Why Are You Snowflakes Crying About?
My mind keeps drifting back to that awful night in November, 2016, when Donald Trump was declared the winner of the presidential election. I crawled into bed around midnight. They talking heads on the news hadn’t declared it with certainty, but it seemed inevitable that the foul-mouthed, corrupt, morally bankrupt buffoon who’d been clogging the airwaves for months was about the become our next president. I couldn’t bear to watch it happen in real-time. After an hour of tossing and turning restlessly in my bed, I returned downstairs and turned the television back on. It had happened. Donald Trump had been elected as President of the United States.
I don’t know how long I sat in stunned disbelief that night. It felt like hours. My stomach hurt. I felt dizzy. Then I started to cry. I think I cried the rest of the night.
In the morning, I discovered that many people the world over had the same reaction as me. They cried all night. They cried until there were no tears left. It didn’t change the fact that Donald Trump was still president, but it helped to know there were people in the world who cared.
My feelings changed by nightfall. I heard the word “Snowflake” used as an insult for the first time. “What are you Snowflakes crying about?”
I couldn’t put my finger on it at the time. What were we crying about, exactly? The fact that a racist, sexist, idiot was going to be making policies that affected all of our lives. The fact that a greedy, incompetent criminal was going to be in charge of our national finances. The fact that a xenophobe was going to be in charge of immigration policy. While I couldn’t play out the exact scenarios, I had a sense of what would come. My heart and soul were in turmoil imagining what our next four years would be like.
And then came immigrant families being torn apart- parents deported while their American-born children were left behind. And then came children in cages at detention camps along the border. And then came neo-nazis with torches, and comments about “good people on both sides”. And then came black churches burning. And then came shootings in synagogues.
And I cried. And people in my social circles cried. And each time I thought to myself, “You still think I’m a snowflake, don’t you? You’re not crying yet, are you?”
So, here’s what I want to know. Are you crying yet?
Hundreds of thousands of people have died. They’ve died from the spread of a disease that we had plenty of time to prepare for.
Millions of healthcare workers are putting their lives at risk every day fighting a disease that should not have spread like this in the first place.
Businesses have shut their doors. Many of them will never reopen.
Children are home alone while their front line working parents are off at work and schools are closed.
People are dying alone. Mourners are attending funerals on Zoom because they aren’t allowed to travel.
And what I really want to know is… are you crying yet? Do you see what you have done to us? Your idiot president, who YOU elected. What was he doing while news of the pandemic was being shared with him? He was minimizing. He was downplaying. He was off to his resorts to play golf. And meanwhile, millions of factories were going about business as usual when they could have been mass producing masks. Millions of Americans were going to work and school when they could have been home, slowing the spread of the virus. Millions became infected. And it was largely preventable.
It’s not that I’m wishing you pain and heartache. I’m not. I’m really, truly not. But I want to know… are you crying yet? What is it going to take for you to join me in recognizing this as the tragedy that it is? Will your business have to fold? Will you (or a member of your family) need to become infected? Will you attend a funeral alone, because none of your family members can travel to be with you?
Probably if any of those things happen to you, then you will cry. But will you recognize that this was preventable? Will you vote differently next time?
I hope yes…. but I fear the answer is probably not.