Picture of Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and received his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller. He is the author of Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus, and Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith.

What I Wish My White Friends & Family Understood About Our Election Grief

It’s day 2, and I’m still grieving and feeling physically sick over the election– especially as I read story after story of how the Trump win has already emboldened racist bullying, threats, intimidation, and sexual assaults— in just the first day.

As I process, I’m realizing there’s a lot of things I wish my white friends and family knew and understood about our post-election grieving.

I wish they understood that this isn’t an issue of Republican or Democrat, but that this is an issue of life and death.

I wish they understood that we’re not grieving because we didn’t get our own way, but are grieving because the nation instantly became less safe for so many– particularly for our kids.

I wish they knew what it was like to send my daughter to school after the election, wanting to vomit with fear over what hateful things might be said to her.

I wish they knew what she sounds like when she cries because kids at school told her that she doesn’t belong in this country and should go back to wherever she came from.

I wish they knew how tightly she clings to me over and over, asking “Daddy, are you sure Trump can’t send me back? How do you really know for sure?”

I wish they knew the agony of knowing that for at least the next four years, the world is a far more dangerous place for her, simply because she’s not white.

I wish they knew the twisted joy I experienced over realizing that her language disabilities might be an asset to her for these next few years, because maybe, just maybe, she won’t understand some of the words that people will say to her.

I wish they knew the panic of realizing she’ll be dating soon, and that this era of her life will exist under a president who has normalized sexual assault, and where Christian leaders she should be able to trust for guidance, dismissed and explained away this behavior in order to grasp political power.

I wish they knew the burn in my stomach that feels like I swallowed battery acid when I read white supremacists and KKK leaders say the election of Trump was the “greatest night of their life,” because that means the election of Trump was one of the worst nights of hers.

I wish they knew what it felt like to read the many horrific testimonies coming out of America in the past 24 hours. I wish they knew the feeling I get as I read each story of people of color being harassed and threatened while pumping gas, while walking down the street, or just minding their own business, and realize that these people– now emboldened by Trump– will now feel far more permission to harm my child.

 I wish they knew the stress and torment of knowing that I can only protect her so much, that my white privilege doesn’t extend to her, and that there will come a day when I’m not going to be there to protect her from the racism and xenophobia that was normalized and endorsed with a Trump vote. I’m just praying that when it does happen to her again, it will be with words and not physical violence.

I know that day is a matter of when, not if, and I wish they knew what it feels like to preemptively beg God to have mercy.

 I wish they knew the devastation of realizing that the very nation I sacrificed for and gave a decade of my life to, is not the nation I thought it was.

I wish they knew the disappointment, heartbreak, and feeling like you gave so much in order to make the country better, only to experience the betrayal of living in a country that’s not safe for my own child to live in.

I wish they knew the dilemma of having your child ask you which family members support Trump, because she wants to know exactly who is betraying her– because she wants to know which family members stood up for her, and which ones did not.

I wish they knew what it felt like to play dumb in that moment so she’d never know for sure.

And most of all, I wish they knew that if my daughter were white, my list of fears would be infinitely less– because the election of Donald Trump didn’t make the world a more dangerous place for white kids.

We have post-election grief, because the election of Donald Trump made our worlds less safe in a way that you will never understand or experience.

We are in the days of Trump’s America, and my white family and friends will probably never get it.

 I probably never would have gotten it either. But as I sit here and look at the world around me through the eyes of my wonderful child, I do.

 And I’m grieved in the deepest parts of my spirit that this has come to pass, and that so many around me contributed to it.

Picture of Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and earned his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller.

He is the author of Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, and Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus.

It's not the end of the world, but it's pretty #@&% close. Trump's America & Franklin Graham's Christianity must be resisted.

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14 Responses

  1. I may need your help. I’ve been doing research on gate io recently, and I’ve tried a lot of different things. Later, I read your article, and I think your way of writing has given me some innovative ideas, thank you very much.

