As I write this, it’s been five days since the unthinkable happened and America upended life as we know it, whether in the US, or elsewhere.
I’m a bit of elsewhere in America, an immigrant woman from the Old World, and a sexual assault survivor who unpacked her past online in a bid to make people think before they voted, since I couldn’t vote as a resident alien.
I’m also the granddaughter of a man who had to leave his country, seek refuge in another, and spent WWII as a POW in Nazi forced labor camps.
This man taught me the importance of building bridges to ensure history doesn’t repeat itself.
As a result, I’m a journalist with a degree in German.
I also left my birth country—the country that took my grandfather in and made him a citizen—as soon as I could because I never felt at home there.
The reason? An Eastern European last name that made me stick out like a sore thumb, made me “other”.
Until Nov 8, that country was my personal Voldemort.
On Nov 9, I realized I could still vote in the upcoming election there as long as I faced the admin monster, set my feelings aside, and apologized for not caring enough to vote since 1995.
Because what’s happening on a global level is bigger than me.
It’s bigger than all of us.
We’re staring fascism in the face on both sides of the Atlantic.
America’s burden is France’s perfect storm: A country that has lived in fear under a state of emergency for a whole year after a slew of terror attacks could soon elect its first female president, aka the leader of the National Front.
If that happens, the country where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948 is going to become even more of a living hell for anyone not white and/or not Christian, mirroring the situation in the US.
In short, we’ll end up with a new world order.
While America faces an uncertain four years unless the Electoral College fulfills its purpose next month—which is unlikely as there’s no historical precedent, but then again this situation is unprecedented—France can still push back against right-wing populism as it did in the 2002 presidential elections.
It’s no small thing: by pushing back against the far-right, France would not only defend the republic, but also uphold stability in the EU and in the Western World.
In America, the only way we’re going to get through the next four years is by being vigilant and systematically calling out every single instance of discrimination and oppression as and when we witness it.
Using our voices, our words, and our shared humanity, we can create the America we thought we were, the America the rest of the world used to look up to.
It’s my duty as a human to do all I can to make this happen, both personally and professionally—please get in touch if you need writing/reporting/editing/foreign media monitoring, or if I can help you with words in general.
Français: SVP votez contre le fascisme en 2017 pour défendre la République et la démocratie. N’hésitez pas à me contacter si besoin est.
Distraught? Me too. Write me, let’s cheer each other up!
tl;dr: After Brexit and the US elections, the French presidential elections will confirm in what direction the Western World is headed. Am journalist, want to help, inbox me.
Seattle, WA, USA