Hello, and welcome to The Fat Lip. I’m your host, Ash, and…my wish from the last episode has not come true. Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States. I wasn’t going to do this. This isn’t strictly about fat people. But how can I not acknowledge it?
This has been a really hard couple of days. I woke up yesterday not knowing how to get out of bed or how to face this at all. I’m still not sure I know.
But here’s the truth. I am white, so I am immensely privileged. Millions of black and brown Americans are afraid to leave their homes today. We’re seeing that Trump’s election has empowered racists and bigots and sexual predators. We were afraid this would happen, but nothing could have prepared us for elementary school students being called the worst racial slurs and told to leave the country by their classmates. Everything is terrible.
We have a lot to fear as fat people, too. Donald Trump has empowered hate, and he has strengthened fatphobes. I am afraid of what this means for us. I do know that he intends to come for Obamacare which millions of fat Americans rely on for their basic healthcare needs. If insurance companies reclaim the right to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, that puts all of us with “morbid obesity” written on our charts at serious risk.
Every step we’ve taken towards protecting fat people from discrimination may also be wound back by this. Trump makes no secret of the fact that he does not like fat women and that he will not hire them. More employers will follow his lead now. Basic human decency is not something I have much faith in at the moment.
I’m afraid. I’m afraid because Donald Trump thinks he has a right to put his hands on a woman whenever he wants, without consequence. There are a lot of men out there who will believe that they also have this right.
I’m afraid that I’ll lose the right to make decisions about my body.
But I’m white, so this is where fear for my personal safety ends. If you are a black woman or a Muslim woman, there is so much more for you to fear. God, my heart breaks for you.
But I am white, and my people did this. My family did this. They did. And I take responsibility for that. I’m angry at myself for not trying harder to sway them and for not pleading with those who didn’t intend to vote. I voted for Hillary Clinton, but it doesn’t matter. I benefit from white supremacy, so I am culpable. I should have tried harder. All of progressive white Americans should have tried harder to protect women and people of color and LGBTQ people from white supremacy.
But here we are. I don’t know what’s coming. But there ARE things we can do today.
We must support Black Lives Matter. The first thing you can do right now for black lives matter is actually say it out loud to the people in your life. Take a stand. Argue passionately about it if you have to. And then go to the Black Lives Matter website to learn how you can get involved with the movement.
The American Civil Liberties Union has vowed to fight Donald Trump every step of the way if he tries to implement the policies he proposed during his campaign. Give them your money. Empower the organizations that will fight to protect us.
The Republican party has tried to shut down funding for Planned Parenthood over and over and over again. They have much more power now, but we can fight back. Give to Planned Parenthood.
All of these links will be in the show notes.
Check in with the people in your life who are afraid today. Offer to walk with them to work or to do their grocery shopping with them. If you are a white person, use your privilege to support and protect people of color. If you are cis and straight, use your privilege to protect LGBTQ people.
Above all, we have to stand up and take action. Figure out how you can help and do it. If you can’t attend a protest and fight back with your body, give money to the organizations who will fight for us. If you don’t have money, use your voice. Write letters. Make signs. Take water to protesters. Everyone can do something.
Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but it wasn’t enough. We are incredibly divided as a nation. Things are not okay. The fears that non-white, non-straight, non-male people have right now are legitimate. But we can help each other. We have to help each other.
Black Lives Matter: http://blacklivesmatter.com/getinvolved/
Planned Parenthood: https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/