Something happened today; and while I know you are too young to understand it or see its impact, one day you will learn of it and you will ask me; “How? “
Maybe you’ll say: “if so many people, like you, were so upset by it; how did it happen?”
And when that time comes, I won’t be able to answer you, because I just don’t understand it and I don’t think Its possible that I ever will. I know the alternatives weren’t great, but atleast the alternatives were progressive.
By the time you read this, I hope we have moved on. I hope humanity has surged forward after we fell so far backwards today. I hope you’re not cleaning up after us nor bearing the brunt of the consequences of these decisions. I hope we are all a bit wiser and more tolerant.
Yes, this is politics, and I’m not very political but It’s important to me now, as I tuck you into bed, that you understand the consequences here and the grave fear people are faced with.
Its important to me that you understand my concern as a mother.
There are people who are now afraid of being themselves and that goes against everything I have taught you.
I want you to understand that even though I’m half a world away, my heart is sinking because while I am not American, I am human and collectively, we have so much to fear.
Today we gave power to a bully.
We gave power to an intolerant man who has made promises that he cannot possibly keep
We gave power to a man who refuses to believe, through irrefutable evidence, that our world is in crisis
Today we saw that you can be racist, misogynistic and bigoted and still gain support through dishonesty and intimidation.
But im here to tell you that, you can’t my boys, you can’t.
This is not the way the world works. This is an opportunity for us as a people, to learn a lesson in tolerance and endurance and the greater good and to redefine what we value and need from our leaders.
I am raising you to be gentlemen, to be protectors and to understand the true meaning of consent and decency when it comes to your behaviour towards women.
At no point in your life do I want you to think of a woman as anything less than your absolute equal.
In future, when you come across statements he has made or listen to things he has said; do not wave it off as “locker room banter” or accept it as “just what men do” because it’s not and people who speak like that, are not people you should look up to.
Be shocked and appalled because bragging about sexual assault is shocking and appalling. Do not consider that just because he was elected as president, this means he is worthy of your respect or admiration.
Having a position of power does not automatically need to command your respect if you do not agree with what they stand for. Trust your instincts.
At no point in your life do I want you to think that the colour of your skin entitles you to things that others cannot have. I want you to fight for equality and celebrate differences.
While you may not always agree with aspects of cultures or religions; I want you to be respectful of them. I want you to be open minded and learn about your whole world, not just what you’re familiar with and I want you to love whoever you want to love without prejudice.
As your mother, it is my job to raise to be conscientious and thoughtful.
It is my job to raise you to be proud and stand up for what you believe in.
And as your mother, this gets harder and harder. I encourage your positive role models and I try to shield you from the influence of the stereotypes of “success” revolving around sex, money and power. I filter what you see on TV and I don’t let you watch music videos. I try to teach you about substance and maintain a healthy approach to materialism. I get frustrated when you are surprised by my ability to move furniture and I get angry when you automatically offer me the pink piece in a game of trivial pursuit. I get pissed off when you automatically class me as “wonder woman” in your superhero game because dammit, I want to be Iron Man.
I am constantly challenging your perceptions, fighting stereotypes and battling to open your minds.
I am trying. But those outside voices are loud and today they became deafening. Because the “President of the United States” is not someone you can easily ignore. The President should be worthy of respect and should be a leader to look up to.
And quite simply, he’s not. My boys, I don’t want you to look up to this man because I don’t believe he is good and I don’t believe in what he stands for.
So I will work harder now, for you. I will strengthen your moral compasses and I will show you to always use your voices to speak up for what you believe in.
You must never stop fighting for the good or for the progression of humanity.
I would rather see you fighting for the underdog that stepping over them as you rise to power.
Today, we gave power to a bully.
And I hope that by the time you read this, we have learnt our lesson.