Thursday, December 8, 2016

Obama is my President

You know, technically, I can't even vote. In fact, I've never voted in an election, ever. That fact is very difficult for me, actually, because I'm quite vocal when it comes to politically related topics. I feel like people should take that civic duty seriously, especially because I can't. I hate apathy.

Now don't worry, this isn't going to be a ranting political post, but it is going to be a post about my thoughts about what's happening in politics, particularly in America, and a little bit about weathering this current climate.

It's hard to remember the feeling of hope we had just a month ago; the idea that following America's first black president, we'd be able to celebrate America's first female president. I remember eight years ago, how the feeling of pride welled up in my chest and spilled from my eyes after Obama won the election. I was fully anticipating feeling those same emotions when Hillary was voted in.

This graffiti of Obama as Superman done by a friend of mine emerged during the run up to Obama's presidency and has remained on that wall for the last eight years. I pass it every week after dropping my daughters at their art classes. I'm glad it's still there, especially now.

In the days after the election, I felt fear and despair. I felt shocked by the great divide that exists in America and mostly I felt the horror of those ugly weeks every time I read about horrible stories of hate crimes. I feel thankful that my children go to school here in Hong Kong.

I know that Trump voters are not all racist white supremacists and misogynist bigots, but I still struggle to understand how with all his hateful rhetoric and demoralizing behavior, people could still vote for him. Somehow, those detestable acts were still not enough for people to withhold their endorsement of his candidacy. As a woman, an immigrant and marrying into a Mexican family, all of these being many of his targets, it's hard not to feel it personally. I know I'm sensitive, but I can't deny my feelings.

So each week that I pass by this Obama Superman graffiti, I stop and reflect. And I'm glad it's there because it provides comfort. It reminds me not to despair. It reminds me that there is still hope. The kind of hope we felt when Obama was elected, I feel again with his recent act to halt the North Dakota pipeline. Last night, I watched a video of veterans apologizing to Native American elders for all the wrongs of the past and it moved me to tears.

These photos were taken a while back on the day after the election and I was doing my best interpretation of a pantsuit. For Hillary, because it should've been her.

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