Donald Trump is now president of the United States — thanks at least in part to Russia, to Wikileaks, to whitelash, whatever. It's an undeniably sad day, but there is a tiny glimmer of hope. You know why? Because thanks to Trump, the privileges and exceptions of American citizenship have never been more clear. And for that, I'm grateful.
For me, and for the more than 62 million people who didn't vote for Trump in the 2016 presidential election, this is not a political moment. It's a personal one. The same goes for the millions of other Americans who didn't or couldn't vote. And Trump has managed, in his own special, made-for-TV-or-Twitter-way, to bring us together in a historic and yet fragile coalition of people who see clearly what's at stake.
I'm black. I'm queer. I am a woman and happen to own a piece of genitalia that — perhaps if I were white and blonde and, you know, "beautiful" by his standards — Trump would feel entitled to grab at any moment. I was raised by a single mother in the "inner city," and I've lost people, "good" people, to gangs and violence and AIDS and drugs.
My survival was made possible by the very public assistance programs Trump and his appointee for Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson, are determined to make disappear. I was educated in the public schools Trump's appointee for education secretary, billionaire philanthropist Betsy DeVos, is determined to turn into privatized vessels of "God's Kingdom." My grandmother was driven out of Mississippi by the white domestic terrorist organization Trump's nominee for attorney general, Jeff Sessions, didn't think was all that bad until he found out they smoked weed. People I know and love are at risk for deportation by a Secretary of Homeland Security pick, John Kelly, who "[doesn't] know" if the department he's tasked with leading will deport hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who found temporary relief from deportation under former President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
It's people like me, whose lives are being threatened by Trump's administration, who are coming together and speaking out. Here we are, in an era when everyone from Meryl Streep to Metro Boomin' can agree on the danger posed by Trump and his administration. Trump's tiny fingers have managed to wage Twitter rants at civil rights hero John Lewis and Republican Gov. John Kasich. And now that he's the most powerful man in the world, his tirades are no longer just threats. They could be a matter of life and death.
So, thousands of people are converging on Washington for the Women's March, billed as one of the largest gatherings on the Capitol and easily the largest gathering of people living with disabilities that the United States has ever seen. Millions of others are gathering in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta. The entire state of California is up in arms and has vowed to fight against Trump's political agenda. Their needs aren't the same and their demands are different, but their target is clear: It's Donald Trump and his antiquated ideas, his hateful ideologies, his inept form of leadership. People are organizing in new and collective ways and sharing their resources like never before.
Obama's presidency may have fooled many into believing power could look and sound like us, but Trump is here to remind us that real power concedes absolutely nothing without a fight — and that even those concessions are never, ever guaranteed to last. They must be protected.
Nobody proves that more than President Donald Trump.