The Five Steps of Coping with the Presidential Election

By Daizha Lankford (Hampton University Undergraduate)

The Five Steps of Coping with The Presidential Election: 

Step One- Anger 

Step Two- Tears 

Step Three- Sadness 

Step Four- Sleep 

Step Five- I don’t know yet. 

The past two days I have gone through these steps repeatedly, still realizing that I have not figured out step five. I can’t quite understand how I, a nineteen-year-old freshman in college, could be filled with so much confusion and sadness after one night. Am I overreacting? Am I just dreaming? The answer is no. I woke up Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 realizing that I was not dreaming, and this was now my reality. Now that I am here coming to terms with the fact that I live in a country where some people have hatred in their hearts for me because I am a black woman, I realized that Step five was simple. Step five is to rise. 

I have always been taught to rise. Not because it makes me strong or makes me feel empowered (although it does now), but I have been taught because sometimes there is no other choice. I will rise because that’s all I know. If someone called me a name or told me that I wasn’t good enough because I was inferior… I rose up. If someone beat me down with words or made me believe that I didn’t belong...I rose up. So, although for many of us this election is a slap in the face, we will rise. It may not come from the government or from our new president-elect, but the power to rise will come from me and the millions of other people who need to rise up. 

 If you don’t have the power or the energy to stand up, I will give you mine. I will lift you up when all you can do is fall. I will give you any ounce of joy I have when you are sad. I will fight with you because your battles are my battles now. Sometimes as a minority, I see my oppression and only focus on what’s going on in my community. However, now that I am seeing hatred towards so many other people, I do not want to just fight for black lives. I want to fight for every person who has hate thrown at them. I will fight for you when you feel like you can’t because we have to rise together. We will rise because when you are constantly pushed down you are automatically trained to stand up and fight on. 

  As we rise above any hatred that may come our way we also have to remember to show love. I know that there is still an opportunity for change in this country if we can all agree that this country has a problem. America has not always been the land of the free and home of the brave, and it still isn’t for everyone. We have to rise up because racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and sexism still exist in this country. Although it may seem tempting to repeat steps one through four for a very long time, we must complete step five for ourselves and the generations to come.