yesterday the air was sad
not even the shower could wash away my tears
the faces at work were of shock
white bodies expressing anger
black bodies staring down at the floor
and i knew,
this is something different. this is something i cannot fully feel in my
white skin and my white privilege
but this is something i know is wrong.
yesterday we hid in our cubicles
but the tears were not hidden there
because when i’d pass you in hall our eyes were bloodshot red.
yesterday the air was sad.
the feeling in the pit of your stomach when you’ve regretfully had to say goodbye to someone you love.
today the air feels heavy
i open my eyes trying to escape the nightmares i’ve had for the past two nights since you were elected.
i open my eyes hoping to escape into reality
but the air, oh it feels so heavy.
this is not a dream we can wake up from.
oxygen floats down my throat and into my lungs but it feels like sludge.
my stomach won’t stop hurting
i have not lost hope
but i wasn’t quite ready to fight,
and i’m realizing now that for these next four years i’m going to have to fight
and not even in my sleep will i be able to rest.
today the air feels heavy.
but i know it’s not new.
the color of my skin allowed me to fight when i felt like it, a privilege, many have not had.
it’s a wake up call
and i’m sorry it took so long
but now there’s no denying how heavy this air feels.
i still haven’t called you my president.
it wasn’t a protest or a hashtag it was simply that the moment they announced you as president-elect i thought,
that’s strange, because he is not my president
nor will you ever be.
i will call you by first and last name, but that’s it.
and really, you should feel honored,
because it’s more than you can call my friends and i.
you call us by the color of our skin or by whom we love or worship.
black. gay. muslim. mexican. pig. slob. rapist. criminal.
you use those words interchangeably,
as if they are the same thing.
they are not the same thing they will never be the same thing! and now,
now the air feels angry.
you are not my president.
you are not my leader.
you’re going to wake up in the white house for four years but that doesn’t change who you are.
you can waltz in your glory and try and make america great again
but then you are going to leave.
and the people who represent you, us,
we are going to keep fighting and we aren’t ever going to leave or stop or give up.
as feminist jane flax says,
“political action and change require and call upon many human capacities including empathy, anger, and disgust.”
i share with you, donald, disgust, but what we do not share together is anger or empathy.
it is love and empathy and anger and disgust that will fuel us
to stop your crooked heart.
you will not change us. we will change you.
claim what you want but
my god is not your god.
my god tears down walls and invites people in.
in fact, he moves a mountain if he has to, simply so we can be together.
he does not divide
he does not shut out.
my god believes love is love.
my god was never white.
and as much as my god has called me to pray,
he has also called me to act.
and so i will pray at night through my nightmares.
i will pray when the sky is dark and i cannot sleep.
i will pray out loud even when it’s hard to breathe,
and you can be sure that in the morning,
i will act.