I am afraid.
I’ve grown up being told by those who don’t know me well how brave I am. I would like to throw water all over that idea right here and right now. I am afraid. I am uneasy, I am unsettled, I am restless, I am hanging on to shreds of sanity, I am afraid, I am afraid.
People on social media are fond of bringing up Trump’s fear-mongering tactics as one reason he has any supporters left at this point. The implication is that people are afraid of differences: immigrants, people of different religions, people with disabilities, queer folks. They are afraid of things like taxes, free education, universal health care. They are so afraid of being jerked out of their comfortable lives, and of having to look at something differently and change and adjust according to those differences. People who don’t want to deal with those things are afraid.
I’m afraid too.
I am afraid of a world where it is even more impossible for me to find a job without having my qualifications questioned because I am blind. I am afraid of living in a world where the current federal administration normalizes and even approves of harassment of minorities. Right now, I have to walk down the street while blind, while queer, while presenting as a woman, while vulnerable, while shaking, while crying, while minding my own business, while not asking for it, while not having a car or the opportunity to hide in one, while not having financial stability, while just trying to be a better person today than I was yesterday. I am afraid of a world where this will be even harder than it is now.
I am afraid of a world where we will not go far enough to ensure good quality of life for everyone. And although it’s no secret who I will vote for, I am afraid she will not do enough. I am afraid that the smugness and righteousness I see all over Facebook, people’s moral highground, the cockiness and certainty everyone has about the outcome of this is misplaced. No one thought we would be here, and here we are. How can we possibly assume we know what will happen, let alone that it will be what we want?
I wager that the people who are so confident are those who live well-off lives, who do not live in fear for their safety or livelihood, who don’t have their life dependent on this fight. It’s easy to be smug when you’re comfortable. It’s easy to throw around stats when you own your home and are warm and well-fed and cuddled next to the “success” that America approves of. It’s easy to feel like you’re 100 percent right when you’re not afraid.
I am afraid.