Nirbhau Nirvair (Beyond Fear Beyond Hate)

This election was so much more than the issues.

The 2016 Presidential Election. 

This American Born Confused Sikh has never been more confused.

No, I didn't vote. I know. I know! I didn't register. I haven't even transferred my Texas license and registration over to California yet. Shhhhhh (Hopefully the California Department of Motor Vehicles isn't reading this!)

I've never been one to really keep up with politics or news or anything. I try to watch it all as little as possible because I really do believe that the media is out there to manipulate us and instill fear into us. As per the Guru, this world is a swamp and I don't want to enter the swamp and I certainly don't want to swim in the swamp. I just know that I need to be aware of the swamp. I try to focus on the lotus flowers out there and I try to be a lotus flower myself. Out of all of the many avenues of news media that I choose to engage in, I consciously get my news from Time Magazine and I unconsciously get my news through Facebook. (You know you do too!) LOL

With this presidential election, I read about the issues through Time and I laughed about what I saw on Facebook, Saturday Night Live, and Samantha Bee. I actually tuned into each presidential debate because honestly. . . .it was entertaining! I too wondered how a narcissist like Donald Trump made it that far. I thought it was a joke. I thought that America really wanted a woman president so they gave her an opponent so ludicrous and ridiculous that she would surely win. I thought he was joke. I didn't take anything he did or said seriously because I didn't respect him. I just didn't think he would make it!

I was disappointed to see riots at his rallies. I was saddened to see everyone fighting and everyone hurt. I was disgusted by everything that he said about everyone and anyone who belonged to a different race, religion, and gender. What I found to be even more interesting and alarming was this: Minority groups that supported Trump supported him because they disliked other minority groups that Trump blatantly spoke out against, even though Trump said something about their own minority group too. Did I loose you? I really wish I could be more specific, but if I do, it's not going to be healthy for any minority. So I am going to simplify this to the bare basics. . . .

Okay, let's pretend that Trump is a white crayon. Lets pretend that this white crayon hates all of the freaking colors in the box. This white crayon blatantly said something negative and hateful about every single color in the box. What I found to be strange was, blue crayons would support Trump because blue crayons hated green crayons and they heard Trump bashing the green crayons. They ignored the fact that Trump hated the blue crayons too! When I saw and heard all of this I was honestly shocked. The minorities that supported Trump forgot that an injustice to one is an injustice to all. They forgot that they should not even be hating other groups or "crayons" to begin with. Period.

This election was so much more than the issues. This election turned into a racial, religious, and diversity divide. I personally have never been able to choose or label myself as either a Republican or a Democrat. There are philosophies that appeal to me from both parties. To be honest, I'm still with George Washington. There should only be one party. The American Party. I am the daughter of an immigrant and I am so thankful to have been born in this country. I feel independent here. I feel free here. I feel safe here.

Facebook didn't feel so safe though. I had many friends on my Facebook say things like, "If you support Trump, unfriend me right now!" "If you vote for Trump, just take me off of your facebook!" I understand where those feelings came from. When we see our Muslim sisters and our Sikh brothers being bullied on all different levels, the pain resonates over and over and over again. But despite this, I couldn't unfriend the Trump supporters on my Facebook. I'm from Texas. To my surprise, I actually had quiet a few Trump supporters in my friend list. I worked with these people for years. I knew in my heart that they weren't racist. (Most of them at least!) I wanted to understand them. I wanted to see why they voted for Donald Trump. I clicked on their pages and their groups so I could try to understand the other side.

Trump made a lot of promises. A lot.

I think, for a lot of Americans who voted for Trump, they picked issues that affected them and they ignored issues that didn't affect them. (Although I believe that all issues affect everyone whether be directly or indirectly.) For those who supported Trump, he is a symbol of change. For those who voted against Trump, he is a symbol of hate.

November 8, 2016. Lord Have Mercy.

I didn't register to vote but it was okay. I knew who was going to win! This was so easy, right?! I didn't have any doubts or fears or worries in my mind. But as the day progressed, I saw the country turning red. I started to feel uneasy, unsure, and uncertain. More and more states were turning red and it made me nervous. And then came Texas. Alas, the great state of Texas! The state which I lived in and called home for 15 years. I knew what color Texas was going to turn. I have now lived in California for about nine months and as a brown woman I have felt a drastic difference and I know why. When Texas turned red, my heart sank a little and I thought to myself. . . .

I think it's time to get my California license.

I still had high hopes though. I said to my friends, "Just wait until they get to the west coast! We got this!" Yes, the west coast was blue but it wasn't enough. At sometime in the middle of the night, I checked Google and the results were there. Donald Trump won. I couldn't believe it. The next morning I couldn't even eat because I was so distraught. For all of my Harry Potter fans (especially the ones that read the most recent book), it felt like Voldemort just came into power. I felt like a muggle that was looked down upon by all of the witches and wizards. I felt like half of the country hated me.

The following days and weeks came with an abundance of hate crimes, racial slurs, bullying, assaulting, protesting, and rioting. It felt like all of the work that the Sikhs and Muslims did since 09/11 went to waste. It felt like all of the work that Caitlyn Jenner did for her community went to a waste. It felt like all of the love and effort that went into making gay and lesbian marriages legal went to waste. It felt like we went back several decades. It didn't feel like the land of the free anymore. It didn't feel safe anymore.

It is human nature to fear the unknown. And the only way to combat that fear is to start knowing. Many don't know why certain people dress the way they do, look the way they do, think the way they do, or feel the way they do. I don't think all Trump supporters are racist. But for those who are, they simply don't know. Some don't want to know. All I know is this. I am a Sikh and it is a core belief of a Sikh to live without fear and without hate. Through out our history, we have had rulers and emperors that were much more horrendous than Donald Trump and we flourished through even the most of trecherous times. So even though Voldemort. . I mean. . . .uhmm... Trump is in power I am going to live without fear and without hate.

Bhull Chuk Maaf

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