I voted for who I wanted – former First Lady of two terms, former Secretary of State to our first black President, and a hopeful to make history as the Nation’s first woman President. I voted for who I wanted with a confidence that I hoped others carried with them into a convincingly lit booth. When this woman did not win, I felt as if I was the only one who cared about the importance of early November, and I knew that these feelings would not be understood by a great portion of my fellow Americans.
I stood in line at an Elementary School with hundreds of other American citizens to not only cast my opinion on political matters into a sea, but to vote for a human being who could do this for me for the next four years. The line I stood in told me that this was an important duty – people of different skin color, gender, and economic backgrounds gathered together. This multiplicity is what America has crossed lines for, so it amazed me that several hours later, a man who does not represent this multiplicity won our votes. A man who bragged that he would build a wall which would prevent this multiplicity stole America’s hearts.
What amazes me is that it could have been the wall that caught the attention of voters. Segregation is what we once called things that separated people, and we began to fight against buildings that taught this long ago. Perhaps, walls look better than buildings because there are no doors or windows to see who or what is inside. It could have been the slogan. Our latest President made us consider our health with “Yes, We Can,” so why can’t Trump follow-up with “Make America Great Again”? It does not cross the mind of most folks that a similar slogan was first used for Germany during Hitler days as long as America is being promised something. After all, we don’t have proof that Trump liked “Mein Kampf” in his days as a young entrepreneur under his family’s fortune. His young entrepreneurship under his family’s fortune is my other educated guess for his election. If a spot on the Celebrity Apprentice or a 5 Star stay at the Trump Tower means that a man can be trusted on matters of racism and women’s bodies, even after he has mocked both during the most lavish run of them all in his campaign trail, then you might have voted for who you wanted at the expense of the very thing that grants this process: freedom.
Sometimes economic freedom can influence a man’s politics. My mother loves telling the story of how the family moved into a new house when I was still a new baby, and she loves this story because our move was achieved under a President who believed in her story. Who believed that this migration was the epitome of a great America. As I grew older, I believed in this move, too. I have experienced the privilege of home-owning, but even this economic freedom was not proof of freedom without the political freedom. Politics must straighten the economic freedom, then you will have freedom. Not the economic freedom of persuasion or the political freedom of believing in persuasion. Just freedom – a song that births equality and freedom for all. Even Trump cannot deny the sound of a saxophone from a white man born in 1940s Arkansas on a live talk show hosted by a black man in the same century.
When Trump was elected President, I could hear a saxophone. It is not up to me to give Trump his dream of having rule over an entire country. I can only get my dream of houses in unsegregated spaces and no fanfare necessary.
There is no such thing as half-freedom like there was no such thing as separate, but equal. We can only hear our saxophone.