“Why don’t you just wait and see?” has become the conservative and pro-Trump motto since he won the election several weeks ago. I’ve heard and read it over and over again, and each time it makes me think the same thing: Every person who saying this to a member of the LGBTQ community, a minority, a woman, or any other person fighting for equality is exposing their profound ignorance when it comes to the realities of all these movements.
There is no wait and see for us; there never has been. There have been milestones to be celebrated for these movements in recent years, but the march towards equality has never ended. Why? Because we have never gotten to a point of true equality in this country.
We didn’t stop when Obama became President in 2008 (or again in 2012), we wouldn’t have stopped if Hillary had won, and we certainly won’t stop now that the President-elect has surrounded himself with a Cabinet that is a who’s-who of virtually all anti-equality movements.
If Trump’s election win and President-Elect antics have done one positive thing, it’s made these communities realize that the continued progress we were seeing with the Obama administration is not going to continue without a revitalized effort on our end. There is still a long way to go, and with the new administration it looks like we will be fighting a steep, uphill battle for at least the next four years.
To assume that there has ever been a moment where any of these marginalized communities have had the luxury to “wait and see” what is going to happen to them speaks volumes to how little a person has actually thought about the dedication, sacrifice, and time all of these movements have required. People have been abused, imprisoned, and even killed for these causes. They are not nor ever will be “wait and see” movements, and anyone pretending like they ever have been or should be sound woefully ignorant.
I can only rationalize that people are saying “wait and see” to ease some of their own anxiety after publicly endorsing or accepting what the President-elect and his cabinet have said and what they have planned for all of these communities. They’re waiting to see whether or not they did elect a man who will halt the progress of equal rights.
However, to say that Trump is the sole motivation behind these movements and whether or not they continue is giving him too much credit; yes, his administration looks like a colossal obstacle blocking our progress, but there have been obstacles like this before, and there will undoubtedly be more in the future.
But you don’t overcome obstacles by stopping and waiting, all the while wondering what the obstacle will do. You keep pushing forward and find a way to overcome it. If you think a “wait and see” attitude is the way to go, then please make sure you’re waiting and watching from the sidelines, because the rest of us are going to do everything we can to keep moving forward.