On Tuesday, more than 128 million people voted for our next president. Nearly half were elated with the results: a Donald Trump victory.
Though he failed to win the popular vote, Trump won 29 states (as of this writing; still waiting on Arizona and New Hampshire) and prevailed in key battleground states, including Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Exit polls show that a majority of white people — spanning all age ranges — voted for Trump. Non-college-educated white people especially loved him. And though it’s true that his support was overwhelmingly white — the majority of people of color voted for Clinton, according to CNN’s survey — there’s a striking caveat: Twenty-nine percent of Asians and Latinos and 8 percent of black people voted for Trump.
But 69 million people chose someone else. Many were turned off by the business mogul, who once described Mexican immigrants as rapists, called for the deportation of Syrian refugees, advocated banning all Muslim immigrants, touted the benefits of the unconstitutional stop-and-frisk program and had once been sued by the Justice Department and accused of housing discrimination.
It made for a contentious and fraught campaign. Early on Election Day, we asked our readers and listeners to tell us what they thought about the future of race relations in the U.S.
“I’m scared for myself, my children, and my family,” wrote Fallon Banks, a black woman whose father is an immigrant from Cape Verde. “I’m scared that folks are going to pretend that this election is about social stratification, when it is clearly about protecting white supremacy.”
Many of the responses we got — nearly all of them, in fact — looked like that. They centered on the fear, dread and resignation that some Americans are feeling. The vote totals present two very different outlooks inspired by the president-elect. Here are some perspectives, most from the America that had hoped for something else.
I drew my initials out of a cactus plant for a drawing class assignment during my first semester of college, when I still thought my major would be art education. I think cacti are magical, and I think the Southwest US is magical. I went all over national parks in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico on a road trip across the country with my family when I was 15. I think the landscapes I saw on that trip chemically changed my brain. It’s like, once I had experienced nature being that spectacular and extreme, I just thought about everything in the world differently. I haven’t been back to the Southwest since that trip almost 6 years ago. In 26 days, that is about to change. MY MOM AND SISTERS AND I HAVE FLIGHTS BOOKED FOR ARIZONA!!! I don’t think I could be more excited about this. I’ve reached the excitement limit. Sedona, Prescott, and Pheonix: WE ARE COMING FOR YOU!!!
Callie spoke softly, peering down at the small girl whose head was nestled in her lap, the rest of her body curled up along the couch beside her. She ran a hand along her side, over soft flannel pajamas printed with little polar bears, and Sofia didn’t stir at all, confirming what the elder brunette had suspected.
“Should we wake her?”
She glanced up at Arizona and waited for an answer, but the blonde just shook her head, smiling as she reached over to run her fingers through their daughter’s hair.
“Let her sleep, she had a big day. We can have movie night again tomorrow and start a little earlier.”
Callie looked back toward the television where they had Elf playing, and she nudged Arizona with her shoulder as she picked up the remote and hit pause.
“Let’sput something else on then. I can’t watch this movie twice.”
“I could watch this movie ten times,” the blonde climbed up from the couch, “I don’tunderstand what your problem is, Calliope.”
“That’s because you basically are Elf.”
The smaller woman tossed her a dirty look and Callie just laughed softly – it was true, Arizona loved Christmas more than anyone else she knew. But that was something she absolutely adored about her, and she would never change it for anything.
“What do you want to watch then?”
Without hesitation, Arizona pulled their well-watched copy of Love Actually off the shelf and slipped it into the DVD player, coming back to settle beside Callie on the couch. She opened her arm to the other woman and Callie immediately snuggled in, resting her head on Arizona as the blonde wrapped her arm around her shoulders.
“I haven’t watched this in awhile.”
The words were murmured softly, almost without thought, but Callie caught them, and she turned her head just enough to press a soft kiss to the bare skin of the other woman’s collarbone.
This movie had been their movie ever since the first Christmas they spent together, when they discovered that they both owned a copy and were both obsessed with the sappy, charming romantic comedy. Every year after that they’d watched it at least once during the holidays – and usually more than once – even the last year they’d been together for Christmas, when their first marriage was strained and tense with the lingering aftermath of the plane crash.
Callie hadn’t been able to watch it since. And, it seemed, neither had Arizona.
She spoke just as softly, glancing up to meet her new wife’s eyes, and when a blue gaze met hers in the darkened room it was filled with a look of complete love and devotion. Arizona’s fingers traced soft patterns over Callie’s shoulder, slipping down to smooth along the warm skin of her collarbone, and as she turned back to look at the television a smile tugged at her lips and her heart warmed, the soft weight of Callie against her the simplest comfort in the world.
Arizona reached over to the arm of the couch and handed Callie one of their fleece blankets, motioning toward Sofia. The older brunette spread it carefully over their daughter’s sleeping form, and Arizona pulled a second blanket over the two of them, snuggling in as she pressed a kiss to Callie’s temple. They both watched the movie in silence for awhile, laughing quietly at their favourite parts, and the brunette’s free hand found Arizona’s under the blanket, threading their fingers gently together.
“We won’t have to miss another year now.”
Arizona just smiled, eyes trained on the screen as she squeezed Callie’s hand.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22, 2016. 12:34 LOCAL TIME. DESPITE THE FACT THAT ARIZONA’S DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY HAS ALREADY BEEN CALLED IN FAVOR OF HILLARY CLINTON, RESIDENTS OF ARIZONA ARE STILL WAITING TO CAST THEIR VOTE. MANY HAVE BEEN WAITING IN LINE FOR UPWARDS OF 6 HOURS. AS IT BECOMES CLEAR THAT ARIZONA VOTERS HAVE BEEN MISLED, RE-REGISTERED WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT, LIED TO, DEFRAUDED, AND TURNED AWAY FROM POLING PLACES TOO CROWDED TO ACCOMMODATE THEM, MANY SOURCES ARE BEGINNING TO CITE VOTER SUPPRESSION AS THE TRUE REIGNING CHAMPION OF TONIGHT’S ELECTION.