The day after the election

The night of the election, she went to vote with me. I had already explained the urgency of this election and the fears I had of the outcome. I wanted her to vote with me, in case we made history that night. Leaving the voting booth, she turned to her Dad and said, “Daddy, we winned.” I hope so, is all I could think.

Watching the results of the election, I was silent. What was I going to tell her? From all I had shared, this was essentially going to be me telling her that Prince Hans has taken over Arendelle or that Rapunzel is locked up forever.

I got some advice from a family member who suggested I tell her that some people make mistakes. No way, I thought. There is no mistake in this. In fact, this is intentional hatred, racism, sexism, transphobia, islamophobia, xenophobia. She has to know the truth. I can’t allow her to walk through the world thinking that this was just a bunch of people who messed up, when this was calculated. When she woke up in the morning, she immediately asked me if we won and I told her no.

She looked at me and sadly said, “but he’s a bad man.”

“Yes,” I said, “he is.”

“Why is he a bad man?” she asked.

“Because he upholds structural racism,” I replied simply.

Her demeanor changed, her eyes welled with tears. Something in her body knew that the word “racism” was heavy. She knew from my voice, my body, my steadiness, that this must be an awful thing. This is one of only a few moments where I am fairly sure I’ve seen my daughter’s heart break.

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