The day the man running for president was heard talking how he can do anything to women, about how he can “grab 'em by the pussy” and his campaign grew stronger, it was clear how the country feels about women.
The day he called white supremacists and neo-nazis "very fine people," then turned around and called athletes taking a knee to protest police brutality against black people "sons of bitches," it was clear where his loyalties lie.
It does not see us as equal. It does not see us as worthy of health care. Worthy of opportunity. Worthy of respect. Worthy of life.
It does not see us as people.
It’s been a lot to absorb.
And, I’ve found it’s left me confused. I’m not entirely sure where to go from here. I know I should fight—and I want to fight, and I will keep fighting—but we’ve been fighting these same fights for 20, for 50, for 100 years. The only true Americans have been fighting since white people first landed on these shores.
And what has changed? What has changed?
We like to believe we’ve changed. And we have made progress. We’ve passed laws and changed minds and we know that certain stereotypes and jokes aren’t socially acceptable anymore.
But black children and women and men still get shot for existing.
But women are still treated like objects and paid less for the same jobs and our bodies are governed like property.
But indigenous communities still have to fight for water on their own land.
But people will still beat you in the streets for being an immigrant, a Muslim, a gay man, a person with brown skin, a woman who said no.
I don’t know what to tell my children anymore. I want to teach them to fight because it matters. Because it changes things. Because we can save each other.
But how can I say that when everywhere they look, history is repeating and repeating and repeating like a skipping record on a song you’ve always hated.
How do I teach them that this is the land of the free… but only if you’re a straight, white, cis man?
How do I teach them to fight against the sting of it, to resist the knees on their backs, to make the change, even if they never see it?
I have to remember: if we don’t—if they don’t—who will?