On the State of Mind, the Home, the City, My Country
I have never been a very political person. I should start by admitting that straightaway. I am certainly not the one at the dinner party ready with history and political facts to engage in debate.
I have always longed to be that person, but my head is buried in fiction, in philosophy, poetry, sociology and psychology and the beliefs that stem from being waist deep in the kinds of books that tell about how we live and what we lack at home even when basic needs are met.
One thing I know for sure, while I lack the snappiness and verve when it comes to spouting history and parsing out political rhetoric, I was deeply affected by the election results. It's day three and I am still recovering. Still upset enough to sign petitions and look within for a way I can be of help to the many people who will find their lives made harder by the president elect.
Politics never made me cry as if I'd lost something I loved. Something about this campaign year and the election itself changed me.
As an immigrant's daughter and the granddaughter of a woman who started her family in a nipa hut, I found the president elect offensive.
As a woman, I have found him offensive for his talk and his behavior towards women.
As a person with friends whose rights he may impinge and whose lives he will damage, I have found him offensive.
As a person who stood in the East Village and and watched the World Trade Center fall, I fear he will exacerbate already strained foreign relations.
As a young woman seeking services at the local Planned Parenthood, I fear for other women who will not have the same ease and freedom I had to make choices about my body and my future.
As a marcher in antiwar and anti police violence marches since the time of the Rodney King beating, I am afraid I will have reason to march again.
While I enjoy some of the trappings of a middle class urban life my family are not the elite who are out of touch with middle America. I grew up in Houston, Texas and I know that place and those people and they are not bad or unkind or ignorant or members of the KKK. The ones who are all of those things feel now that they have a voice and are vindicated and bold, because the man they championed was rewarded the highest office in the country.
I feel in the next four years I'll be watching a slow motion car crash and no matter where I look I won't be able to get away from seeing the disaster unfold in a thousand media ways.
I sit here at my desk in the northwest Bronx with a window facing Riverdale, a much tonier neighborhood than my working class and ethnically diverse Kingsbridge. I am watching as a cold strong wind whips leaves off the trees, of every autumnal shade, and whirled this way and beyond. Any other year, yes, even the Bush years, I would have found this beautiful. Fall is my favorite season. At the moment though, the wind feels merciless and unnecessarily cruel.