I am absolutely disgusted with the results of the election. I could barely sleep last night, and when I woke up this morning and saw that Trump had a clear lead, which slowly turned into a clear win, I could barely breathe. I didn’t eat all morning. I felt sick to my stomach. I am afraid of what will happen, not to me in Poland, but to all my friends who fit the descriptions of people who have been demonized in this election: Mexican (or otherwise Hispanic-looking, I’m sure racists don’t care), immigrants, refugees, Muslims, LGBTQ+ folks.
After the Leave campaign was successful in the UK, there was a huge spike in hate crimes and harassment of non-white Brits. When such an openly racist, misogynistic, xenophobic asshole gets such large support, people take it as an edict to let the stuff they would normally keep hidden out into the open. Just thinking about it churns my stomach.
But more than the fear for fellow Americans, I feel guilty. I have established this life abroad, and I want to continue teaching abroad, but I feel like I should go back to the States. If this presidency is going to be everything the campaign has promised, shouldn’t I be there to fight back? To campaign against unfair laws? To help organize, mobilize, fight for the rights that people might try to infringe? To protect those who can’t move to a new country? To stand up and say that these ideas are not ok, and that this is not the country I want to have?
What say should I get in how my country is run if I don’t even live there?