Last night, like a night last June, I bit my fingers to pieces. The cuts my teeth left turning the skin infected, hot and red. But nevertheless, I went to sleep confident that I’d be waking up in a world I’d still want to be in.
Last June, I had to vote. An easy choice with only two possible options. Remain or Leave. In or Out. A vote that resulted in an unexpectedly historic outcome. Like today, I woke in a sweat, already somehow knowing, long before I checked my phone. Before I saw messages from friends. Messages that read things such as “I feel sick” and “How could this happen?”. Today, I woke up to almost the same messages of fear and nausea, this time for events happening thousands of miles away.
The first thing that happens is that people will tell you not to be angry. That the country has voted, it’s done, so you have no right to be upset anymore. This is not true. This is your opportunity, America, to get angry. Because you’re allowed to feel angry. Angry for the people that woke up today, like so many of Britain’s inhabitants on that warm, yet entirely gloomy, day in June, with a black cloud of uncertainty hanging over their heads. For the people that live in a world that wants to silence them, whose very existence is threatened. Be angry for your life and the fact that it has now changed irrevocably. But hope for the future, because I do. All is not lost.
Similarly to the Brexit vote, which saw the vast majority of young voters choosing sanity by choosing to remain, the majority of American voters aged between 18-25 voted for Clinton. This gives me hope. That even though the end result is four years of Trump, the future is capable of thought. Millennials get criticised from all angles but I firmly believe that we have our heads on straight. One day, the Remainers, the Democrats and everyone who hopes for peace and justice and equality in this world will become the majority. Just you wait.
But, for now, I’m sorry America. I don’t think anyone really thought this would happen.
I leave you with a quote from the woman who should’ve been the first female President of the United States. Be angry, America, and keep fighting.
“We are stronger together and will go forward together. And you should never, ever regret fighting for that.” – Hillary Clinton, 9/11/2016