  2. Your daughter is beautiful and she will make a wonderful contribution to American society. No child should have to face hate and bitterness because people are fearful of what they don’t understand. She is blessed to be in a family that loves her and to know that God loves her too. Hopefully Trunp is just a phase that will quickly pass from American politics. He says he’ll deliver his policy platform, but in reality he doesn’t possess diplomacy, and when his policies threaten others ability to make money, he’ll be feircely opposed. All he knows how to do is attack and he’ll likely be bogged down in unwinable fights.

  3. I am terrified of the coming days and whether I will have the guts to stand up when they come to round up the Muslims and the Jews and the gays. Will I have what it takes to stand alone because surely, at least in my neck of the woods, alone is exactly what I will be. May God give me the strength to stand for those who cannot stand for themselves or who need us all to stand with them.

    I am so terrified that my country is becoming Nazi Germany.

  4. It’s unfortunate for all Americans that significant proportions of them have never fully let go of their racial prejudice to this day. There are always going to be a few, even in UK, that are specifically afflicted. In the UK, there is a difference between disliking people because they are non-white and disliking immigration. Some, of course, will equate the two for political gain.
    But anyone who dislikes a coloured person just because he is coloured is so stupid, as to warrant some psychiatric treatment. I really do have pity for those coloured people affected by such cretinous views and hateful activities. Totally irrational.
    So, Trump. Well despite what I read in the news papers and see on Youtube, there is not a lot to choose between your average American man and Mr Trump.
    Clinton, however, is a different kettle of fish. From over this side of the pond, the Clinton people seem wholly corrupt and criminal or at best, just useless for the average American, serving only their own Democrat elite and their business cronies, according to what I have heard and read, anyway.
    So with Trump, I believe you had a narrow escape from another Clinton, but win or lose, surely only illegals should be concerned.
    Besides, I’m not surprised that people are worried by there being so many gun-toting crazies in America which always seem to assume they should be in charge, extrapolating even the mildest criticism of “foreigners” according to their own prejudices.
    Coloured people are no better or worse than white – many beautiful, some of them criminal and others that wouldn’t have my vote for anything.

    1. Only illegals? Hah!

      I was born in the US – various members of my family have been living in this country since the American Revolution. Heck, there’s even a (very small) trace of First Nations in my ancestry. I’m definitely not an illegal resident.

      I am a member of the LGBTQ community. I am asexual, and my wife is transgendered. We have a young son. And we do not know what the next four years hold for us. Will we lose our rights to stupid secular mundanities, like the ability to file a joint tax return or to make medical decisions for each other in extremis? (Hint: that is what the gay marriage debate really determines – the sex will happen regardless, as it always has.) Will My employer be given the right to fire me if they disagree with my family’s existence? Will my son be harassed or bullied in school because he has two moms? Will legislation be passed mandating that my wife use the men’s restroom – legislation that would likely get her killed?

      My son is disabled (as am I, for that matter). He’s currently receiving speech therapy through the school system. What will happen to our ability to get an IEP in place for him to ensure he gets all he needs to thrive?

      But those are just the worries that keep me from sleeping at night. More than that, I worry for humanity. I worry for my Muslim friends (and my friends who are not Muslim, but look as though they may be from the middle east) and the abuse and possibly danger they may face from bigots on the street. I worry for Latino/a schoolchildren, being taunted with deportation, even if they were born on US soil and are citizens same as I. I worry for the disabled, who have already struggled far too long. And yes, I worry for undocumented residents, who seek only to raise their families in peace and health and hope, only to come to a country that has tragically forgotten its own short history. Give me your tired, your poor.

  5. you seriously did not see how how racists were emboldened during the campaign for the last 2 years? 2 things “christians” take seriously, gay sex drives them nuts and god never meant for slavery to end and that jesus must there fore be white. probably with blue eyes. and a swastika. murder, lying, pedophilia, arson, wife beating, all that is ok. just don’t be a person of color, and don’t be gay. oh and rape is ok. just approach a likely woman and grab ahold of her like she was a bowling ball. obviously anatomically that is what god designed

  6. Well, it is a more dangerous nation for you as a white kid if you happen to be disabled, Muslim, Jewish, LGBT, or one of a number of different traits that somehow don’t correspond with a self-exalted perfect class of ‘homo superior’ Christians who think that they’re above everyone. But then I agree greately with the essential gist of the article. Americans who support social tolerance and oppose prejudice need to just keep fighting.

