Wow, What a Week

Well.

Wow.

Anyone else here wondering how to identify the truck that just ran us over?

So, the country has elected a President who does not reflect my value orientation. I think it's safe to say that when the Ku Klux Klan holds a parade to celebrate your election, you and I are NOT on the same page.

But there it is. He's the President-elect, and now we have to figure out what to do about it.

A lot of my friends have been talking about moving to another country. Some of my friends are not even joking about it. Some people are actively making plans. So many people were exploring their options that the Canadian Immigration website crashed. (Me? I thought longingly about New Zealand. It's so beautiful there. Plus: one of my favorite artists ever lives there, Jennie deGroot.)

But here's the thing: I can't abandon the people and populations I love without a fight, because they are going to need me. People of color, people with disabilities (how I wish that when I thought of Donald Trump, I could get the visual of him mocking that person with disabilities out of my mind,) the poor, the elderly, anyone who identifies in the LGBTQIA spectrum, immigrants, refugees, our beloved planet--all of these populations and things NEED US.

Now more than ever.

This country needs our collective heart, our compassion, our energy to work for inclusion and policies that take care of the most vulnerable among us. America needs us. So, we can take our ball and go home, or we can work to change the rules of this new game we're playing so that everybody gets to suit up.

Remember this column, A Warrior for Peace? I feel that same calling right now.  I've grown complacent.  I've been so focused on the upheaval in my own family --illness, divorce, teenagers --that I forgot my larger goal of changing the world through unrelenting kindness, compassion, inclusion, advocacy, and intervention. I'm getting to work right this second on behalf of the causes and populations who need me. I'm raising money for women's health, for refugees, for my people outside of the gender binary, for climate change, for people with disabilities.  I'm volunteering my time, my energy and my talents on behalf of those who do not feel safe or welcome in Trump's America.

Remember this famous poem by Pastor Martin Niemoeller?

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist. 
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist. 
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew. 
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

I will use my voice and my privilege to speak out.

I will not be silent.

If you'd like to join me, please leave your plan of action in the comments--we could all use more ideas! Any organizations of social justice or change that you support?  Tell us why. Every positive action is welcome here --from buying a cup of coffee for a disenfranchised person, to marching on protest, to volunteering at the local food bank, to helping settle refugee families, to writing letters of support --anything that taps into your personal privilege and power for the benefit of those outside of the straight, white, Christian paradigm.

And if you are one of those people who feels afraid because you don't feel welcome in Trump's America, know that this is a safe place to speak of that, and that I will do everything in my power to protect you.

(Just a reminder about the comments: I welcome and encourage civil discourse. But if you comment intolerant or hate-filled sentiments, I will delete your comment. My blog wears a safety pin.)


Comments

I've got a supply of large safety pins so I can be sure to wear one every day. I've been watching videos and reading tips on how to best help in the heat of the moment. Honestly, I'm scared to step into the danger zone but I want to be a true ally, so I'm prepping myself for when the moment comes. I want to be ready and able.
Annabanana said…
I joined the NAACP, the ACLU and Human Rights Commission with donations. I also will be looking for local actions, which should be plentiful in the DC area. I'm following the Southern Poverty Law website which is tracking hate groups and hate incidences. I'm speaking out loud and continuously on civil rights (my focus) on social media, because my friends in those populations have told me that they are SCARED to speak out themselves, and that they appreciate my action.

I'm also actively seeking out and listening to opinions of those who did support Trump (or more in my friend/acquaintance group, were so anti-Hillary they voted for Trump). I want to understand their perspective, and their needs too. I think if we all listen to each other, we'll see more in common than different, and that is where we can begin to build bridges instead of walls.
My wife is like the previous commenter here, building bridges, wanting to listen to people who would vote for Trump. I am a Quaker, and that is what we try to do. But I am finding it nearly impossible, because if the KKK holds parades in your honor, I am intolerant of your intolerance. I haven't gotten any further than that, but I am deeply worried about the millions of people who found him acceptable, and more worried about the damage he can do to our country in the coming years.
Cassi said…
No one in my circle of friends actually voted for Trump. It makes me realize that posting political things on Facebook is a total waste of my time --I'm just preaching to the choir. And in fact, I think the positive reinforcement bubble of Facebook makes it a particularly bad place to be political.

Instead, I need to focus on the real things I do in my life, and donating money to places like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the ACLU. I teach at a two-year college, and I will be wearing my safety pin as I teach. We have a large number of Hispanic and Black students on campus, and I want to send a message that I do not support the hateful rhetoric that elected Trump.
austinnative said…
Education Advocate for children with disabilities

Facebook.com/TexasEducationAdvocacy

DiannaPharr.com
Dawn Ehler said…
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