Hi everyone. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted. I’ve missed you. Oddly I’ve gotten quite a few new fans/followers/folk since my last long ago post, so – hi new folk. Welcome to my brain.
So… It looks like my country elected a racist, sexist, xenophobic, narcissist for president. Sorry about that.
No really. I am so fucking sorry. I am beside myself.
I am up typing this because I have to figure out what to do now. I’m unprepared for this. I mean – I know my country isn’t post-racial, or post-feminist, or even very progressive, but I didn’t realize just how much anger and hate and fear there was. I underestimated the backlash.
I’ll admit – genuine thoughts about just running away went through my mind, and even came out of my mouth. But then… I remembered, I’m uncomfortably safe. I’m a white middle classish person. Yes, I’m a woman and sexual assault just became openly acceptable at the same time that a candidate who has sworn to take away my reproductive rights was elected president, but honestly – those are battles I’ve been fighting for decades – I’ll just have to fight them more strategically now.
Meanwhile, there are loads of other people who are really, truly screwed. Millions of lives have just been made worse, millions of families have been put at risk. This, what just happened, is a true disaster.
As I thought about what that meant, what that looks like, I remembered this meme that pops up every time there is a natural disaster, or another mass shooting, or a large-scale tragedy.
Look for the helpers.
But… Here’s the thing – I can’t look for the helpers this time. This time – I have to be the helper. This is on me.
Why? Because white people, as a group, voted for Trump. White women abandoned Hillary and voted for Trump. This mess – this is our mess, my mess. Sure, I voted blue, and I urged everyone I knew to do the same. I wore my pantsuit and proudly proclaimed that I was #WithHer, but… it wasn’t enough. And now – we need to work together to keep this garbage fire from spreading and hurting people.
People keep saying, “it’ll all be okay.” But here’s the thing – we’ve elected a president who has promised, on numerous occasions, that life will not be okay for Muslims, Latinx folk, LGBTQ folk, immigrants, refugees, women, people with pre-existing medical conditions, poor people… Which means empty platitudes are not going to cut it.
White people – we have got to get our collective shit together. We have got to rise up and listen to our better angels. We cannot simply say, “it’s going to be okay.” We have to work to make it okay. We have to hold the lines of progress that we have made in this country. We have to reach out to our community members who are hurting, who are scared, who are threatened and we have to actively support them.
This is on us.
I struggled with what I was going to tell my kids tomorrow. But this is it.
I’m going to tell them to bring their A-game tomorrow, and every day after, because life for us is going to continue being okay. They’re going to continue to have a house and clothes and food on the table, and a family that no government organization can tear apart. But their friends, their friends are going to need them. They are going to need their strength, their love, and sometimes their voice.
My friends are going to need the same. So are strangers I’ve never met who will be facing an amplified Trump Effect. I cannot sit this one out. It is time to be vigilant, to be aware, and to step up and be a helper.
If you’ve ever called yourself an ally before – this is your rally cry. This is the moment. This is where you turn your allyship into action and prove your mettle. It’s time to suit up and get to work.