I remember how drastically different 8 years ago was when Barrack Obama won the election. The streets were packed, people of all ages, races, and orientation cheering, celebrating, excited for change. Flash-forward to now as I walk the streets eerily empty. The entire nation inside glued to there television. Everyone watching in horror as the election continues neck to neck. Everyone questioning their reality and next steps. Their citizenship and options. All of us knowing that a world of justified trump supporters is a step backward in human rights. My friends went home too sad to stay public for the remaining count of votes. I headed back to Brooklyn.
Tensions were high on thr L train last night. I only needed to go one stop. The election wasn’t over but spirits were down. A group of young kids, mostly Black and two Indian, maybe 11-13 years old played their music on the platform and started cueing it up again once they were on the train. The late 50’s/early 60s middle aged Mediterranean man next to me taps one on the arm and says “Hey everyone’s depressed over the election right now could you not do your show? I can’t handle it right now. We are all too stressed and depressed.”
“Don’t touch me! Don’t touch me fool! Nigga I said don’t touch me.” One of the kids shrieked.
“I’m sorry I was just trying to
Get your attention.
“Don’t touch me! He touched me this isn’t right!”
“But look this just isn’t the time for this” they went back and forth a few time but eventually calm washed over the train car again.
Then, the train jerks suddenly and the kid falls on some early 30s hippie dude ” Hey man don’t touch me” the hippie dude says in a smart ass way and a majority of the train car snickers.
The kids then erupt and start attacking him and the man next to me again- saying “he touched me on purpose this was an accident” one the kids was getting really uppity and in people’s faces – another adult stepped in and said “hey he was just trying to get your attention, he apologized, but the election is real and looking grim and we just need some quiet.”
The kids go on “We are dancing for Hillary anyway- but we are just kids! We can’t vote anyway! Don’t blame us! Fuck Trump! We don’t care we just need to make our bread and butter so we can go home!”
Then a 20 something year old white woman with dark features who’s face was already red and puffy from crying before she entered this train says “You don’t even know! We are all on the same team! We are fighting for you and your rights and we are losing!”
The kids start screaming : “Shut the fuck up! Shut up! Shut the fuck up!”
Adult that was standing says, “Guess what!? You don’t get to tell me what to do! Freedom of speech-look it up- scream all you want but you get no say over me and what I say!”
The man next to me starts in again on the kids the kids are starting to get really unruly running at people like they are going to deck them their friends holding them back etc etc.
Then another 20 something year old man steps up – locking me into a corner between the subway bars, the angry man next to me and the kids trying to attack him and says sternly, “I would just like to point out that you are arguing – with children.” The man protests and the 20 something yo continues on, ” You should be ashamed of yourself, you are supposed to be the adult here, get a hold of yourself.”
Man, “Do you have children? Cause I do- and children need to be hearing this and need to know what’s going on”
This fight continues pinning me in the corner. The girl with red face starts screaming at the top of her lungs, “We are fucked! We are all so fucking fucked! We are all so fucking fucked”
Kids still screaming, “Shut the fuck up, we are going to knock you down like we should have in the first place!”
The puffy faced woman is now whaling and crying “We are so fffffucking fucked!” Sobbing into her hands.
The kids are now trying to attack 4 different people in the train car all in varying states of freaking out.
Then a 40 year old black woman walks up and starts talking to the kids one at a time, “What are you doing!?” Going to the next one, “Stop this!” Moving through the train. “You are better than this! What is your problem?! You are going to throw your whole life away over this woman screaming at you on a train? Cause guess what? You are in a lower socio-economic class than this person, this white woman, that man, and this person over” Pointing out each one, “and there too and you always will be! And you know what that headline is going to read tomorrow? That this black teenager attacked a white woman on the train and you are going to be locked up for the rest of your life? Is that what you want? You are better than that! You are stronger than that! But you better damn prove it! Right now.”
Train doors open and we all escape. I was totally moved to tears by the end of it. Watching everyone go into mass hysteria over this new president not even elect yet. Watching the fear seep into everyone’s eyes and hearts.
The results, I agree, are terrifying. But this isn’t the first time I will be wrongly be represented by my government in this lifetime but I sure do plan to work hard to ensure that it is my last.
We must band together. We must be stronger now than ever. We must support each other more fully and care about each other deeper. We must show up for each other stronger than ever and stand up for our equal rights now more than ever before. Let’s do this!