We’re in India, staying on a beautiful beach by the Arabian Sea.
This morning, when we left at dawn on a boat ride to look for dolphins, it was 10pm on the East Coast. I was surprised and anxious about the results we woke up to, but incredulous that the worst could really happen. By the time we returned and I had a chance to check my phone, I knew that it likely would.
I told the kids, before we got back to our rooms and Asia CNN access, that no matter what happened with the election, everything would be okay, that America is a great country with many great people. William knew right away why I was saying this. After looking at me with wide eyes and true shock, he assumed the role of strong, big brother he has taken on so well on this trip and said, “We know. We’ll be fine.”
And we will. But, as I think of so many friends back in America who will wake up to this nightmare tomorrow, my heart goes out to people whose kids are not white, Christian, and economically privileged. My mind strains to think how they will explain to their children how so many of their fellow Americans could vote for a man who ran on a message of racial bigotry, religious intolerance, and hate. What will they say to their kids in the morning?
I count among my friends some who I know voted for Trump. Maybe someday I will understand how you, particularly mothers of young women, could trust this reality TV show misogynist with the future of our children and our nation. But, as appalled as I am with your choice, I know we must accept it. I also know that you are not bad people with hearts filled with hate. I believe, or at least fiercely hope, that deep down you still believe in the true American dream, one that accepts and in fact cherishes our diversity and differences. And I wonder if maybe, just maybe, each of you could do one thing today that shows one person–a person who may wonder what a Trump victory says about how much their fellow Americans value them and their children–that the principles of equality, tolerance, and inclusion still persist in our great country. Just one gesture, however small. It matters, for all of us.