A nation undivided
By: Hatu Sohna
For the past few days I have heard the beats of my heart bleed very loudly, not able to come to terms with my heart bleeding anger and disappointment. The beats grew heavier and sounded like repeated echoes in a cave. Unable to control the continuous loud beats I became hopeless. I often found myself having battles with not only my heart but with my thoughts as well. “How did this happen?” is a question that remains unanswered. It is the question that I kept asking myself over and over again. A question that didn’t deserve the answer: “Donald Trump won more electoral votes than Hillary Clinton.”
Although that became the obvious it is not the answer I wanted to hear. It will never explain how the people of a nation have allowed a destruction in American history to occur again on November 9th, 2016. I became irritated with even hearing the two names together. I couldn’t get past the fact that I was witnessing two candidates who were both the opposite of my skin color running to be the president of the country I was told to honor. White candidates running for a white house with white stripes and stars on a flag in a white America. The white America that failed to keep it’s promise to citizens being free of racism and equality. Yet the man that decides he wants to run this nation promotes racism, hate, and ignorance.
I won’t ever forget the nasty and hurtful things that Donald Trump said during the race for the white house. About minorities. About Muslims. About Women. He has allowed the opportunity for the hidden racists to come to light. To step out of their closets and take advantage. So when he refers to the four words of his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” the hidden racists know what this means. They are convinced by those words because they are able to relate to the idea of the once “Great America.” I am convinced that the slogan meant the time that Americans used to lynch people that were the same color of my dark brown skin.
It didn’t make any difference because the first time I was actually able to see an opposite person my skin color run for president was in 2008. Needless to say I couldn’t vote. It didn’t stop me from screaming Obama’s name out the window at night when he was announced president. That scream was sure to wake up my whole entire neighborhood. I could never forget how my smile stretched across my face from ear to ear that night on November 4th. Eight years later, his second term has ended and the people of the United States of America must make another decision. On November 9th, I was a part of the people. I was going to go out to the school next to my square brown brick building with many windows surrounded by black gates and a green grass in the Bronx to vote.
I was filled with mixed emotions the entire day. In the morning, I rose out of bed and prepared to go to work. I already decided the night before that I would go to Public School 55 with my sister at 1:30. I would be voting for the candidate I believed deserved my vote. I kept telling myself that none of them deserved it.
Not Hillary. Not Trump.
However, I knew I would vote for one of them. It was 1:30 and as I walked down the ramp, there were posters that had the words Vote Here taped to the black gates. I walked further and entered the red double doors and saw many faces. Tables were all aligned with papers, pens, and clipboards. The noise level was very loud. Echoes of laughter and soft whispers of the words “I am so disappointed” slipped people’s mouths and filled my ears. People hugged and shook hands. Some faces were happy and others were sad. Some eyes were open wide and others remained low.
I wondered if the eyes that were low were of worry and the eyes that were wide open represented happiness. Happiness for who though? For themselves or for the nation? For Hillary’s victory or Trump’s? I couldn’t handle all of the uncontrollable questions. “Is this your first time voting?” I was interrupted and startled by a man that was working at the table I was standing in front of. “Yes it is” I said and took a paper that had names on it. “Look for your name and show me your ID.” I did exactly what was asked of me. It wasn’t my sisters first time so she knew what to do. She took the voting form that was attached to the clipboard and listened to the same man give her instructions. I took mine after and we made our way to a table. I hid behind the board with my form and started circling the bubbles dark with my pencil.
Democratic Party. Hillary Clinton. Dark Bubble.
I felt positive. I walked over to a lady that took my form and scanned it in the machine. “All done” she said. She pasted a sticker on my jacket that read I VOTED.
From then on, I felt the need to text all of my friends to let them know that I voted. “She actually might win. I truly hope she does,” my mind kept repeating. This turned into false hope when I learned the news the next morning. I was hurt and surprised that I had to step into reality. I was very frustrated that Americans have allowed our president to be Trump. I felt the need to shed a silent tear to myself. Soon many tears. Tears for the world, for the children, for my family and for my friends. Tears that will allow another white man to stay in the white house of the White America that makes my heart bleed.