Day 1

 

Everyone who called, sent texts, posted words of encouragement, opened spaces for conversation and dialogue, offered hugs and a laugh to spare.

T H A N K  Y O U.

This is what keeps my resolve and faith in humanity regardless of any challenges that are ahead.

 

This election was one that was met with a heavy heart. Another weight to add to the load of injustices I’ve been able to mend and fix up so far, brush off or not even give the time of day because that’s how I survive.

This morning I woke up to the news of our new president-elect.

As a woman I was sickened.

I’ve been there for close friends who have been victims of atrocious acts committed against them solely in the name of what Donald Trump considers “locker room talk.” To this day, they still have not obtained any sort of justice.

I know the taste of bile in my mouth because I remember a year of terror I lived through when I was stalked constantly by an individual simply because I said, “No, I’m not interested in you.

I remember the day I removed that taste of bile from my mouth when I stood over a man stalking a close friend of mine and started screaming obscenities at him for being such a despicable human being while other men much more physically capable of handling this mongrel (mind you I’m 5 feet, 1.5 inches, 110 pounds ― when the wind blows I sway a bit ) did absolutely nothing.

As an African-American and a woman of color I felt cheated.

I know what its like to have the police pull you over on a dark secluded road, call for back up, approach the car yelling “policía, policía” and ask your friend if her papers are “correct” all because she forgot to turn on her lights pulling out of a “Spanish business establishment.” By the way, none of us were of Spanish descent.

I know what it’s like to drive past the state capital every day and watch the Confederate flag wave until nine lives were finally lost and humanity decided that physical artifacts of racism and white supremacy should be removed.

As a Muslim, that’s when I think I began to cry on the inside.

I know what it’s like to have a woman yell outside her car window “I HOPE YOU HAVE A STROKE AND DIE” or “YOU WHORE” and stand there in absolute disbelief because you don’t know this woman, but it all makes sense as you notice the TRUMP bumper sticker on her car.

I know what its like to listen to your loved one narrate their voting day experience, how they had to verify their citizenship, and you’re sitting at your desk at work a thousand miles away feeling utterly helpless and defeated.

I know what it’s like to visit 13 different stores at a shopping outlet in suburbia America with a fellow Muslim, only to have two people out of the 13 stores greet you and your friend as you walk in, and it’s only because one of them used to live in Abu Dubai and the other person was another person of color.

I know what it’s like to sit in the living room of your best friend’s apartment in the middle of rural South Carolina, tears streaming down your face as you watch the news report of three Muslims being shot over a parking dispute because their lives mirror your own.

I will always be a Muslim American Woman of Color, and nothing will change that. I’m definitely not going to let fear or ignorance define what that means either.

My faith keeps me strong, keeps my resolve and is my resilience.

My skin is my shield, a constant reminder that millions before me have shed blood, sweat, and tears. I may have to do the same to ensure the future I want for my children and fellow POCs and I welcome that challenge with every inch of this skin.

My gender keeps heaven at the feet of my mother, and my vision of a world where those who believe they have free reign of my body and my sexuality are held accountable stays afresh in my mind.

Day 1: I’ve mourned.

Today: I stand my ground and mourn no more.

Day 2 of 1453 days to Election Day 2020.

CONVERSATIONS