I interrupt my regularly scheduled programming to share something from my heart, which is broken but still beating.
I didn’t sleep well last night. This morning I woke up to texts, calls, and Facebook posts from friends and family in mourning. We are sad, we are angry, we are depressed and we are scared. I am horrified that my fellow citizens elected Donald Trump to lead us. Sexism, racism and fear run deeper than we ever imagined. Yet, many messages I’ve heard this morning also call for hope, love and kindness.
I consider myself a patriot and I’m proud to be an American. Scared white men don’t get to take those things away from me.
This is my country too.
Sexist people who repeated over and over again for the last year that “we just wish we had a good candidate” even though HRC was incredibly qualified (but also – gasp! – a strong woman who wasn’t grandmotherly enough) don’t get to take my love for my country away. Trump supporters and the KKK and people who care more about guns than gun safety don’t get to take my love for my country away from me. People who care more about protecting millionaires (even though they likely aren’t one) than the middle class don’t get to take my country away from me. People who choose profit over people and profit over our earth don’t get to take my country away from me.
This is my country too and I know that many (many!) good people with strong values who believe in equality for all, hard work, supporting and loving our neighbors, quality education for all, building community, taking care of the earth, and spreading love live here too.
I’ll say it again: We live here too.
My heart is broken for anyone who isn’t a straight white privileged male who might feel afraid today. Whether you’re 8 or 80, male or female or neither, whatever your skin color, your race, your religion, your sexual orientation, your level of physical ability, your citizenship status, your socioeconomic status, please know that you have allies. It may not seem like it, but our country is filled with people who love you and will fight for you. Families and children among minority groups now know that their neighbors and friends voted against their safety, but WE ARE HERE for them. We will stand up to bullies and protect them.
We will stand up for the protection of our environment even though our new leader believes that climate change is a hoax. We will stand up for women’s rights, children’s rights and families even though our new leader is a misogynist.
We might be forced to live in a post-truth, Trump fantasyland where facts are less important than “getting all the brown people out,” but we can still teach and model tolerance, acceptance and peace.
If you’re lucky, maybe your life won’t change that much, but let’s keep these powerful words from history in mind when we live and breathe and work in our communities today, this year, and for the next four years:
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. – Martin Luther King
Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are. – Thomas Jefferson
I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better. – Maya Angelou
Now is the time to make sure our neighbors and friends and fellow citizens know that while our new President will not work to help all people, WE WILL.
It is not someone else’s responsibility to stand up to injustice and hate. It’s yours. This is our country too. We can do this together.
(Featured photo via)