Shame on you. Open this envelope, unfold its contents and read about my Wednesday morning, November 9th, 2016.
The clock seemed to be standing absolutely still; the house settled in a yellow hue as if before a terrible storm or tornado. I am lucky to have three children who still kiss and hug me on their way out the door to school; one by one my little army approached my shaking open arms as I did not want to let them go. They all stared at me; I am the adult, I am a puzzle piece in the puzzle that changed their safe and consistent world to a world that completely confused them.
My 14 year old daughter had tears streaming down her face, “Mom, some of the boys in my grade sound exactly like him. They use the same words, they insult other kids the same way and act as if they don’t care. You said it got better and that boys will grow up and become good people, like dad and Zaide and Papa. But they don’t. ”
My 12 year came next. Big blue moon eyes staring straight at me, ” Mom, my friend said if this happened his grandma is going to have to leave this country. She makes him breakfast every morning, makes his lunch and waits for him to get home from school because his parents work weird shifts. What will he do then?”
My 9 year old is last. Tufts of crazy hair darting out in all directions as if in a wind tunnel. “Mom how come he can be mean to everyone and say bad bad things and not get in trouble? If I said those things you’d take away T.V. and send me to my room. How come he’s allowed to be bad?”
I sit alone then in a quiet house. I blame myself for not giving enough money, for not ringing enough doorbells, for not making signs for Hillary in the park with my neighbors, for not protecting my children.
I blame CNN, MSNBC, Fox, ABC, PBS, all of them for helping to add evil tentacles to the viscous sea monster they helped create. With every minute, hour, day,and month of free exposure and attention this man grew from being an agitating laughing stock to a potential and present threat to our country’s safety and reputation.
I blame all the people who took out their anger on our political system and voted for a man who could endanger us all. We do not have to always respect our democratic system when it fails us and we have a right to ask for what we deserve; but only adults can vote. Our children look to us, adults, and expect us to keep them safe and to teach them from right and wrong.
Shame on you America.
3 thoughts on “Dear America”
This is so much more articulate than “How the fuck did this happen” which is what keeps replaying over and over in my head. Words matter, they are mighty. So you tell that 12 year old to use her words over and over again until those boys respect not only her body, but her mind. And you tell that 11 year old that we will use our voices to shout down anyone who would dare rip a family apart. And you tell that nine year old that we will use our words to point out over and over again how bad and mean and criminal is this man and his machine. We cannot be silent. We cannot avoid confrontation. That’s how the fuck this happened.
We all stand together and we will fight this. Love, another mom.
Amen. I had a knee jerk reaction to join an environmental activist group that I had never even heard of before the election. We live in a post-fact world, where facts can matter less than feelings. And feelings and words go through so many prisms of spin. I wonder if the internment camps that might happen, or the McCarty era witch hunts that could happen or the people who voted for him losing Medicare will help change any feelings.