  7. Ignored is the cooperation of the Clinton csmoaign, Hillary Clinton herself approved, and her SuperPacs, and other Democrat operatives who paid people to attack Trump supporters and riot. Illegal for campaigns to be in contact with Super PACS.
    Undercover videos and emails prove the Clinton campaign behind the Trump supporter atracks.

    Ignored is the fact that after the election people were paid to riot and burn the country down, of which Obama supported as did Clinton.
    Ignored are the horrible things Clinton has done since the Watergate Trials – 40 years of criminal activity and racism.

    Trump wants to enforce laws and he is labeled with every name possible.
    The tacticts of the Communists – Projection.

    Very disturbing that so many support Totalitarian Communism.

  8. the fact this person blames White people for their grief, ignoring that 19% of the Black vote was for Trump, and Native Americans…I know them…..also voted for Trump. And with all the racist crimes aimed at Trump supporters, defacing a chapel, burning a Black church, claiming Trump supporters attacked them when it was all proven a lie..I have no pity for you. If you want to scare your child so be it.

  9. I have two other points to add to my comments below. First, I apologize in hindsight for the tone at the end. Second, this blog post is not what you expect from a “patheos” leader. I can’t even remotely describe how un”patheos” this article is. Am I the only one reading this that finds this article shockingly hypocritical? shockingly anti-“Patheos”?

  10. This article is shocking. I grew up in Southern California and lived for 2 years with my wife and 2 toddlers in an apartment complex in the inner city. Above us lived a Pakistani family who was abused and assaulted daily by a Mexican gang of high school kids. They egged their apartment, they chased their terrified hindu kids home and assaulted them on a regular basis – both verbally and physically. On numerous occasions I sent this pack of hoodlums running… for some reason they respected me enough to know that they might get in trouble for crossing me. But I am not going to lie… I knew I was walking on a razors edge and more than once while walking through that complex I worried about my own safety.

    The first time I chased off the gang; my wife and I brought up a loaf of hot bread and after that an amazing thing happened in our relationship. I can’t remember their names 30 years later but I’ll never forget the time we shared and the friendship and respect that developed between us. My family took in a Vietnamese refugee family in the 1970’s and for over 2 years they lived on our home. In the places that I have lived many of my friends where foreigners at university and everyone I know has always loved them, treated them with great respect, and had great relationships with them.

    Mr. Corey… The Donald Trump voters that I know wouldn’t do the things that you attribute to them. Donald Trump and his family wouldn’t do the things that you falsely accuse them of doing. Donald Trump voters are not racists, they are not mean, they are not unkind, and they are not as you have described them to be. It is your side of the aisle that is unkind, racist, and intolerant of others and I am sick of people like you using your platform to spout your hatred and insecurity.

    After what your wrote, do you really think you are equipped to raise this girl. Doesn’t she deserve a father who can reassure her and give her confidence… not some fearful weenie fretting and worrying about imagined phantoms, ghosts and goblins.

    It is sinful to project your fears onto your daughter and to make the accusations that you have made towards Donald Trump and his voters. Be a worthy father to your daughter and be a role model in your ministry for a change. People like me are not going to take your unchristian abuse any more without reflecting it back at you.

  11. So….I guess you would rather have had Hillary Clinton win, and continue her war on unborn children (usually referred to as abortion, but I prefer the more accurate title of “Murder”).

    Trump may flip flop on the abortion thing, but Mike Pence his running mate gets it. And if this means Planned Parenthood getting defunded and more limits on late term abortion being passed, then hell yeah I’m glad Trump got in.

    And your telling me we’re a more racist country now that Trump got in? Despite the fact that alot of his support has come from former Obama supporters…gimme a break.

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