We’ve Been Trained To Forgive & Forget But It’s Not Healthy To Pretend You’re Okay With Trump Being Elected

person voting with ballot

On December 19th, the members of the Electoral College will cast their ballots for the President of the United States. Although this vote is usually considered a formality, with the expectation being that the Electors will rubberstamp the outcome of the November election, this year it has taken on a new significance after the results in November sparked the biggest social conversation about the electoral college that I’ve seen in my lifetime. Many people didn’t seem to know prior to voting that Hillary winning the popular vote did not mean that she would win the presidency.

Another thing that most Americans didn’t know at the time of casting their vote was the fact that the American spy and law enforcement agencies had reason to believe, weeks before the presidential election took place, that Russia had allegedly made plans to have computer hackers interfere with the outcome. Problem was, they didn’t know precisely what the goal of the interference was or how it would be carried out.

Recently, the C.I.A. divulged their findings, stating that Russia had intervened to make Trump president. And although nobody knows why the C.I.A. didn’t divulge this information before the election, the news has left all of us dumbfounded, with many media outlets demanding that the December 19th Electoral vote be delayed until they get to the bottom of the confusion.

In the aftermath of Trump’s election, our country has seen a rise in hate crimes and public displays of racism. And amongst those affected by this ugliness the most, the overwhelming message has been to rise above it, to be the bigger person, to forgive. Forgiveness in the face of racial injustice is a familiar hallmark of the Black church’s influence on how Black people handle sociopolitical issues.

Even as recently as July 22, 2015, in the aftermath of the Charleston church massacre, while most of us were still trembling from outrage, the families of the victims as well as the church were expressing forgiveness for the murderer.

I understand that forgiveness is an important part of letting go of something painful. But at what point does the expectation to forgive become self suppression?