I shouldn't have to debate the value of my humanity with anyone.
By: Mungi Ngomane
I thought I knew heartbreak before but November 9th showed me I was utterly wrong. As it became more and more obvious that the position I thought was meant for Hillary Clinton was going to be handed to a bigot, a charlatan and a fear monger, I lost my mind. Losing my mind is the only way I can describe spending a day doing something I absolutely despise doing -- crying. And sitting on the phone with friends listening to them crying because there isn't anything else I can do to help but just be there makes one feel useless. Yesterday we proved that it's okay to sexually assault women, belittle minorities, the disabled and veterans, defraud millions, withhold tax returns and still hold the highest office in our land... just so long as you don't hide 30,000 emails about nothing.
For those of you who said you did not like Hillary because she is a "liar," please explain to me what Donald Trump did at every turn when what he previously said no longer fit his trajectory. He lied. And continues to lie. It is a slap in the face to us to suddenly proclaim that he "will be a President for all Americans" when he spent the last 18 months making it glaringly clear what he wanted his America to look like and we were not a welcome part of that.
There's a culture in the United States of America of telling people how to react to pain we see as unjustified -- telling blacks to deal with their rampant murder by police peacefully, and when they do protest peacefully to "maybe do it on a different platform". We can all show the utmost outrage at people burning the flag but we have no outrage for a man who spits on ideals and values this country was built on?
It is not your pain to mandate; I am not one for burning the flag, but I can see the pain and frustration that has pushed Americans to it. This isn't about making and keeping you comfortable; we should all be very very uncomfortable.
For those of you who chalk it up to people in economic distress voting for Trump: His voters are better off economically compared with most Americans. Minorities and people of color have far and wide dealt with more economic distress in this country; do not attempt to educate them on their history. The problem is Trump used these same people as the solution to the economic distress of his supporters. If we get rid of the Mexicans, deal with the Blacks and keep out the Muslims, then suddenly your economic distress will be no more? Well that's what you just tried to argue. Sit down.
This isn't a matter of differing political opinions; Donald Trump is legitimately the ANTITHESIS to me as a black woman of African descent. And frankly, I do want to go back to Africa. Many of us who were the target of his vitriol want to go anywhere and I don't think that's cowardly; it's not cowardly to spend almost your entire life in a country and to grasp at the possibility of leaving when that country votes against who you are as a human, votes against those traits and characteristics that you are unable to change, against the fibre of your being. But with our track record around the world right now, who knows what countries want to accept us, we are the very people who help create and also seem to hate refugees.
For those of you calling for unity now that he has won, give us a minute. We are not sore-losers, we are not sad because our candidate lost a competition, we are sad because of what went along with that loss.
And before you decide to troll a Facebook page or tell a Hillary supporter to smile and show unity; DO NOT forget that during the election Donald Trump first said he would keep us in suspense about accepting the election result until later changing his tune when again he realized it did not bode well. Stop complaining about how you have been forgotten for so many years as justification for literally EVERY minority in your country to feel threatened by their President. Even typing President so near to his name puts a bad taste in my mouth. And in case you forget how some of you disrespected President Obama the last 8 years, I am here to remind you that you did -- so your hypocrisy is not appreciated today.
As we grow and change, our circles grow and change. Donald Trump has expedited this for me and for so many of my friends who are sitting wondering how they can be so close to someone that doesn't see how he wasn't a president fighting for our diverse America. Can you really look me in the eye and tell me you don't find it at all disturbing that our first black President has to hand over the White House to not just someone who clung to the "birther" movement, but was also endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan?
Let me say it again, THE KU KLUX KLAN. Take a minute for that please.
We don't really need you to explain to us why we don't matter to you. You got what you want, and now you must accept how we react. It's fine to disagree and still love each other but your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.
For those of you who spent yesterday and will likely spend a while feeling a spectrum of emotion -- namely fear, anger, sadness and emptiness -- my mother reminded me of a few things: We have been enslaved, we have been colonized, we have been raped and beaten, we have been lynched and imprisoned but most importantly we have survived. The saddest thing of all is November 9th meant this treatment likely isn't over yet and still our grievances don't match up to those of "disenfranchised Trump supporters." But while right now it's difficult to see what is next, we all know deep down inside it will be OK.
There are so many more things I can address and it would be never ending but I am tired. Tired of having to educate when it all seems so clear to me and those near me. My tattoo of "Ubuntu" on my wrist has never meant more to me than it does today, our humanity is bound up in one another and we would do good to remember that. My grandfather said two things over the years and what sticks out to me today is: "Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness," and, "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." So let us have hope and never be neutral in situations of injustice because history does repeat itself folks and we do not want that to happen.
Nompumelelo (Mungi) Ngomane is currently undertaking a Master's in International Studies and Diplomacy at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London. She recently completed her BA in International Studies, with a focus on Peace, Global Security and Conflict Resolution in the Middle East from the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C. She served a term as the alumnae relations chair of the Chi Omega women's fraternity from January 2013 to January 2014 and is a member of the Tau Sigma Honor Society. In the fall of 2013, she completed an internship in the office of her Congressman, Jim Cooper. Mungi spent the summer of 2013 interning for the Girls and Women team at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), where she helped with commitments and later volunteered at the CGI Annual Meeting in September. She has interned at the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Washington, D.C. where she focused on how to make the mission and message of NDI more accessible to high school and college students. She also spent some time at the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre in Cape Town, South Africa aiding them with their outreach to the youth. Her professional and personal interests are the advancement of women and girls around the world but specifically the Middle East and conflict resolution in the region as well. In addition to acting as a youth patron for the Tutu Foundation UK (TFUK), and recently taking on the role of patron she just completed service on the board of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.
A girl that just wants to have fun-damental human rights.
Following the completion of her Master's degree from SOAS in 2017, she hopes to use what she knows of "Ubuntu" for the advancement of women, girls and refugees.