Today is not a day to feel sorrow, afraid or disheartened. Not to feel powerless, deterred or depressed. As a black American, a young professional, and a woman, I woke up this morning after finally falling back to anxious-ridden sleep, feeling unlike I ever have following a political race of any kind.
The air hanging heavy over New York today is solemn, and the image of the electoral map bleeding red across most of the nation last night is one I will not soon forget. We wanted Hillary Clinton to win, I know I certainly did. I am, and can be disappointed, yet inside of me is a fight against the despair. I feel motivated, spurred on even, and can see in our loss where so much was gained. The historic and game-changing presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton is one to be encouraged by and proud of.
It has been less than 100 years since women ― that is, white women ― received the right to vote in the United States, and began the very gradual, and at times with painstakingly slow progress, to gain election to political office. It has been less than 200 years since the movement began for women’s suffrage in the early 19th century, and less than 60 years since black women and women of color gained equal voting rights to have any voice in the political process.
Yesterday, I voted for a woman candidate for the office of commander-in-chief of the United States of America. It was the first time a woman has been nominated by a major political party to contend for such a position, the first time it was even an option in America’s nearly 250-year history. While Secretary Clinton did not become Madame President, her candidacy and campaign that brought her within less than a 1 percent margin between her and her opponent, spoke to a nation where women have not given up the fight for equality, to have a voice, and to lead.
Do not take the historical context in which I place my words to surmise that being a woman is the only reason I voted for and support Hillary Clinton. That would be the farthest from the truth. In this candidate who happened to be a woman, I found alignment with my values, thoughts and feelings of the direction our country is to go. I am concerned about what will happen next in the Supreme Court, for women’s right to choose, for the rights of our LGBT and immigrant communities, how this election will impact foreign relations, true small business owners and entrepreneurs like myself, and for my nephews now boys growing closer to walking in this world as unarmed black men, as the results of this election deepens our divide as a nation, a divide I hope we will heal from.
I voted for Hillary Clinton because I felt she is the best candidate for the position, and as President-elect Donald Trump begins to prepare for his journey into office, my feelings toward Clinton have not changed. Clinton was not the perfect candidate, no candidate is. However, for all she has represented over her 30 plus year career for families and progress and our country #imstillwithher
Rhetoric of the “old boys club” may still ring true. That it has been harder to elect a white woman than a black man over the course of two presidential campaigns in succession. To even go as far as to say that President Obama in some way benefited from the “no women allowed,” “women are not to be trusted,” and “a woman we will not follow” sentiments are ones we simply cannot let in.
Today, I feel proud. I believe Sojourner and Susan, and all the women who believed this moment was possible are proud, too. Hillary Clinton will take her place in history for not just breaking through glass ceiling after ceiling, but for shattering them. Today is a day to hold our heads up high, get back in the fight, and know there is work to be done.
Yes, we will see a woman president in this lifetime. This campaign is one step closer to that reality. Stand tall today, Hillary Clinton. #slay