It’s the day after the presidential election. My colleagues are walking around obviously grieving, holding each other in hallways as if they are mourning the passing of a dear friend. Many of them look dangerously close to tears.
While I did not vote for the winner, most don’t know that, as I don’t make a habit of broadcasting my choice. However, it is widely known that I lean more towards a conservative point of view. I am catching sidelong glances that are full of thinly-veiled dislike. I can feel the disgust and the disapproval.
Meanwhile, those that share my conservative bent have been coming into my office, shutting the door, and talking about the election. It seems that, in this atmosphere, these conversations must be clandestine.
The small child in me that wants to be liked by everyone cringes from this moue of distaste whenever I draw near. I didn’t vote for him, either! On the other hand, the adult (who is trying not to feel offended by all of this) is annoyed by the behavior, by the assumption that everyone thinks as they do, by the certainty of the correctness of their beliefs.
Academia is infamous for its liberal leanings. I feel that most acutely, today.
It’s interesting that a group that is intent on creating a community where everyone feels welcome seems to have lost that passion today. I most definitely do not feel welcome.
(Credit: Photo: Centre Pompidou)