Wednesday I felt the same as I did October 3: shocked, confused, angry, sad, and a multitude of other emotions I can’t even begin to name. I realized that Trump won and the plebiscite failed for very similar reasons. People didn’t care about the people their vote would affect the most. The people who voted no on the plebiscite were overwhelming from areas that were largely unaffected by the war, while the victims of the FARC and those in areas most affected overwhelmingly voted yes. The people who voted for Trump were overwhelmingly white Christians* who are unaffected by his racism, homophobia, and xenophobia.
At some point on Wednesday, thanks to friends who were unafraid to call me out, I realized that my shock was because of my privilege. I want to emphasize that point. I never believed that someone so racist could win the election, because I do not have to face daily the realities of racism in the United States. Despite my efforts to be an ally, I had failed to understand the truth depth of bigotry in my country. But that does not change the point I would like to make today.
Immediately after the plebiscite, the Presbyterian Church of Colombia reaffirmed their commitment to working for peace, just as the government and the FARC committed to continue the cease-fire and revise the accords. In the midst of the disappointment and shock, in the midst of the fear and uncertainty over what would happen next, the people made it clear where they stood. They will not let any obstacle, no matter how large, stand in the way of their goal.
I am afraid for the future. Trump has already released plans for his first 100 days in office that would have devastating effects on people that I love. His platform of bigotry has been given immense power. I fear not just for my own life, or the lives of my friends and family, but also for the millions of people of color, women, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, Muslims, and more who Trump has degraded, dehumanized, and threatened throughout his campaign. But I refuse to give in to despair. Like the people of Colombia I will not give up. My eyes have been opened in the worst way possible to the reality in our country, and so I commit to work even harder with my brothers and sisters to end bigotry in all forms.
We’ve reached a huge obstacle, but don’t despair. Don’t stop. Keep fighting.
*It pains me to use this word to describe Trump supporters because his beliefs are completely contrary to everything that Jesus taught, and as a Christian it hurts to see the name of Christ so distorted.