Rise up: Your time for action is now

Many of us are waking in disbelief.  How could this happen?  What America do we live in, that a candidate endorsed by the KKK is now President?  We live in the same America we were in yesterday, the same one that has been showing us who she is for the past several years as conflicts between races and nationalities have simmered.  The signs have been there, and I am ashamed to say I am one of the ones who is surprised at the results this morning.  

 

My social media feed, which yesterday was filled with men and women proudly casting their votes and enjoying their freedom, celebrating their ability to speak up for the oppressed and to tell their stories of survival, is now filled with dreams of leaving the country.  That, my friends, is the problem.  Running away is not a solution, it is as courage-less as our silence when an innocent black child gets shot walking home from a convenience store.  Moving to another country only gives more power to the very thing you wanted so badly yesterday to conquer.  

 

America is no different this morning than it was yesterday.  Two people ran for office— they both represented a near-majority of the popular vote.  One of them won.  If you are disappointed with the election results, as I am, we can take this as a sign that our work has only just begun.  That our silence is no longer acceptable, that there is a real threat present to those who have pigment in their skin, those who love people of the same gender, those who have medical need to terminate a pregnancy, those who are in danger in their own countries and need our refuge, those who do not want to be assaulted just because they are female.  If you are one of those people, I am with you.  I will speak up for you.  I will find ways to be present with you, and to share a voice in building bridges of understanding which tear down acts of hatred.

 

A Clinton America would, in many ways, perpetuate complacency.  I was not scared enough by how many people were on the side of Trump.  While some will write this off as differences in economic policies or Clinton’s campaign fumbles, what I know is we live in an America which is not adequately disgusted by someone who can openly hate so many.  That means we live in an America where more than half of us either believe this is tolerable or they agree with the hate.  Today, we are foolish if we wake and hate back.  Our work is to turn anger into action.

 

Our work is this:  teach love, show kindness, and find paths to connectedness with people who are not like us.  Keep speaking up.  Join an organization working for racial justice.  Go build a Habitat house with people you don’t know.  Get off of your screen and talk about what matters with the people you love.  Do not sweep this under the rug for your children:  tell them the truth.  Tell them that there are a lot of people who do not yet understand that people are people, that we all have value and we are all doing our best every day.  Teach them to love the underdog.  Show them that you do.  Expose them to other cultures, and let them experience that beauty.  Make sure this is our bottom, America.  Work to ensure we get better from here.  Love will win, it always does, but it takes a lot of work.  Join me in finding that path.  Let's rise up, and love one another well.