Since November 8th, a consistent topic of conversation in my household, has been Donald Trump. Who Donald Trump appointed. What Donald Trump said. What Donald Trump tweeted. My mother and I regularly exchange emailed articles and social media posts all things Donald Trump. And much of our time includes running behind each other from one room to the next urgently sharing our latest Donald Trump revelation. News and political programs are in almost constant rotation on the televisions in my home. Saying that we have been obsessed would be a huge understatement.
But a few days ago, I came to the realization that our adult conversations were not reserved for grown folks. And that our several rants had not gone unnoticed. It was when I proudly, and maybe even smugly, pointed to a picture of President Obama and asked my son, ‘Who is this?’ that I realized our household had been infiltrated. Barely glancing at the image on my phone, he went into a semi-maniacal chant of ‘Donald Trump! Donald Trump! Donald Trump!’ The more I said, ‘No. President Obama,’ the louder he yelled, ‘Donald Trump! Donald Trump! Donald Trump!’
After I gathered myself, I locked eyes with my mother. Stunned and not sure exactly how to respond, we chuckled uncomfortably and I quickly changed the subject. But as the day went on and I thought about my son’s behavior, I found the incident to be troubling. Donald Trump had made it into the consciousness of my little boy. And I, along with his grandmother, had firmly planted him there in plenty of soil to grow. At three years old, my son’s mind should be on not much more than his ABCs, superheroes, and his favorite television shows. Instead, he is trying to add his little voice to the loud and frenzied Donald Trump conversations that now fill his home.
And this is where it all stops.
During this sobering time in our history, I will stay ‘woke.’ I will continue to process my unsettled feelings about the election. But no longer will I do so from a place of fear and uncontrolled hostility. I will keep myself informed and share information about the direction the incoming administration is taking this country. And I will expose and speak out against any injustices. But what I will no longer do is contribute to the unfiltered and deafening noise and chaos. It is time that I move beyond being an outspoken angry bystander, and turn my outrage into activism by volunteering for and providing financial support to organizations who are committed to protecting the rights and interests of the disenfranchised of our country.
And as for my home, it will return to what it used to be. My son will enjoy the same innocent childhood that he did before his world ever included a Donald Trump. And rather than constantly hearing a name synonymous with all of the ‘isms’ of our world, in our household, he will hear words of equality, words of empowerment, and words of resistance to oppression. These words will help to shape his reality and, hopefully, in four years, when he is then eight years old, and this dark period in our history is hopefully behind us, he will know that his family did not yield to fear. Instead, we became more of ourselves and even more committed to our beliefs.
He will know that we stood strong and did our part to trump hate.
Photo credit: Terri Linton