On a sunny afternoon in Daly City, I voted at my local polling place. The experience itself felt like a rite of passage, something I’ve been aching to do since I was very young. I knew who I wanted, the propositions I supports, and stuck to my guns regardless of the bullying crowding around the Dem Party in support of HRC. I came home to my housemate, Sam, the two of us talking and eating together about the election. We turned on NBC Bay Area news and watched the election unfold.
Many strides were made for California. Kamala Harris, the first Black woman Senator since 1999, was elected in. Proposition 55 passed, utilizing the taxes on those who make more than 250k a year to further fund education. We faltered as a State to get rid of the death penalty and pass Prop 61, that would bring the costs down for necessary medication.
But that’s not being focused on right now. The whole country is either parading and cheering or feeling a level of doom. I know why I didn’t vote for either, regardless if I lived in a blue or swing state. I know what I believe in and the world I envision for myself, my community, and my family, will not occur through electoral politics. I know that we are seeing the U.S. as an imperial power implode on itself and with the power and mobilization of us as masses, that we can achieve the liberation we seek as people. But that doesn’t invalidate the feeling and emotional strain I have right now.
On our campus, there has been a series of responses towards Trump’s win. There are neoliberal groups crowded around Malcolm X plaza trying to bring awareness to domestic violence, not truly addressing the root causes of the women’s struggle and the push for women liberation, but in an act of gendering heels, pushing a transphobic rhetoric. As I write, there are rallies being held across the Bay Area from SF to Oakland protesting his re-election. There are undocumented people feeling an immense amount of emotional trauma and strain in fear of being deported. There are Trump supporters who took the streets last night, claiming territory as hundreds of SF State students mobilized and took the Quad after HRC’s concession, screaming “Fuck Trump”. And then there are folks like myself, who had to a sit through Calculus class with a bunch of apolitical students poking fun and making racist comments and a professor who tell everyone, “Well, there’s nothing you can do now.”
What were seeing right now is the ripping of a band-aid. Neoliberalism and the Democratic party cannot address or resolve these root issues, nor hide under their seemingly progressive platform. No longer will someone like Obama be able to sweep issues of the war in Syria, the occupation of Israel, and the increasingly malicious police force under the guise of being a Democrat. We are seeing America’s ugly face, imperialism and all. We are seeing the bigots who have lived alongside us in our country come out from their caves and cheer on our new President. We are seeing everything this country has been rooted in and based upon come to the surface and forced to be dealt with.
That’s why liberals are so scared. The time old band-aid solution of the “lesser of two evils” isn’t working anymore. This is why organizing has always been the one and only solution to dismantle an oppressive system because working within a system for change will never work. If you’re angry, scared, or frustrated, I’d like to challenge you to organize yourself. Trust in a collective, work towards a liberation of all instead of some, and understand that the problem at the end of the day isn’t Trump, or Hillary, or third party voters. The problem is within the system itself.
Eat some food, get some sleep, and most importantly, don’t lose hope. Stay resilient in our fight for people’s liberation and know that you’re not alone in all of this.