualified candidate who I believed could influence positive change in our country. It felt amazing.
Those high spirits took a nosedive around 9 pm. I stared at the TV in disbelief as an election I was so sure was in the bag fell apart in front of my eyes. I am in full support of a democracy. I have friends who are democrats and friends who are republicans and they are equally intelligent and wonderful. I respect everyone’s right to vote for the candidate they think will do the best job. I think it’s incredible to live in this country. This isn’t a conversation about democrat vs. republican. This is about putting someone in power who is unfit for the job. Someone who is unqualified. Someone who is backed by the KKK. Someone who is sexist and treats women like they’re disgusting Trump Steaks™ . Someone who cheats and lies and steals and gets away with it. An orange buffoon with no moral ground.
I (Whitney) walked out of my house at 730am and went to my polling place. The sun was shining, and when I got in line I was so incredibly excited to see mostly women and minorities standing in line with me. This was going to be the day when everyone put their differences aside, looked at the facts and propped each other up to elect the first woman President of the United States of America. I waited in line for an hour and a half, submitted my ballot and was walking on air.
I went to my neighborhood coffee shop, grabbed a coffee and was singing to myself on my way out the door. There was some congestion on the sidewalk outside because some guys were standing around with their dogs and chatting. I looked down to carefully make my way through the men and dogs, when I was stopped dead in my tracks by a man walking the other way. He got an inch from my face, and with the most hatred a human being could muster he screamed “GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY”. I was the only woman in this scenario. He chose to come up to me. To scream at me, even though I was not the one blocking the sidewalk. The men standing around watched this entire thing happen. And not one of them said a word.
Little did I know, this was a perfect metaphor for what would happen later that night. I’ve encountered plenty of harassment and vitriol from males in my life (as most women have), but that morning felt different. I was shook. I live in Venice, California. One of the most blue states, cities, municipalities, and neighborhoods in the US. But it doesn’t matter where you live. This election proved what we’ve all worked against for hundreds of years: if you are not a straight, white male, you are a second class citizen in the United States of America.
So here’s the thing. The election is over. It happened. Unless something big happens in the next few months, we’re looking at a solid 4 years with President Trump. Up until now I figured I’d done my part. Sure I could donate more money or volunteer more but I figured I was doing my civic duty by voting diligently every 4 years. Now more than ever I realize how ridiculous that is. So we are compiling a list for you. Everything we read and hear and see that can help us make a difference in the future of our country. What we should have been doing for the past 2 years instead of hoping things would just turn out ok on November 8th. Please comment or email us or dm us if you have things to add. We’re ready to make a difference and want to help you incite change.
I spent most of last week crying and pinching myself, hoping I’d wake up from a bad dream. I heard a busker play America the Beautiful at Bedford Station and cried on the train. My friend Billy said it best: “if a street musician can make you cry, you know something’s going on.” I openly sobbed at my desk during Hillary’s concession speech. (Pro-tip: sobbing at work is ok if everyone around you is doing it too.) My sister saw a man break down in tears on the train. The city was gloomy and grey and perfectly reflected everyone’s attitudes. It was a sad day.
So from now on let’s take some responsibility. We are strong and smart and powerful and for the first time in a long time, I think people are ready to make a change.
There’s a quote that stuck with us from Aaron Sorkin’s letter to his daughter:
“Our family is fairly insulated from the effects of a Trump presidency so we fight for the families that aren’t. “
And this is true for us. Yes, we’re women. But we are women who were privileged to grow up with families that taught us we are worthy. We are surrounded by friends who believe in love over hate. We studied at universities that embrace and champion diversity and we are supported by coworkers, bosses, and mentors that don’t look at us like an object or a nuisance.
We are so blessed. So we have to fight for people who aren’t. We have to get off our asses and make sure that hatred doesn’t overtake our country. Even if the national rhetoric is one of exclusivity and prejudice, we have to make sure that no one we encounter feels like they’re alone in this fight. When we see injustice, we speak out. We change the conversation. And we never, ever sit back and watch someone else’s rights violated.
Here are some things YOU can do to make a difference in our future.
Many people are choosing to wear a safety pin as a silent protest. Following a trend in England post-Brexit, the pin signifies that the wearer is a safe person for anyone who feels unsafe right now
Trump protests happened in cities all over the US in the past week. I watched the march from Union Square to Trump tower in New York. I stood and watched men and women of every race and age yell and cry and hoist powerful signs about their head. It was incredible
Donate to this:
Jezebel put together an incredible, broad list of places to donate. See the list here
Refinery put together a list of places to donate if you’re concerned about the future of student loans and college affordability, climate change, science, technology, engineering, and math, or marriage equality, equal pay, and equality for all Americans.
Orange Man Visits White House – posting this for the title alone
Check out Michael Moore’s To-Do Lists following the election
Russell Simmons penned a letter to his former friend, Donald Trump
Aaron Sorkin’s letter to his daughter and wife is beautiful. Grab some tissues
Concrete Suggestions in Preparation for January – an incredible, inclusive look at a wide range of issues that could be negatively affected by a Trump presidency
The Onion is killing it right now
Leslie Knope wrote a note to America, and we’re for it
Twitter put together a heartbreaking list of things happening on the first day of Trump’s America. Don’t look away. Read it. Read it and get mad. Read it and do something about it.
A look at just what makes Trump’s win so shocking
Bernie’s take on the results of the election
Just in from the Pope: building walls is not Christian
Post-election letters from CEO’s at prominent companies to their employees
How to make your congressman listen to you – from a former congressional staff member
Check this out:
White House photographer Pete Souza’s favorite photos of Obama
Because through all of this, we need to remember to laugh. These Biden memes have taken over the internet
Chappelle’s monologue on SNL will probably go down in history
This petition on change.org to reach out to the electoral college before December 19th