Unless some unforeseen and arbitrarily specific and fortuitous calamity happens between now and January 20th, rendering him unable to hold office, Donald Trump will officially be President of the United States.
Typing those words out, seeing them on the page, repeating that sentence aloud, and thinking about what those words put together in that sequence actually means still feels surreal, like we've tripped and slipped into some Kafkaesque parallel dimension. And not because the Trump election and the upcoming Trump presidency is unbelievable; but because it's actually too believable. Too fathomable. Too predictable. Knowing what we've known about America and what America steadfastly refuses to know about itself, it makes too much sense that Donald Trump would follow Barack Obama. So much sense that it seems too horribly simplistic, too unfathomably and brutally transparent to actually be true. The path to his presidency was so plain and straightforward and linear that it stretches, morphs, and breaks the concept of believability.
But this is our reality. There's no denying or fighting the truth. But there is a fight — a big-ass, messy-ass, bloody-ass fucking fight — against what has made that truth the truth today. It's a fight for us to be as free as we can possibly be. To not allow them to shape or take our capacity to love. To prevent them from stifling our laughter and to prevent us from preemptively stagnating, concealing, and barricading our joy. To be steadfast in both preserving us and in refusing to yield to any force out there wishing to prevent us from doing that. We just don't possess the privilege of hopelessness. It's not something we're equipped to carry.
Perhaps Rebecca Ferguson's response to an invitation to perform at Trump's inauguration — where she agreed to attend on the condition that she's allowed to perform "Strange Fruit" — doesn't quite register as this type of fight. But by offering to perform a song that would be both a deliberate and unambiguous insult to the man she’s performing it for and a deliberate and unambiguous paean to us — an offer I'm 1000% sure the preternaturally petty Trump will decline — she's doing what she can to confront and to refuse to normalize today's truth.
We can not prevent Donald Trump from being President. That ship has sailed. But we can refuse to refuse to fight him; to halt him and his administration from allowing ourselves to relinquish our love of ourselves and our Blackness and our pride in refusing to allow that motherfucker to extinguish our hope.