Selma, Alabama, 1965. From Selma to Montgomery, one of the most noteworthy triumphs for the civil rights crusade emerged. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his allies in the movement provoked a revolution that incessantly rehabilitated history.
I could, quite literally write for days about why #imwithher. I could take the political route and tell you about how Hillary Clinton is the most qualified candidate for President we’ve seen in forty years. I could tell you about how as first lady, she led President Clinton’s push for health care reform, or how she was the junior senator from New York for eight years. I could intricate on her four years as secretary of state, or how she has more foreign policy understanding than any recent nominee.
Or, I could take the personal route and talk about how as an African-American woman #imwithher. I could tell you about the open and blatant racism that I sometimes experience daily and how a candidate such as her counterpart has opened the floodgates for such bigotry and hatred to be spewed publicly. Racism, especially in the south is often a closeted thing. You say the “n-word” around family and friends, and you tell jokes clothed in bigotry, but never would you share it openly–until now. It was like a family secret that everyone knew, but wouldn’t dare acknowledge.
Trump, however, has shattered that mold. The idea that you should be ashamed of your bigotry is long gone. Who would think I’d long for the time when my White friends at least pretended not to be racist. Donald Trump and his campaign have given hatred, bigotry and racism a permanent green light.
I could stop right there, or I could also tell you about how I watch his supporters parade throughout the streets openly and angrily (btw, why are Trump supporters so angry?) and about how there is an heir of superiority, a proverbial chip if you will. I could talk about how Hillary makes me feel safer, and that we truly are better together, and about how her counterpart reeks of divisiveness and mockery. I could tell you why #imwithher but I want to explain why #imnotwithhim.
Selma 1965. Washington 2008. And now, Washington, 2016. We are literally writing history. We are living it; we are dictating it. And what stories are we leaving for those after us to tell? As a woman and an African-American, to watch the first Black man become elected and now the first woman (let’s just assume it’s a go), is prodigious. The first woman, in a country where women are paid seventy cents on every dollar made by her male counterpart (and sixty cents for Black women, and fifty-five cents for Hispanic women). The first African-American, in a country where we are told openly and fervently, verbally and non-verbally that our lives don’t matter.
I’m not with him because:
He wants to ban and entire religion from entering the U.S.
He said more countries should get nuked.
He scammed customers at his fake university.
Has been accused of sexually assaulting 12 different women. (12? Really? So they’re all lying?)
He mocked a disabled reporter.
He bragged about not paying income taxes.
He said John McCain wasn’t a war hero because he was captured.
He claimed Global Warming was a hoax.
He is on the precipice of a trial for fraud.
And the best one of all:
He bragged about grabbing women by the pussy.
Now, I could continue to tell you that I’m not with him because in Kinston, N.C., Trump, just days ago, kicked out a Black man and called him a thug (He’s obviously fit the description–a Black male). C.J. Cary, that “thug,” just so happened to be a Trump supporter. So, essentially, he kicked Mr. Cary out simply because he was Black (there’s that blatant and proud racism thing again). Or maybe I’m not with him simply because he refers to the African-American community as though we are outsiders of the “others.” Maybe, just maybe I’m not with him because of the five living presidents, democrat or republic, neither of them, support Donald Trump. Or maybe I’m not with him because Beyonce and Jay-Z said so.
I cannot, in good conscious, knowing the blood shed by my ancestors, cast my vote for Donald Trump on today. #Imwithher because deep down, I’m a little Black girl from a small town in Mississippi who has always been stifled for the two characteristics that I should be most proud; my womanhood and my skin color. I am with her because with her, I believe, I truly believe in a better America. I am with her because in a nation where we have rallied from 9/11, the Boston bombing, segregation and war, we have always been resilient and we have always done what is right. We stand in the face of adversity and from the ashes we rise, and we have always been our sister’s keeper. I am with her because I will not allow Donald Trump to hijack our futures or our history books. I am with her because, with her, we are stronger together. I am with her because… Selma. I am with her because I am my ancestor’s wildest dreams. I am with her because being with him is not an option #Imwithher