It used to be funny. You know, that crazy joke about all the places we were moving to if Trump was elected? It was so farfetched that every week I saw a new post with someone threatening to throw up the deuces and ride this thing out in Canada. Or even better, take the advice of many of his supporters, and head back to Africa.
Well last Tuesday, that farfetched fear of a Trump presidency became a reality right before our eyes. It was like the news was reporting in slow motion, as state after state after state after…. wait, Florida? Okay well we can lose them, but if we win Ohio we can……Noooooooo!!! Not Ohio too…okay well…
*does the math*
*carries the one*
This can’t be happening…..
And then sometime after I turned my television off, President Trump became a real thing.
Say it with me. President Trump. That hurt a little right? Like down-to-the-white-meat painful. Unfortunately, it gets worse.
Now the “silent majority” has come out of the shadows to celebrate their victory, with attacks against those of us who’ve hurt their egos with our presence in “their country.” And it’s scary. Below is a very small selection of what has gone down in the past week.
There’s plenty more where these came from, but I don’t have enough wine in the house to keep searching. People are waking up to crosses and hoods in their neighborhoods, and the news looks like we’re back in 1955. It’s getting scary out here, and the worse it gets, those of us with the flexibility to do so are seriously asking ourselves, “Should we just leave?”
My answer: It depends. If you truly have a genuine interest in living abroad, and think now is the best time for you to make that move, then I encourage you to do so. Especially if you were thinking about it before the election. If your finances and family obligations allow it, then why not take a mental break and experience a new culture!
For the rest of you who are reacting to the threats from our fair-skinned neighbors, pause for a second and realize how this is playing out. Picture this: You’re minding your business playing in the sandbox. Then suddenly some blue-eyed bully picks up some sand, throws it at you, and threatens to kick you out of the playground (as if he owns it.) Hurt and confused, you pack up and leave, even though your parents built the playground when you guys moved to the neighborhood.
Metaphor not doing it for you? Let’s get all up in your family tree then. Let’s talk about your Granddaddy, who may have marched in Washington or run from dogs and water hoses as a teenager. So you could live here in peace. Or what about your Grandmother, who risked being jailed and separated from her kids by participating in sit-ins, so you could eat wherever the hell you want to. Maybe your Caribbean Mom moved to this country when she was your age, and for the past 20+ years has worked her ass off to make sure you would be able to pursue the American Dream in ways she never could.
So you’re saying that all these people (many of whom are still alive and watching all of this go down) went through hell and high water, for us to pack up and leave ’cause some high school dropouts called us a name?
Let’s keep it real. The Silent Majority is jealous of our success, our wealth, and our achievements in recent years. They resent those Instagram #travelbrags and all the #girlboss posts from our corner or remote offices. #Blackgirlmagic makes them feel inferior, and #lovewins makes them feel ill. Modern Families have taken over their televisions and Black men have gone from playing on to coaching their favorite teams. Their jobs have become obsolete, and while they were out there surviving on privilege, we were over here getting the education they now need to compete in modern society. Hell, they can’t even have a Country Music Awards ceremony without Bee-once and her Bees stealing their shine.
So after decades of progress, what I’m not finna do, is give them what they want and leave this country. In fact, now is the time for us to be more visible than ever. I want their kids to wonder how José is on stage as valedictorian when he was supposed to go back to Mexico. I want them to be perplexed by all the hijabs still walking these streets, and wonder how they passed that magical screening process. I want the “ethnic” section in their beloved Wal-Mart to continue invading their space with brown faces and nappy headed awesomeness until they realize the beauty of diversity is what makes America so great.
I hope our continued success in this country, evidenced by our fast-growing community of entrepreneurs, our dominance of their sports (even the olympics!), and hundreds of other examples makes them so confused and frustrated until it finally sinks in that they have been hoodwinked and bamboozled. They elected a liar, and the biggest joke is on them, because we’re not going anywhere.
This land is our land too, and all the racial slurs in the dictionary can’t take it away from us. Our people ran miles “underground” for years to get their freedom. We’re done running. But if the blue-eyed bullies stick around long enough they’ll sadly find themselves in an America in which they are the minority. We’ll see who’s ready to leave then.