The weather is much like the mood today
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It is 38 degrees and rainy.
Today, I started an application for the Peace Corps, a hiatus that would let me turn my back to something that feels like an unavoidable mess. All day I’ve been wooed by my ability to leave, and how lucky I am to hold such self-autonomy.
I have, however, decided that I will not be completing the application, I’m going to stay. We just elected a President who holds my identity over that of anyone. I am a straight, cis-gendered, upper-middle class, white man. The privilege I hold is profound and America, in electing Donald J. Trump, has chosen to perpetuate this unchecked privilege for another four years. To leave would be irresponsible and the mere ability to think in such a way is indicative of that very privilege.
Nothing more closely captures how I felt about the results of the Presidential Election than the weather today. There are few times in my life where I have experienced such a degree of disappointment in my American identity. I educated myself and voted, just like I’ve been told since grade-school, but we lost. My gut reaction was to leave. I struggle to understand how I can exist in a country that lacks basic moral principle and genuine compassion.
I want to take this privilege and oppose the very actors who seek to propagate it. Hillary Clinton’s message of becoming stronger together is not lost on me. I’m no hero and I don’t have solutions to the bigotry that plagues our country, but I want to be a part of opposing it. I want to be an ally. I want to live in a country where someday equity is a reality and difference is not just accepted but acknowledged as well. I’m not leaving America.
I will never fully understand the experience of those who Trump’s rhetoric has targeted. It is a reality that I have not and will not have to face. My country is not failing me; it’s failing those who we need to care the most about. Well, I’m staying to care. I’m staying to oppose the systems that preserve inequality and contest an America that aligns with my moral compass. That’s what makes me proud to be an American.