This Is Why I'm Crying

Joseph Mizener
Washington, DC
United States

I am a crier. Anyone who knows me well (and many people who don’t know me well or are complete strangers …) has probably seen me cry.

I have spent a lot of time crying the past two days.

Last night, on my way home from work, I packed myself onto the 6 p.m. metro. I was a little emotional and struggling to keep it together. A young, black woman squashed next to me asked me if I was alright. Cue waterworks, I just said “the election.” Then she started crying too. She said to me, “I feel like I’ve been rejected.” We cried together in those last few moments before the next stop and I said, “I’m sorry. You’re not rejected by me.” And she said, “And you not by me.”

Let me explain that I am not crying because of the outcome of the election, although of course I am disappointed, but that 81% of white evangelicals in America voted for a candidate who built his campaign on racist, misogynistic, fearful language that is rooted in manmade systems built to uphold white, western, patriarchal power structures.

I am crying because church leaders, many of whom I have deep respect for, refused to use their prophetic voice to call out love and beauty in the midst of hate and ignorance.

I am crying because dear friends of mine, people of color, had to spend the day listening to white Christians praising Jesus for putting Trump in power, not acknowledging why that sentiment could be so hurtful to them.

I am crying for my friends who are victims of sexual assault. They now have to spend the next four years watching someone who bragged on air about being able to sexually assault women — to grab their pxxxxxs — govern our country because he is famous.

I am crying because he brushed it off as “locker-room talk” as if the trauma that millions of women (and men) experience is something to joke about or make light of, and that just by default as president he will be a role model to young boys in our country.

I am crying because friends who are immigrants are experiencing hate speech and violence, and are terrified of the possibility of being targeted for deportation.

To my friends of color, LGBTQ+ friends, friends with disabilities, Muslim friends, women friends, and others who feel targeted, both emotionally and physically, and marginalized, I am sorry. I lament and ask God’s and your forgiveness for the part I have played in the systems in play, both in society and in the church that I dearly love. I promise to do whatever I can to stand with you. And please know that I see you, and as I told my new friend on the metro, I DO NOT REJECT YOU. I grieve with you.

Lord, have mercy on us. I pray that in the darkness that You would shine. I pray for prophetic voices to arise from the dust.