I am sure there's going to be a lot of articles, posts, op-eds on the outcome of this election, but the one thing I can say is that I personally didn't do enough. Now, while I may be just one person, we know a collection of I's becomes very powerful.
When Obama was running for president, I wholeheartedly supported his candidacy. I donated money, I called on people, I knocked on doors, I posted signs showing my support. As a young, educated, immigrant woman in my 20's, Obama's message of Change resonated with me on such a deeper level. Yesterday, I voted for Hillary because I knew she would be the best person for the job. Her track record, her intelligence, her efforts, her willingness to fight for those that need a voice was something I believed in, but to be wholeheartedly honest, I didn't donate money to her campaign, I didn't canvas for her cause and besides a 'Like' on her Facebook page didn't really do much to support her.
Even though this was a completely different election, I can't explain why I didn't do more. Maybe I felt she had enough supporters campaigning for her. Maybe because I didn't think Trump would actually win. Maybe because I believed other people wouldn't let a Trump presidency happen. Maybe because I didn't really believe that there are people in the United States that truly believed and trusted in what Trump had to say. I've lived in New Jersey since we immigrated to the US when I was 9 years old. New Jersey is pretty diverse. I went to Rutgers University, a public university, which has one of the most diverse student bodies in the nation. I worked in New York City which is a melting pot of nations. And I think this may be where my views on the US differed significantly. I lived in a bubble. I believed that the US was diverse because my immediate surrounding told me so.
The reality is the United States is a massive country and looking at the maps last night, it was clear that there is a part of the population that is strictly white-American. Not Asian-American, African-American, Muslim-American, but white-American. What scares me is the reality that there are Americans out there who are not comfortable with other races, who don't believe a woman can hold a position of power, and who believe the rhetoric of a man that has no experience holding public office, that has never fought for the lower man, and that has offended and insulted almost every group of people out there.
My only hope as we move forward is that we all stop to look at the bubble we live in. We can't get complacent in the day to day grind of our lives. We have to question if we are doing enough, if we need to do anything at all, if we can do it better. It's easy to say who you are on paper, but it's the actions that really count. We live in an interdependent world and that means whatever happens affects ALL of us. We have to be there for each other. We have to educate each other. We have to be tolerant of each other. We have to understand each other. We can't also leave the fighting, the campaigning, the speaking out to a handful because it may not be enough in the end.
I don't have the magic answer and in fact not sure what to do next, but know for sure I will be contributing more to protect existing rights and ensure the changes that need to happen actually get done.