The election is over and Trump won. Let it sink in. Let it bother you. The reasons are many, but talking about them now is like trying to figure out if you really wanted mayonnaise after ordering a turd sandwich. The point is this: the fucking turd sandwich is here, and you’re gonna have to dig in whether you ordered it or not. And guess what? The sandwich is extra shitty and large for POC, members of the LGBTQ+ community, women, immigrants, and decent/smart/empathetic white heterosexual folks. Sure, you can call this traumatic. That’s exactly what it is for some, and I’m here to defend their right to call it so. In any case, regardless of what you call it, if Trump’s election bothers you, here’s a list of five things you can do to deal with it:
1. Stay angry. You were surprised and then saddened and then angry that bigotry triumphed, right? Good. Stay angry. Anger will push your ass away from acceptance and complacency. I’m all for peaceful revolution, but when you read about nasty graffiti, kids being pushed around in school, and Muslim women getting harassed in the streets, peace can go fuck itself.
2. Stay angry. Don’t let people tell you that your anger is misplaced. If you’re a minority, you’ve always known that racism/sexism/misogyny/xenophobia have always been around, but now folks think they have a right to openly express, and act, on their racism because the head honcho is a racist. Fuck that. Fight back. I don’t know who came up with the “Let’s make racists afraid again” thing, but I’m down with it.
3. Stay angry. Be smart about your anger. Understand and study this country’s history. Ugly, isn’t it? Sure, but progress has been made. The sociocultural implications of a Trump presidency are only in larval stage right now. Be ready for things to get worse before they get better. Smart, educated anger will help you cope. Socioculturally speaking, the time is almost here when we will all be forced to sit wherever the hell we want on the bus and stay there or throw in the towel. I don’t consider the latter an option.
4. Stay angry. This isn’t about being right or wrong about the election results or examining how the DNC messed up like never before; this is about defending your homosexual friends in the streets, keeping families together, ensuring that women can walk around without having some asshole attack them, and standing up for minorities with your discourse, actions, and bodies. This isn’t about political discourse anymore; this is about knowing that discourse has its limits.
5. Stay angry. Weren’t some Republicans saying that if Hillary won they were going to pick up muskets the next day and take over the country? These same assholes are now telling you not to go protest. That should make you protest even harder. When the dude running the country calls women pigs and tells the world it’s okay to “grab them by the pussy,” any talk about safe spaces should cease and action needs to take its place. The world is ugly, and you need to fight for safe space for women emotionally, physically, and psychologically. This isn’t about being triggered in a classroom; this is about women who have been victims of abuse having a president that is okay with that abuse, and that is beyond fucked. So yeah, stay angry. Stay woke. Stay uncomfortable. The bad thing is here and action will be required, so learn to focus your anger and use it for good. Stay. Fucking. Angry.
Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, TX. He’s the author of ZERO SAINTS (Broken River Books),HUNGRY DARKNESS (Severed Press), and GUTMOUTH (Eraserhead Press). His reviews have appeared in Electric Literature, The Rumpus, 3AM Magazine, Marginalia, The Collagist. Heavy Feather Review, Crimespree, Out of the Gutter, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, HorrorTalk, Verbcide, and many other print and online venues. You can find him on Twitter at@Gabino_Iglesias