Dear White Woman Hillary Voter,
Dear friend (you are my friend),
Thank you for your vote for Hillary. I know you are as upset as I am, you are part of Pantsuit Nation, you are outraged, you are fired up, you are signing all the petitions, you are calling your Senators and congressmen, you are organizing protests and so many other things. Thank you.
You have genuine outrage and grief. So do I. To compound this however, I also have genuine fear. For my family, for my children. I might be wrong here, but I think you can still send your kids to school without being worried about bullying. Sure there is an uptick in boys teasing girls, but overall no fear about racial slurs, asking your kid to leave the country, chanting of ‘Build The Wall’ directed towards him or her.
So today and for the next few years, I cannot be a shoulder to cry on for you. Your being upset makes me mad. I secretly wish you had done more. Talked to your Uncle, your neighbour. Spoken up. Before the election. Long before. I wish you had been brave enough to say you love Hillary, no explanation required. Because you really didn’t have much to lose. Perhaps you are feeling some shame, some guilt. I understand. But right now I have zero strength in me to assuage your feelings. I barely have enough strength to manage my own feelings of fear, anger, resentment and sadness. I do not have the energy in me to listen to your outrage. Your tears would normally move me to action. I don’t have the fortitude to be a good friend in that regard right now. I hope you understand and forgive me. Please, continue to be strong. Fight. I am afraid that Thanksgiving will come around and you will have forgotten me, forgotten the resistance. I am afraid you will slowly go back to your new normal. I am afraid the smell of Christmas cookies and the lights on the tree will fool you into thinking everything is okay. Please know, it is not.
My fear is a more base fear. For my children, right now. Please, when you see them, love them fiercely. Please ask your children to be extra kind and brave. For every taunt, let their collective bravery shout out the bully. Let them be vigilant. Let them report to teachers and parents. And from you, please grant me grace to not be as good a friend as I used to be. I am trying to take care of my own family right now and am so fiercely protective of them, that I cannot see straight.
Your brown friend.