This morning, I overheard a group of colleagues watching the inauguration as our new president was sworn in. Like any normal conversation, they were stating their opinions and making inferences on what the newest White House initiatives would be.
It wasn’t necessarily my place as I was sort of eavesdropping, but I just had to say something.
“Why are we even still talking about this?” I asked.
I got a response to the effect of “Regardless of whether you like the results of this election, it is our part as citizens to stay informed and aware and make the best out of the situation.”
If you know me, you know that before anything else, I’m a realist. But as real as that response was, it just didn’t sit well with me. I was in a professional setting so I decided to keep my thoughts to myself.
“Interesting perspective,” I said.
I’ve had the time to gather my thoughts since then and I have one sentiment.
We cannot normalize this.
As seemingly well-thought out as her response was, it lacked insight into one major point:
This is hate.
This is bigotry.
This is homophobia.
This is classism.
This is ableism.
This is overt racism.
The election of our newest president signifies all of the deeply rooted hate that Americans have of almost all groups of marginalized people, whether they realize it or not, and we cannot make this the new normal.
We cannot just say “this is how it is.”
Are you okay with an Ambassador the United Nations that admitted that she was a newcomer to international diplomacy and was shaky on what the United Nations actually does?
Are you okay with an Attorney General that lost his federal judgeship in 1986 due to the fact that he said that he was okay with members of the KKK until he found out they smoked pot?
Are you okay with a Secretary of Education that doesn’t know whether all schools should be required to meet the standards of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act?
We should not be okay with any of this.
The election of our newest president makes a mockery of the United States government. This is not about political party, it is about basic human decency and this election was not a display of humanity.
While I feel like some of us may have taken a bit too long to realize this, it doesn’t mean that it’s too late to take action.
Even everyone’s favorite pacifist, Martin Luther King Jr. once said that “a riot is a language of the unheard.”
I’m not telling you what to do, however, the only thing that we absolutely cannot do at this point is give up. Take the time to mourn if you need it, but remember:
This is not normal.
Do not forget that.