A letter to my daughters waking up to a Trump presidency!Kids Speak, MY VIEWS, NEWS | Nirasha Jaganath | November 9, 2016 at 10:18 am
I can’t believe I’m unearthing my blog to write this, but my words choke up when I talk to you so I thought I needed a place while you are safely at school. Hopefully reading this will begin the healing process. I understand your tears on your pillow on learning the news that Donald Trump is the president incumbent, because I just dried my very own before I opened your bedroom door with a heavy heart. As I try to make you think all will be fine, I find myself struggling to believe this. Normally white lies are much easily digestible as a parent trying to shelter children from atrocities of the world. But we’re not that family. We talk about everything. Every damn thing!
So I’m going to break this down as to the lessons we can learn from this. It’s going to be long so mama will be ok if you need a snack break or your dose of watching Supergirl in between. Take a deep breath my darlings because this is the beginning, not an end.
“It’s ok to cry!”
Crying is not a sign of weakness, even if you’re a boy, but a sign of feeling. If we stop feeling, we might as well just die. So you cry my babies. Mourning anything is our right and moving away from it when we are ready helps us heal. I’m crying again typing this but hey maybe the tears may clean up my dusty old MAC. Oh wait salt water rusts, hold on let me get a kleenex. And no, you don’t have to put on a smile for me or anyone else. Ever! Well scratch that, when I ask you for that nice smile for a family photo, then show me your pearly whites! But not today my loves!
“We are NOT moving!”
The first thing you asked on waking up to the news was asked me when we were moving. I was confused. While my Facebook feed was filled with people declaring that, and the Canadian immigration site crashed last night, I never expected that question from you. I have never ever said I was planning to move. I have zero intention of anyone pushing me out of my home. I’ve been pushed out of my home once through political riots in South Africa, but never again. When things get tough, we deal with it. We don’t bail on one of the best nations in the world. Yes, I still believe that! This is YOUR country. You were both born here but even if you weren’t this is a country of immigrants. The words on the Statue of Liberty (mental note to include for next niricamp) ring true even today.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Remember except for Native Americans, we are all results of immigrants so don’t let anyone make you feel like you never belong.
“Racism is real!”
Ooh, I never was a sugar coat mama and today is not a day to start. Color it whichever way they like, the elections were hugely about racism. The language and demeanor screamed “different not allowed”. Words like “The Blacks” and calling out only colored immigrants reinforce that. And don’t for a minute forget that biases come in various shades, I won’t forget those Indian Americans supporting Trump in NJ. They may have covered the brown of their skin in bright clothing and jewelry but let it slip and he will know you’re brown. The “me” against “we” culture needs to change, You will live in a world that sadly judges you on the color of your skin, but based on how you both proudly color your skin in drawings I feel confident that it will not define you. Yes, we will be alert to biases, real and imagined, but we will not let them rule our world. We will continue to practice “our ways” (whether it be our festivals, food or fashion) with pride, building our confidence so high that the constant pecking by racists won’t bring us down. We will never apologize for being different!
“Hard work always pays off, even if you don’t believe that today!”
That is hard to believe right? I get it. No sweethearts, I REALLY get it! But at 44 years (yes I’m that old and I damn well own it) you get to see that some things take a while. So while 9 and 11 years seems a whole lot of years to have lived, trust me my darlings the best (and yes some of the worst) is yet to come. I weep for Hillary Clinton. It is hard to see Hillary Clinton spend her life in servitude and the new bully on the block jumps in and declares “let’s make America great again!”. It is hard watching her stand politely at a debate, waiting her turn to speak (like how you were taught to) and see the rude stalker lie, yell, and insult and get the office. I bleed for Hillary but know that change often does not always happen when we expect. Patience my babies. Patience!
“Never give up trying to do the right thing!”
As much as those images of us standing together in the voting booth seem futile, they weren’t. And no one can take that away from us. We did not sit on our hands and do nothing. We tried. Sometimes that’s all we can do. The world is too full of armchair critics and many don’t exercise their right to vote. Let me put this in writing, if I ever find out that you do not vote (and are of eligible voting age obviously) I promise to spend every waking moment with you. Though for my younger darling girl that threat may not hold water because you would positively love that. Be the person who always tries. I love that both of you know your weaknesses and try anyway. It is probably my favorite characteristic of you two.
“The world is not always fair, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to be!”
I want to yell out at the top of my lungs today “It’s not fair!” but I’m saving that for during my shower today so I don’t scare our new neighbors. I’m proud that you understand that fair and equal means different things, but what I also want you to know that democracy is not about doing the right thing. It is about doing what most people want. Let that sink in. Ready? Fair or unfair that is probably the best method we have so far for elections and other matters. Of course that also gets even more complicated with Clinton winning the popular vote, and since I know both of you understand the electoral college votes I know you’re throwing your fists at the system. It really isn’t fair, but we don’t get to cry foul because that system was in place before we got these results. You get a chance to play fair everyday. You get to inspire/embarrass/guide/remind others to behave the same when you display fairness in everything you do. You do it when you told that snooty girl that you will include boys and girls in your board games because you’re all friends. You do it when you volunteer for a task at school even when they ask for “strong boys” and you’re a girl. You do it when you include the new girl to your party because you’re scared she may not have friends, even if she’s not always nice to you. You do that when you forgive a kid who’s been mean to you but has changed ways. You continue doing you, and the world will follow.
“Sometimes things have to break completely, to rebuild better and newer!”
No, I have zero illusions that a President Trump could deliver that. Yes I loathe the man but I will call him president as I have pained watching for 8 years how some refused to give President Obama that respect. Me calling him that is a reflection of me, not him. I do believe that many issues were never dealt with. Racism is one glaring one, social welfare and economics are the others. We speak racism enough so I won’t explain that. Social welfare is how we take care of our community. We need to remove the stigma (I assume you know the meaning of this word but if not the dictionary is on the top shelf in your room) of giving help and taking it. A good society takes care of all its people and while there are some who will abuse the system, it does not negate the millions who are helped from it. We grow together stronger when we help all. Economic (money) inequality makes it hard for those who are just as smart as you to have a fair chance. Opening our eyes to more of these and getting involved more will help to muffle the noise outside as we get to work. Let’s brainstorm more ways to can evoke smaller changes to help others.
“Love is not lost!”
Yes, that is a hard pill to swallow when your new president has been yelling “Lock her up” and more obscenities, but trust me it is true. Although I believe in education allowing you to watch the debateswas difficult with the peppered bad language. It meant I would have to teach you about sex and sexual abuse in the same breath. Which sadly I did (Thanks Trump)! But turn your head. Look up. There is love all around. Not just in your home but in the millions each day that wake up to serve and love all. Millions. We can do this. Together! You are loved. Very loved! We will get through this stronger and fight harder. Today we can mourn but tomorrow let’s get back to work.
Now I need to reward myself with a Hillary cupcake for not swearing (I mean the really bad ones because darn etc don’t count for me) once in this post!
Love you both,