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My Reaction to Trump Presidency: Fear and Hope

What a surprise, and not a pleasant one. The election results are about to be in. It looks like D. J. Trump may just end up becoming our next president. That is terrifying, makes me nervous. I will probably still sleep tonight, though not calmly. This is one of those realities that take a few days, perhaps weeks and months to process.

Officially, the results aren't in yet, but the New York Times is reporting a 92% chance Trump wins. To my mind, I am already imagining this reality. The Young Turks are covering this election live. They are hitting the panic button. They look despondently into the camera. Cenk curses more than a few times. They shake their heads. I think this is all starting to sink in.

No one knows what will happen after this election. But I know it won't be good. Part of me wants to believe that life will go on as usual. No egregious changes. My life had been relatively insulated from politics, as far as I know. Because my parents were middle-class, didn't need to rely on governmental programs, were insured by their companies and so relied on their private employers. They put me through elementary school, middle school, high school and college. I survived the Bush Administration, weathered the two Obama presidencies without having to grapple with the issues facing everyday Americans, such as college loan debt, car insurance, medical insurance, pro-choice, unemployment funds. As of recent, I worry about basic things such as rent and food. That does put a corset on things, tightening my wallet and causing me to always be weighing my budget. However, I have been lucky not to have vital concerns, life or death concerns, worries that cause me not to sleep at night.

My concerns are not trivial but they are not going to give me nightmares. I worry about how to improve my skills to get a better job. I worry about how to find my purpose in life. I worry if my writing is good enough to be employable. I worry about how to keep my friendships, how to maintain my family relationships.

They have been important, but they are also not issues that society gets in the way of, there are not police arresting me on the basis of my race, there is not a law that says I may have to risk my life to carry through with a life-threatening pregnancy.

I have had pretty good luck. I have been privileged.

Perhaps no longer.

This presidency will throw this nation into turmoil. It will probably eat away at these privileges I have not savored. It will probably create new problems in my life, real problems. The outward racism of this President, now vindicated by this election. The attitudes toward women, about grabbing them by the pussy, now vindicated. As a minority woman, I don't feel too safe anymore. I don't think I will experience anything of to gripe about overnight, but over time who knows? There will be months after this. This long upcoming winter. Then, spring, summer, fall, winter, spring, summer, fall, winter, spring, summer, fall, winter, spring, summer, fall. Over sixteen seasons, I might.

I might be out of a job because of my ethnicity, or because the jobs are going elsewhere, to other people. I might have to deal with sexist issues in the workplace. Who knows.

On the other hand, maybe it will be okay. Maybe this Presidency is a shake-up, but it won't go as far as to twist the basic human decency in most. Maybe, it will be okay. Even as Trump wins, maybe the people who have worked hard to run this economy--hundreds of millions of people--will continue to work hard and to treat others with basic dignity.

Maybe, dignity will win out.

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Comments 2 comments

Wild Bill 3 weeks ago

Connie,

I understand that you are scared. The democratic party and the media has used fear-mongering so much in this campaign that it is no wonder the masses have been brainwashed. I even heard one woman say she was so scared for her children that she held them all night. It is insane how the liberals have used the fear tactic against the people.

You said: "I might be out of a job because of my ethnicity, or because the jobs are going elsewhere, to other people."

I seriously doubt that and I don't know what would make you think this. Private companies are private companies and they make their own decision. While I don't think that Trump is a racist, you should at least take solace in the fact that the world is bigger than one man.

I for one have not gotten jobs because of my race, gender, and other classifications. I am a white, straight, Christian male and I am southern to boot. I am educated (MBA) and I have a lot of experience. I have worked for large companies and government agencies. In all of these, the employees were told flat out that minorities would move up faster in the company because they were equal opportunity employers. They said it with a smile on their faces because they felt it was a positive message, but it was not positive to the white males. We would all leave the room knowing that we had to work twice as hard just to keep our jobs. Later when I finally worked my way up management (after being passed on many positions because I was not a minority) I would go to hiring sessions to find workers (this was for a railroad). When I would bring candidates with extremely good resumes, but the higher ups would ask their race/gender. If there were not an equal amount of minorities, I would have to go back and even it out even if they failed the tests. At one government agency (NYC) they were on a push to put women in higher positions. When a promotion of a woman was made, the Presidents and Vice Presidents would hold a meeting and then give a cheer for women making progress. Again, the white males would walk away dejected.

So I know what it means to be discriminated because of my race and gender, which is made worse because it is an accepted practice that is not going anywhere anytime soon. I completely understand that this is because of the many many years that minorities have been discriminated against, but I am not the one that caused this, so I should not be punished for it. I only have one life to live and I also still have to put food on the table for my family too. It is not fair that people who have not worked hard as I did get jobs that I deserve just because of the way they look.

I the end, this has nothing to do with my politics because Trump really has no effect on this. When I voted for Trump, the thought of race or gender did not even cross my mind. I want to clean the bureaucrats out of Washington, so that is what I did.


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thoughtpages 3 weeks ago Author

Hi Bill,

Thank you for taking the time to share your story of a different perspective.

I sympathize with your unfairness of feeling disadvantaged in the work place because of your race and gender. I don't particularly agree with the way your company talks about equal opportunity, being that equal opportunity isn't about putting minorities first regardless of anything. To me equal opportunity means that all workers, including minorities, would be able to have an opportunity to move into higher positions based on their competency---but this is the main issue since our racial and gender biases come up when we discuss this.

I do think that there is a large cultural component to competency that, in fact, does advantage whites. First, there is the language component. Proper English means a very specific thing--speaking without an accent, writing using certain grammar rules and sentence structures. But what does it mean to speak without an accent? It means to speak like a Midwesterner, like the automated voice you hear on the safety video of a United Airlines flight.

Growing up in a minority family speaking a very different language, I've had my struggles, as many minorities have had, learning to use proper English. Let's face it: you need it to get jobs. As someone who grew up in Southern America, I can understand how regional speech also get discriminated against. This is the same with speech influenced by Black, Hispanic and Asian heritage--anything that is not associated with the proper standard that has been set a long time ago.

I pointed out language, because that's maybe the easiest to identify. Competency is also about your mannerisms, how you conduct yourself, how you resolve conflicts, how you express yourself, and so forth. I can assure you that there are differences among ethnic groups and gender in how we do these things. Women tend to be more submissive, for example because our culture has taught us that it's good to be so. Men are not so much. But who is going to be perceived as more competent, a submissive or an assertive person?

I say all this because there are these biases that often translate into race and gender. Because whites and males tend to conform better with the types of competencies you're evaluated on for interviews and jobs.

While I sympathize with your situation, I still don't see whites and males as being discriminated against as part of the norm. Our measures of competency are still very much conformed to those traits. However, equal opportunity was on the rise for the last few decades, and I see it as a way to address other types of competencies, which are very much needed and are in the spirit of the American value of equality for all people.

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