Donald Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton could unapologetically be described as devastating. I in fact was dragged to bed at around 2:00 am by my partner the night of the election with the promise that, "everything will be ok, Hillary will win." (I'm not sure at what point we became on a first name basis with the democratic candidate).
And I, like millions of the other people in the world, woke up the next morning to a totally new world, as Trump had won on election night. Suddenly, the world became a very uncertain place, not only domestically for POC community members, and Latin American migrants, but also globally as Trump seems to have a strong bond with Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
It was actually on Monday December 19, 2016, when electors in all 50 states and the District of Columbia formally elected Donald Trump as president of the United States.
As reported by The Guardian, "after a Hawaiian elector cast a vote for Bernie Sanders, the total was Trump with 304 votes and Clinton with 227. It takes 270 electoral college votes to win the presidency. Texas put Trump over the top, despite two Republican electors casting protest votes."
The Guardian spoke to six so-called "faithless electors" who it reported, "had intended to change their vote, all but one of them Democrats. The sole Republican, Christopher Suprun of Texas, said: 'Since I announced my intention to vote according to my conscience, I have received about half a dozen death threats against me and my family.'"
The Guardian article also quoted Suprun saying, "More happily, a person I've known for years who traces his ancestry back to the American Revolution told me he thinks his forebears would have been proud of what I'm doing, which made me feel pretty good."
While in one way, November seems like such a long time ago, this could just be my brain's protection mechanism, since with Monday's official vote status, America might change in subtle or drastic ways.
Perhaps not the day after he is sworn in as America's president at seventy years of age, but eventually.
I believe we must be vigilant in showing real solidarity -- for example, volunteering with No One Is Illegal -- or with the groups that will be most likely affected.
It's well known that Trump has made no effort to hide his distain for certain communities of colour and economic migrants.
To be more specific here, Trump has labeled Mexicans "rapists" and drug runners and has called to ban Muslims from entering the country.
And to what hurts me personally, he made fun of someone with dis/ability. Incredible low, I know. At a campaign rally, he flailed his arms and mocked New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, who suffers from a chronic condition that limits the movement of his arms.
In case you need a refresher before the Oath of Office speech in January, here is some of what Trump has promised in his presidential term. These are key areas to watch for when it comes to Canadians building ties with Americans and American social justice groups that could be potential targets. I'm not saying they will be, but that they could be.
Trump promised to:
- Build a wall along the Mexican Border, with a fence one foot taller than the Great Wall of China. Will it be called the Great Wall of Trump?
- Plans to create a database of Muslims. He has yet to rule this out despite repeated demands for clarification.
- Allow Russia to do what they please with the Syrian situation. He has famously stated his support for dear Vlad, the famous Russian Bear-Wrestler. This could mean trouble for Syrian citizens.
- Reduce America's $19 trillion national debt. But not by targeting military spending (and thank god for promising to invest in veterans and help them re-integrate into a lifestyle of their choice, so this is so far the one promise I actually like -- I just want to be transparent, I don't hate on everything he does) but by cracking down on fraud by, "ending redundant government programs and growing the economy to increase tax revenues." Ontarians only have to look so far as Premier Mike Harris to see how devastating this hunt for fraud can be on families and communities.
I'm sure there will be more, much more. Four years is four long years.
This is in no way a final list as I will be keeping my eyes open but as good starts to get acquainted with American politics and where communities need solidarity the most.
PS: Don't forget that Trump has investments in the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)
In more ways you can help or collaborate, please consider visiting the American Civil Liberties Union or the Southern Poverty Law Centre or Planned Parenthood or the Council on American Islamic Relations.
After all, nothing is helpless unless we refuse to help.