As a person who studies American history I was of course fascinated by the election campaign that has been a focal point in the media for the past god knows how long (it feels like forever). Students at my university organised an event in which we all went to a local pub to watch the results come in whilst eating american themed food and probably drinking a glass of wine.
The plan was to go for a few hours, feel pretty confident about Hillary’s win and go home in the knowledge we would wake up in a world that wasn’t in ruins. However, this obviously did not happen.
We stayed at the pub until about 3am when Florida, Ohio and North Carolina had not yet come in. The atmosphere had generally been pro-Hillary with a few straight white males thinking it would be funny to shout ‘trump trump trump’ in between sips of cheap beer (for the record, it wasn’t funny it was just highly irritating and offensive to everyone else there). There was a collective booing when Nigel Farage showed his face on the BBC coverage and collective cheering when Hillary won a state. At the time we left things looked uncertain but we still had hope. We chatted about how great our seminar in women’s history would be on monday in the taxi back and then said our farewells.
When my boyfriend and I got back home we watched the coverage for another hour or so and still Ohio, Florida and North Carolina were too close to call. We decided to call it a night and although I felt uncertain I still didn’t think it would happen.
I was woken by my boyfriend’s voice saying ‘Soph, it’s not good news’. I thought he was joking. I could not fathom that a completely unqualified, alleged sex offender, racist, homophobic idiot had been elected.
After that I sat worrying about my friends across the pond. 99% of the people that I am friends with in the states are POC, LGBTQ, female and bloody amazing. I feared for their safety. I feared for the preservation of decency, understanding, kindness, freedom and everything else that is obviously not what Trump stands for.
I have the utmost respect for the gracious way Hillary has handled the defeat which unfortunately only rubs salt in an already open and bloody wound.
I obviously cannot add much to the conversation that hasn’t already been said so I’m going to leave a few articles here for you to read:
my thoughts are with you america.
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