I was in bed by 9:00 pm last night. I love my life but as an entrepreneur and single mom of three, sometimes the responsibilities on my shoulders are intense and last night I could not keep my eyes open for one more minute. My three children ages--14, 12 and 7--stayed up to watch the election. At 9:30 pm my 7-year-old daughter busted into my room worried because Trump was in the lead. I gave her a hug, told her everything would be okay and went to sleep.
As I sit here at 4 am, the reality of Trump as President sinking in, my heart aches. What will I tell my children? What will I say to them when they wake up?
Not many years ago, I became a single mom with less than $100 to my name. I could only feed my kids white rice for several months. We had nothing and my kids were scared. I specifically remember one night all three of my kids were crying in my bed and as I held them I promised them that life would get better. I told them that this was the United States, the land of equality and opportunity. I promised them that we would succeed and told them to live with hope, generosity and faith. From that day forward, I built our lives knowing that the United States was a place that as a single mom, female, minority, second generation immigrant, anything was possible.
This entire election has shocked and hurt me. I told myself that surely people would not support racial profiling. Surely people would not support bullying. Surely people do not believe in religious persecution. Surely people will stand against sexual harassment and the denigration of women. I know this election is not all about race, religion and gender but for some of us, it sure feels like it. The pain comes not from Trump, but from those that voted for him. Those who stood and voted for someone that persecutes everything that embodies who we are.
This is more than an election for some of us. This is a reality check on where this country is and its acceptance of who we are as women, as minorities, as immigrants. I want to know where our place is in this newly elected presidency. I want to know where we belong.
As I look around my house, blankets on the couch and other obvious signs of my kids staying up to watch the election, I am hurt and I am saddened. What will I say to them? What will I tell my children when they wake up?