Many Americans feel exhausted this week. After all, they’ve spent the past year trying to denounce President Elect Trump’s cruel words and actions against human rights, and for what? More heartache? More gut-wrenching work?
For years—decades—social warriors and activists have fought, and fought, and fought some more for equal rights, pay… You name it, they’ve fought for it. Unsurprisingly—and disappointingly—every longtime and modern social warrior found out in 2016 that the fight for a good, just world is far from over.
Now, I’m going to frame this as a good thing.
Bear with me…
It gets bad before it gets better
When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008 and sworn in in 2009, there were a lot of Americans—ahem, white Americans—who thought racism was yesterday’s news. Ah, ha-ha. It’s almost funny how ignorant many of us were.
Similar to the post-racial America myth, in 2009, many Americans also thought that women were seen as equal to men. That reality was shattered every time national news reported on the wage gap. And we also discovered that many people still think women are asking for it—it being rape—whenever they get drunk, go on a date, wear skimpy clothing… The list goes one.
And let’s not forget LGBTQ rights! When president Obama’s views on same-sex marriage evolved, many of us thought that everyone else in America evolved, too! That dream was quickly squashed when states proposed bathroom bills to keep trans-people out of the “opposite” sex’s restroom.
Lastly, the painful, ugly, sexist and racist 2016 presidential election. President elect Donald Trump told America he has grabbed women by the pussy, assumes many Mexicans are rapists and is happy he and Putin have a positive relationship. All of this, plus plenty more news, didn’t influence enough Americans that Trump was a poor choice for president.
Here’s the better
While all the previously mentioned stuff is quite upsetting and disturbing, it proves something: America is far from great and we’ve got a lot of work to do. Work we may not have realized needed to be done if Hillary Clinton had won the presidential election.
Yeah, my point of view isn’t exactly cheery and it sure won’t help any of us feel any less exhausted, but at least we all know that this country is facing some deep issues. So, it’s time to suit up, raise your fist and fight the good fight.
This is our country. Let’s fix it and make certain we’re wide awake this Friday morning… Then take a long nap on Sunday.