Disclaimer: AWC is about to get unusually serious. And political. Hold yo’ panties up.
The pits in my stomach woke me up at 6 am (Central European Time) on the morning of November 9th. It was impossible to sleep with the excitement lingering in the back of my sleepy brain; “Who will be the next US President?!” I roll over and look at my phone, expecting to see my homegirl’s name on the CNN update. My stomach drops.
What the fuck.
Trump is in the lead by 30 electoral points. In my dreamy state, so far removed by the Atlantic Ocean, I thought it was a horrible, horrible, nightmare. I frantically search for other news sources, hoping that those fiery, carrot-top colored red numbers were a typo.
What the actual fuck, America.
Those were the only words I could get out. The only illiterate four words that seemed to make sense. Has my country, the country I represent proudly as I travel the world, introducing myself with my proud (very obvious) American accent, gotten THIS desperate?
Within the next hour, my phone was flooded with texts from my Spanish friends. “Que coño ha pasado con tu país?” “Trump, tía? Yo pensaba que toda era broma”. “En serio?”
Translation: “What the fuck happened to your country?” “Trump? I thought it was all a joke.” “Seriously?”
Yes mis amigos. I thought the same.
I left for work and boarded Granada’s public bus. On the phone with my mom discussing the recent catastrophic events, I got looks shot across the bus at me like bullets, coming from everyone. That pit in my stomach came back.
For the first time in my life, I was embarrassed of my accent.
I heard murmuring on the bus coming from every direction. Trump’s name echoed from seat to seat, as I just sat there and took it all in. These two young girls next to me were doubled over their phones, scrolling through their news feeds, exchanging periodic comments of “No me lo puedo creer” (I can’t believe it.) Then, the girl on the right said this: “Que bien que no somos Americanas, tía.”
“It’s so good that we’re not Americans.”
If my stomach was already to the floor, it dropped about 5,000 meters to the Earth’s damn crust. Ya’ know; where the lava is. That fiery red stuff, that can kill you if you touch it.
I entered work. Here’s what the teachers had to say:
In the afternoon, I met with a journalist from IDEAL Granada, who wanted to conduct an interview on how we, Americans in Granada, feel about the day. In summation of the emotional interview, I told him this:
My next blog post will be, “How to Flee Trump and Move to Spain.”
I know what you’re thinking: “Woah, woah, wait a minute! Isn’t this post I’m reading right now your next blog post?
Very good kids! You’re right. After a 24-hour period of feeling anger, disbelief, shock, confusion, and overall deep sadness for my country, I decided to write this article instead. A ranting mush of my feelings, Spain’s feelings, and this realization:
I realized we can’t flee. Those who are in the country and feel as strongly as I do about race equality, gender equality and human rights, must stay and fight for what is right. If we flee, he wins. He becomes the leader of a nation who voted for him. Who voted to ban immigration, in a country made up of immigrants. We must fight the fire and extinguish that flaming red head of his.
As I’m not in the US, I am going to do my best to fight for what is right across seas, virtually, and spread the word on the other side of the Atlantic. Besides, I’m walking, talking Mexican food for god sake…I want to be allowed back in my country!
So please, wherever you are in the world: next time you are walking down the streets or on a bus, and hear someone question Trump and America’s values, share this with them. And remind them of this:
The USA is the world’s melting pot. A country of Blacks, Whites, Muslims, Gays, Straights, Transgenders, Latinos, Pink, Yellow, Purple. We all came here for a better life at some point through America’s history. And we are not going to let that go into flames.
Watch this video I made last summer of our very diverse, proud NYC. And please, do your part and share.