“President-elect Trump” is what I heard Chris Cuomo from CNN say through my television screen. I went to bed with the TV on knowing Hillary Clinton would lose by 10 p.m., but I had the audacity of hope that she would pull through like Muhammad Ali against George Foreman like the Thrilla in Manilla. I was wrong! When I arrived at work, I felt a collective trauma throughout the entire Health Department.
The positive energy always present in the office was gone; the space I entered was now a negative utopia. Staff was trying to cheer each other up by offering hugs and allowing employees to vent. One comment I kept hearing throughout the office from my colleagues was, “Well, we survived Nixon, Reagan and the Bush family, so we can survive Trump.”
I know this comment was a way for people to cope with the event they were experiencing, but this comment kept echoing in my head. I kept asking myself, Did we really survive these other uber-conservative presidents? What does survival really mean when there are all these wounds? Did women’s liberation, LGBTQ rights and black and brown people really survive these administrations unscathed and undamaged? The objective reality is that no one who is white and privileged in American knows the challenges that go with being black and disenfranchised in this country.
“What do you have to lose?” Donald Trump asked black and brown folks again and again while campaigning. With the election of President Barack Obama, minorities in American made great progress that would not have been possible under previous administrations.
What do women’s liberation, LGBTQ advocates and black and brown people have to lose with President Donald Trump? Everything.
Antar Bush is a public-health advocate, professor at West Chester University and executive producer of OUTPour LGBTQ. He is committed to advocating for health equity in all communities. Follow him on Instagram @antarbushmswmph.