The Hard Work Ahead
We said, “Love Trumps Hate.” We said, “We’re stronger together.” But last week we saw how powerful hate can be, how deep our divisions remain.
If you believe in the power of hope, let this be a jolting reminder of just how potent fear can be, and do not shy away from that fact. We are not so far along that arc towards justice as we might have thought.
Today there is rationalizing and normalizing of this outcome, and calls for unity. Unity is good; building a dialogue is good. We must not demonize each other. But we also must not look away from the ugly truth of what happened in this election: Donald Trump preyed upon our hatred and fear and blaming of the “Other,” and won the support of millions who look at their fellow citizens and see that “Other” — an other race, religion, gender, outlook, sexual orientation, physical ability.
We put faith in the power of “Us,” and we lost. We have so much work to do, and I think that work starts within ourselves.
The best words I’ve heard today are these: reach out to the people you love; many are feeling scared or threatened right now. Tell them they’re not an “Other” to you, that you and they and we are all a part of “Us.” And if you yourself are scared or angry, if you’re feeling like an “Other” right now: reach out to me. I am here, I am present, with you. William, Emma, John, Elliot, Raiki, Divya, Sirene, Alex, Jessica (and so many more) — I see what you’ve shared today and it’s restored in me strength and hope. You’ve given me conviction. Thank you.
We have a long way to go to break down that notion of the dark and scary “Other” in our midst. We have to continue the hard work of becoming “Us.” I will keep fighting with you.