Last night as I watched the results of the presidential election, I felt a type of fear I have never had before. I have been through some terrifying situations in my medical journey but nothing comes close to this and I realized that it is because I fear for more than just myself. I fear for my family and friends. I fear for their lives and their basic human rights being taken away.
Let me start with my fear for those, like myself are medically fragile. I fear of what will happen to those who have pre-existing conditions if Obama Care is repealed. I fear that insurance companies will be allowed to refuse care to families because of their medically complex children. I worry that if Obama Care is repealed, Life Time Spending Caps will be allowed once more for people with chronic illnesses. I worry that people like myself will no longer be able to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until they’re 26 years old. How will people pay for medicine? How will they pay for medical supplies like oxygen, feeding tubes, trachs, vents and wheelchairs? What will they do about paying for the much needed doctor appointments and tests? Lives are in danger…
People keep saying, “He’s just the president. There are checks and balances in place!” I’d also like to remind people that it isn’t just the President and his decisions I’m scared of. Now that America has made it acceptable to be openly racist, sexist, Islamophobic, prejudice, Homophobic, mock the disabled and hateful – what will his followers feel like they can do and get away with to the marginalized and minorities?
Last night, I called my brother who is a black gay man. I called him, in tears, for him. I left him a message, telling him that I love him, that I’m sorry that so many people voted for a man who clearly hates him and that I hope he is safe today and the next four years in this country.
My sister, who is from Haiti, my mom and I all stood in the kitchen last night crying, I told my mom, “I now have a better understanding of the dread that the Jewish people must’ve felt as they watched Hitler rise to power – or how the Japanese-Americans felt during WWII.” I am terrified of how people will treat my black siblings. I dread the racial slurs and “Get out of MY country!” that my Mexican-American sister and two nieces will no doubt hear. I fear for all my sisters and female friends and what will happen to their rights and safety now that a man who has openly bragged about sexual assault is President. I am scared of hate crimes against my gay brother. I am scared for my medically complex sister, friends and myself. I am terrified for how the disabled will be treated, including my niece, sister and myself.
Those who shout “All Lives Matter!” while voting for a man like Donald Trump (who has shown true hatred, contempt and prejudice so many groups of people) don’t really believe all lives matter. You don’t think women’s lives, black lives, Hispanic lives, Muslim lives, Syrian Refugee lives, disabled lives, medically fragile lives, LGBTQ lives matter. You proved that in how you voted. You no longer have the right or the platform to stand on and shout this sentiment when you voted against all of these people.
Now more than ever, we need Hope and Love,