Don’t ‘Mannequin Challenge’ This Election

My son, a 4th grader, came to me yesterday and asked if tomorrow was Election Day. I told him it was.

“Are you going to vote?” He asked me.

“I sure am. Voting for Hillary.”

“Good, because if not we’ll have to move to Canada.” He shook his head and plopped down on the couch. Folks, the Election has reached elementary school. When I was in grade school I didn’t usually know who was running for office. I had no idea what their positions were and how important their impact really was on the country. I only cared who the current President was so that I could pass my Social Studies exam.

Something is changing this time around.This election has unearthed a new level of ugliness in people that I’d hoped was far behind us as a nation. Misogyny, racism, homophobia, and able-ism are on my news feed daily thanks to Donald Trump and many of his supporters. The comments that we knew were exchanged behind closed doors and around dinner tables out fear of retribution are now at the forefront. Being celebrated. “Tell it like it is!” they shout. More like, “Tell it like it shouldn’t be.”

It’s difficult to ignore ugliness that’s in your face and walking down the street proudly with signs of hatred and voices of rage. It’s unnerving but it moves people.The amount of posts I began to see that started with “I don’t usually get into politics but…” It’s fascinating. Our nation was FORCED to get involved. People that had been glued to their seats, silent behind their keyboards, and still within the world moving angrily around them started to bend and blink and move and speak. We’ve become comfortable because of that door that separated us sometimes from the hate speech. Because in all honestly it’s not directly affecting us, right?. It hasn’t touched our lives or caused irreversible damage right? Those people with those archaic racial ideologies were few and far between, right? In the words of Donald Trump “WRONG”.

During this election season I’ve seen conversations build and grow between children and adults. Generations are collectively saying no to walls; hateful rhetoric; violence; and running this nation like another corporation on par for failure. We’re moving y’all. Even if you’ve tried your best mannequin impression thus far you will have failed because it’s impossible to stand still and try not to blink when we are peering into the upside-down of a nation. We are peeking behind the veil of bad politics effect on a nation. I always wondered, “How did Hitler…literally one dude…gain so much power and do so much damage?” It’s because too many people mannequin challenged the hell out of their role and let him move among them without ever batting an eye.

The Donald Trumps of the world play an important role in making America great again. They are the ones who make us see that as bad as we think things are, they can always be worse. For every injustice we see there are a hundred more going on behind the curtain. Because of this, the election finally has the momentum and attention to rival an internet trend like the Mannequin Challenge. They make us break out of our roles, move a little bit, change the scene, and reset in a better position. We have experienced historical voter turnout, we’ve bridged those awkward conversations among friends, we’ve seen which of our Facebook friends follow Donald Trump and we’re better for it. Today will be a historic day in history either way it turns out but when the videos are shown to my sons kids and those kid’s kids of Americans casting their vote, I want them to see me moving. Unfrozen and fighting like a true nasty woman. Happy Election Day!

*featured photo courtesy of theodysseyonline.com