The grandeur of this election has not been missed by the world- just as it wasn’t missed in 2008. As a PC volunteer in a remote village 40 kilometers from the nearest paved road, and town with electricity; I can vouch for that.
Today, family and I were touring a village outside of Bobo when our guide suddenly stopped and asked us if we supported Donald Trump. After our vehement no, he literally applauded us and we talked for the next few minutes about what a disaster he would be as president. Seriously America, the whole world is following this election. #imwithher
-Beth: PC Burkina volunteer on Facebook
I’ve spent the last year having conversations with Burkinabé about this upcoming election, and considering that my village doesn’t even have electricity you’d be surprised how many people have found their way to hearing all about Hilary’s emails, the potential of a wall being built between the U.S. and Mexico, and that Trump had the audacity to call Hilary a “nasty woman” during a debate.
Now I’m not going to try and mince words here. I’m a Hilary supporter through and through. Thusly, I’ve spent several hours debating the misogyny that is the notion that a woman can’t be president of such a county. I’ve also spent several hours brandishing the hatred toward people of color (POC) and Muslims as a weapon against the Burkinabé I’ve met that think Trump should be president instead because, get this, he’s not a woman.
So yes I’ve met Burkinabé that are Trump supporters, but I have also met plenty of Burkinabé that think Trump being elected president is not only bad for the U.S. but bad for the world.
Okay so people don’t think a woman can be president, that’s a huge problem in and of itself, but do we want a president who is being backed by the KKK? Do we want a president who has spewed hate toward POC, Muslims, women, people with disabilities, etc?
I would like to share a story. Recently I was with some friends in village, and they started asking me about trump and Clinton. I expressed that I supported Hillary, and they all replied in agreement. They told me that they think Hillary would be much better than Trump, and quite aggressively stated he cannot become president. I asked them why? Where was all this passion coming from? They told me because trump hates Muslims. All the people I was with are Muslim so I guess the answer didn’t shock me but what did was the pain I could hear in their voices as they elucidated upon what they thought Trumps proposed policy of banning Muslims. I felt so angry and sad while they explainrd. I saw how discriminated and disrespected they felt. I wanted to hug my friends and tell them all Americans don’t feel that way! But as hugs aren’t a thing here I only did the latter.
The reason the banning of Muslims was so hurtful was because what they were being told by the ambassador of what many burkinabe see as the greatest country in world, was that they aren’t good enough for America. These are people who worked incredibly hard, and achieved success in a system that is practically actively working against you. These are people who hold the idea of the American dream as a reality, and in one fell swoop Trump took that away from them.
Yes, a president is more than just a symbol of our country, he or she is the one who guides policy decisions, international and domestic and it’s important to keep all candidates proposed policy’s in mind. But that doesn’t change the fact whoever is the next president will stand as our global representative. So is the man who has already caused peoples dreams, hopes, and visions of America to sink, and globally inspired feelings of discrimation, the person who you want to stand tall as your ambassador?#imwithher
-Sarah: PC volunteer on FB
These are the questions that I have been asked as a volunteer in Burkina, these are the questions I ask myself.
I’ve also been asked my opinion, as a Black American woman, on police brutality, gun violence, stop and frisk, and the necessity of the Black Lives Matter movement. I’ve been asked specifically about Trayvon Martin, and Freddie Gray. I’ve been asked if I feel safe in my own country.
I love the United States, I have never felt that more strongly than I do now that I’m in my second year of service. Being away during this turbulent time period of our history has made me love, defend, and weep for our current state. I feel more passionate now than I have about my country in years (since Presient Obama of course). I want another president to be proud to talk about- not someone to be ashamed of.
This is all to say that we do not live in a vacuum. Our choice today will impact,and be judged by,the world.
Today is Election Day, and everyone is watch us. So make your vote count.