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Bermudians living in US share disbelief

Brooklyn-based Clare O'Connor

Bermudians living in the United States expressed shock and dismay at Donald Trump’s election victory.

Clare O’Connor is a journalist who lives in Brooklyn, New York and covers women entrepreneurs and workplace equality for Forbes magazine. Although not able to vote, she is an ardent Clinton supporter and said the result felt like the “death of decency”.

“This is a repudiation of progressive values by people who are fearful of women and angry at eight years of a black president,” she said. “The mood last night in New York was horrifying. I was at a party of all women and we expected to make history and instead angry white men showed us that they fear our rise to power. This just shows that the most-qualified woman still is no match for the least-qualified man. All the women I was with last night were so devastated.”

Referring to Trump’s pledge to see the Roe vs Wade decision on abortion overturned, she said: “I just gave a large donation to Planned Parenthood and I would urge anyone with the means to do the same, as women’s rights and reproductive health are now at stake. If anyone wants to give a donation and send me the receipt, I will match it.”

Andrew Cossar expressed similar dismay at the election result, noting Mr Trump’s history of controversial comments directed at minority groups.

“I’m extremely disappointed,” he said. “Even if we take the most-optimistic view of Trump’s win, and hope that he backs down on his craziest and most unaffordable ideas, his election sends a horrible message to citizens of the US and the world.

“He is a man who grew his political notoriety by declaring that the first black president wasn’t born in this country, based on nothing. His presidential candidacy began with calling Mexican immigrants rapists and drug dealers. Since then he’s disrespected other minorities and immigrants, POWs, the disabled, Muslims and women.

“I was here for Obama’s election in 2008 and re-election in 2012, and you could sense that African-American children finally believed that they could do anything in this country. I’m afraid that minorities and women just learnt how little this country can care about them.”

Meanwhile, Tarah Rigby, a Bermudian living in Vermont but visiting the Republican stronghold of Texas, said: “I think overall people are in shock and disbelief. “A lot of people are angry at those who voted for another candidate other than Hillary or Trump — such as Gary Johnson — saying they ‘threw away their vote’ and essentially that’s why Trump won — which I don’t believe. Everyone has a right to vote what they believe and we need to unite

“I personally don’t want Trump to fail because if he does that means America will fail.

“I’m scared for America and hoping for the best. I continue to have faith that humanity, kindness, love and acceptance of all will prevail.”

Lana Young, a Bermudian actress living in New York, said: “I couldn’t believe how I was feeling this morning. It was foreign. It definitely knocked me around and I felt despair. But I refuse to let this situation distract me from the possible, or change my outlook on the world and on people.

“One thing that this election has shown us is that there are many people of all races, genders and sexual orientation who truly believe in equal opportunity, marriage for all, the right to choose, et cetera. So let’s find each other and start working on how we can continue to move forward together, united. They will have won if we continue to divide, especially by race.

“We just witnessed half the country expose their bigotry, misogyny and xenophobia, but the other half was fighting against it. We do have allies. Let’s be careful not to look at each other suspiciously but rather seek out those people who care to evolve in a healthy, positive and fair way.”