my campus was devastated this morning. shocked, stunned, in mourning.

the sun seemed to have forgotten to show its face today as i walked up to slope to class, strangely unaccompanied. there was a strange lack of students from my classes. some professors cancelled class entirely. teaching assistants offered assignment extensions. someone had written the word ‘horrified’ in chalk. the chime masters played the funeral march from the bell tower.

tears fell, and hugs were exchanged. a stunned silence fell over the student body as we contemplated. and the sky remained gray.

my heart feels heavy as i come to terms with america’s decision, wondering how people could possibly support a man who has openly proclaimed that people like me don’t matter. that i, as a woman, am lesser. that i, as an immigrant, do not deserve to be here. that i am less of a human being because i am a minority. and what of my friends? those who identify with the lgbtq+ community, those who are latinx, muslim, black, asian, immigrants, refugees… the list goes on. explain to us why we are lesser. look us in the eye and say that we don’t matter. tell me that the things this man has said was acceptable.

there are political differences, there are political disappointments, and there is fear. legitimate fear that your way of life is going to change because of the decisions of a man who attacks not your ideals and political beliefs but your very identity and existence. legitimate fear that something is going to happen to your friends or your family because they simply don’t fit into the vision that was curated by this version of america.

i believe this election outcome was fueled, in part, by pain and desperation. the pain was strong enough, deep enough, to condone all the hate. i get that–but it didn’t make the outcome any less devastating.

today, we mourn. tomorrow, we stand back up. we support each other, we keep hoping. we choose kindness over hate, acceptance over bigotry. we speak up. and then maybe then we can fix the divide. fix the pain.

take care of yourself. take care of each other.