What do we do now

Friends,

We have done so much good work in the past years on being human — on eliminating the barriers that make some of us less human than others. We haven’t found a place of parity, but goddamnit are we making strides.

The truth of YOUR humanity, your gains (and the humanity of the POC, Muslim, queer, female, and migrant people you love) is what has so threatened the uneducated white people of this country; they can’t bear that they’re no longer implicitly superior to you. They feel your gains as their loss, and they haven’t identified that their feeling of marginalization is what you’ve felt the entire time you have been human in this country. What could be empathy has instead become hate.

On a broad institutional level, this election feels like it scraps everything we’ve fought for. Obama has been leading our charge, and the idea of going it without him — and his successor in Hillary — feels like losing a parent. He’s been protecting us and now we have to go it alone.

We are now going to have to fight so hard to keep our collective humanity: our healthcare, our migrant rights, our civil liberties, our planet’s climate, our fair pay, any acknowledgment that our lives matter at all… Each of us has an extra job now, and that’s to hold on to the world we want to live in, and to push for its continued existence and strength. That means showing up for EVERY election, no matter how small, to vote for your candidates; knocking down Congresspeople’s doors with phone calls on every one of our issues; and, on the ground, looking out for each other.

It’s hard not to wonder what is real as we grieve all of our progress, and it’s terrifying to consider what could become of our future: what happens when a stock market crashes onto a glass ceiling? Or when you build a new wall next to one that’s solid enough to fully obscure two sides of a country?

Today I want to surround myself with the people I love. What’s ironic is that surrounding ourselves with those who share our feelings is what has gotten us here in the first place.

So what do we do? Do we implement cultural exchange programs between New York City and rural Wisconsin? How can the two Americas learn to understand each other and work for what’s good for us all? Let’s figure this out. Pence and Ivanka, you’re going to have to work with us on that.

This feels so hopeless, but in the words of Michelle, when they go low, we go high: this HURTS, and what we have to do is cultivate the empathy that we wish the other side could find. The lynchpin of this election — the bizarrely elusive truth that got us here and likewise the only truth that can dig us out — is that we are all human. That’s what we have to run with.

Maybe 2016 is the year we finally learn the definition of irony. Man, is it a painful lesson.

I love you. I see you. Let’s all work for that.

Margot

from today’s www.loremipsum.wtf