Even from the center of a deep red state that went for Donald Trump, the outcome of the election was shocking for Kat Carey.
She’s a Latina mom of a 5-year-old who goes to a co-op school with the motto “teach in peace through culture.” Tuesday, I watched the kids there vote to elect Hillary Clinton by an overwhelming majority, and rejoice afterward by chanting“Hil-lar-ry! Hil-lar-ry!” They live in a city that was a speck of blue amidst a sea of red on the electoral maps.
Courtesy of Kat Carey
Even in Texas, public support for Trump in the run up to the election was muted. His election blindsided people like Carey who didn’t realize what her neighbors thought and felt. The sudden realization had Clinton supporters vacillating between being dazed and being panicked. Whether true or not, many perceive Trump’s win as a rejection of multiculturalism in this country.
I asked Ivy Taylor what she could do to bridge the yawning divide we can suddenly see between Trump and Clinton supporters. Taylor is San Antonio's first African American mayor, which she adds says something about how progressive San Antonio is. But even here, in a blue speck, people feel like they have to be careful about what they talk about. Especially in a state that allows citizens to open carry guns.
“I really don’t know how to broach the conversations around the national issues because I think folks get pretty emotional and have staked out positions,” Taylor says. “So I try to focus on the things that I know bring us together.”
Courtesy of Ivy Taylor
“The work we’re doing is getting places and we are being heard. It’s not that we’re being heard because they want to listen to us. It’s because we’re forcing ourselves in the conversation,” Hernandez says. “And we’re saying ‘you’re going to listen to us because this is our country.’ I feel really powerfully about that and I’ve been trying to get other millennials to feel the same way. And I think in some small capacity in San Antonio, I have.”
What happened last night does make her cry. But at the same time, she’s planning. And in the next five years, Hernandez wants to take a first step — onto the San Antonio city council.