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Continuing Hillary's Work

Tuesday, November 8, 2016, started out as a great day. At 6:45 AM, I eagerly jumped out of bed, brushed my teeth, and put on my “Hillary: Smashing the Glass Ceiling 2016” t-shirt and Rosie the Riveter socks. Once I got to school, I was too excited to focus in any of my classes. During lunch, I took some cute pictures with my friend who was also sporting Hillary apparel, and confidently voted in my school’s mock election (Hillary won with 73%). I was so pumped that I even managed to ignore the cluster of boys that hissed and yelled “Hillary for prison” at me on my way to math class.

But I guess my amazing day was doomed from the start. After holding Hillary signs at a nearby voting place with friends, I curled up on my couch with my family, raptly watching CNN’s projections. Dread slowly swept over us as the unthinkable became a reality. I spent the rest of the night answering confused texts from friends and frantically yelling at the TV. Around 2 AM, I got in bed, knowing that Hillary was going to lose the election and Donald Trump would be America’s next president. My day, so amazing and hopeful at the outset, culminated in sobbing.

And though November 8 eventually turned into the worst day of my life thus far, I knew I was privileged. Because despite my horror, disappointment, and grief, I didn’t feel fear. So many Americans feel scared for their futures due to Trump’s racist, xenophobic, misogynist, and homophobic comments and promises. Although I’m a Jewish woman, I’m white, live in an affluent community, have no immigrant family members, and have other societal privileges that give me a leg up. 

Hillary has been my heroine since I was eight years old, and for the past year and a half I’ve thrown myself into her campaign, creating Teens4Hillary.com last April, an online space for teen Hillary supporters to voice their opinions about the election. Though I am not yet old enough to vote, I worked my way into every political discussion I overheard and defended Hillary from her critics. I tried to fight for the causes Hillary embodies: equality, tolerance, and unity. I tried to battle those who made excuses for Trump’s messages of racism, misogyny, and fear. My appreciation for Hillary gave me practice in arguing respectfully, articulating my values, and calling out bigotry. Despite the fact that she lost the election, I will always be grateful to her for allowing me to develop these skills—which will be more critical than ever in Trump’s America.

 On Friday, January 20, 2017, we will have a new president, one who does not embody the American ideals of equality, tolerance, and unity that I value so deeply. So, starting on January 21, 2017, I, along with the legions of women who will be marching all over the country, enter a new phase in my activism. I will leverage the privileges I have to fight against all of the horrific things Trump has said and done, and will probably continue to say and do. Although Hillary won’t be the 45th President of the United States, we can continue to stand up for her values. Especially those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to speak freely and without fear. 

What I’ve seen since the election gives me hope. The countless rallies and protests, the boycotting of Trump goods, and fierce protection of activist causes and organizations are amazing. Planned Parenthood has seen an unprecedented spike in donations and people are fighting harder than ever for reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, protection of the environment, Black Lives Matter, security for immigrants, and justice for people of color. We’ve learned from this election that fear and hate are powerful. Starting on January 21st and continuing through the next four years, we will come together to prove that equality and tolerance are even stronger.

 

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Abby Richmond and her friends, campaigning for Hillary Clinton
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Abby Richmond and her friends, campaigning for Hillary Clinton, 2016.
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How to cite this page

Richmond, Abby. "Continuing Hillary's Work ." 19 January 2017. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on December 18, 2017) <https://jwa.org/blog/continuing-hillarys-work>.

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