A Love Letter To My People On the Heels of “President Trump”

I woke up today, hoping, wishing (but deep down already knowing) I had not seen what I saw. Could I unsee it? No. It was there, it was real. It is life.
I broke down. I broke down last night, feelig my heart shatter as Google told me Trump was leading… 264 to 209. I felt my heart go first. I felt my heart stop, trying to find its rhythm so that it could understand how… Why… When did we let this happen. I’ll admit, I myself as a Latina woman thought this was just an elaborate joke. I didn’t worry about the local elections or the primaries or even a Trump candidacy… I thought, we had some inkling of redemption. I thought a veil had been lifted. Trayvon Martin. Sandra Bland. Amadou Diallo.
The joke is on us.
Shocked, I retreated to bed. I thought I would simply pull the covers over my head but my heart had shattered in so many ways that I wept instead. I wept for my father, who has worked tirelessly and devotedly for this country he made home 40 years ago. He has been blind for 18 of those years, and with his cane in hand he still devoted himself to providing for his family. My heart had only broken like this once before, Sophomore year, the day my brother sat me down pre-Thanksgiving day break to tell me Dad got hit by a car. He was blind and he was proud and we tried as a family to protect him, but we couldn’t.
But my dad, deeply rooted in his resilience, didn’t die. He went through countless surgeries, his family spending 10 to 14 hours by his bed side and when the doctors told him he couldn’t go back to work until his leg healed (they predicted a year to 2 years) he put his mind to being back at work in 6 months.
And he was. Blind and limping, he was hard at work 6 months later. Five years after without notice, he was pulled for an unauthorized eye exam. They said he couldn’t do his job, though he had been doing it, legally blind as he was, for fifteen years. They had created this position for him, after he lost his vision and could no longer work as a truck driver. They insisted, pulled him from work and tried to get his eye specialist to falsify a failed eye exam. How can he, they’d ask, do his job if he can’t see.
By smelling. By listening. By touching. By asking questions and remember that the next street is called Oak Street– because he asks you insistinly what street is next until his mind records it. He even asks for the spelling. He uses every part of his being to do away with this idea that disability and broken English and being an immigrant are crutches– a signia of leeches (you know, immigrants who come here and “take our jobs”… That’s funny because the last time I looked no one wants to be a Housekeeper like my mother. But let me sip my tea in silence). He and my mother have worked tirelessly to give me and my brothers a better life. But they also worked tirelessly to pay their dues to this country they love. This country that denies them the respect we so easily give to the Donald Trumps of the world.
I wept for them. I wept for the men and women in prison, I wept for the boys and girls failing school at the hands of ignorant teachers, I wept for my people and the brutality we face emotionally, mentally, physically every day.
I woke up angry. I see, now, our system can’t be fought or changed half-heartedly.
I picked up the pieces of my heart.
When you’re ready to do the same I ask you to first rest, little one. We have years of hard work ahead and where we’re going there will be no pillows for us to lay our heads.
With tender love & curls,
Your Little Dominican

2 thoughts on “A Love Letter To My People On the Heels of “President Trump”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this! I can definitely relate to your experience. I woke up feeling like last night was just a dream and I am so sad that it wasn’t. I’m still in shock but oddly optimistic in some way. There HAS to be some sort of silver-lining to what currently feels like a tragedy. The last sentence of your post resonated with me so much and I agree that there is a lot of work ahead of us but I think it needs to begin with honest conversations. I’m glad that you’re talking. Stay blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey! Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I think people just have to continue to remember what this moment feels like, and use it to motivate what comes next: change. Honest conversations are so important and I hope more people continue to be open to them. Much Love – TLD

      Liked by 1 person

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