Merriam-Webster, the successor to the first US dictionary published by Noah Webster in 1806, defines a coup d’etat as “a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics.” Translated from French, it means “blow to the state.” This is what the United States experienced last night. Now we, too, can add Donald Trump to the list of despicable leaders such as Benito Mussolini, Leopold II, Pol Pot, Joseph Stalin, Mobutu Sese Seko and Rafael Trujillo. In fact, if I were following this definition correctly, this technically would not be the first “blow to the state.” Let’s envision the white settlers who invaded the land of the Arawak, Cree, Navajo and so many other groups. The spirits of the US Constitution’s framers’ are probably filled with glee to have a wealthy white man take power of this stolen land to preach racism, xenophobia, hatred and misogyny. It’s just like old times.
And just like old times, it’s white voters who decided this election. According to exit polls from The New York Times, 65 percent of both Asian and Latinx voters voted for Hillary Clinton. So did 88 percent of Black voters. But what mattered was that 58 percent of whites who voted for Trump. The US made me witness a painful setback as a woman surrounding politics, a hindrance that will go down in history. As a Black woman, I separate myself from white women because I am fully aware of the nuance that exist between us such as the 53 percent of white women who voted for Trump.
At the age of 21, I am still puzzled at such an impudent election. As a child of immigrants, my parents left their home country of Guinea for a better tomorrow not knowing they would have to face their worst nightmare. Hillary Clinton is not perfect, but unlike Trump, she stood in front of the world and acknowledged humiliating faults she made. White voters have shown me that Clinton’s achievements mean nothing, especially against a white man who received a “small loan” of a million dollars from his father and has no political background. The US has also allowed Clinton’s accomplishments and failures to be diminished by a man who has been accused of sexual crimes, but who also believes Mexicans are rapists, sees pregnancy as an inconvenience, deems African-Americans and Latinos for excessive crimes, and blames China for everything that involves international discussion.
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I was told by the US last night — white voters to be exact — that they will punish those who do not fit into the white supremacy soaked in patriarchy because they can do so with a coup d’état. The US will make sure those who are Black, Muslim, poor, gay, disabled or an even a woman rethink their dreams because that’s exactly what they are — just dreams.