Today, we grieve. Not because of the election's direct results, but rather because of what many of us thought moving forward would look like in this country. Last year, we had such high hopes with a bird that landed on a particular podium, being our little blue feathered messenger of progress, of hope, of making America even greater than the great it already was. But as humans, we are often afraid of that which we do not know. It is psychologically proven that when faced with something new to try, we often need to find a few familiar things in it to be able to stomach it. That bird may have carried a very new message with it, but it had a few major familiar characteristics that we could all stomach very easily, and those familiar things were gaining the ability to stand on our own feet instead of waiting for the wealthy to pick what is best for us, or making higher education a standard and not a privilege, or figuring out what is best for us right here at home before we dabble so much in foreign trade. It was decided though that if we want to win against the scariest of them all, we must stick with the more conventional, safe path. It was thought that we were guaranteed to win that way. It was thought that The Beast would not have a chance that way. We were so afraid of risking that instead of extraordinary we became mediocre, and the result was the prevailing of The Beast.
We grieve not because The Beast shall be becoming our Chief Executive, but because we actually picked him; because we sat through those hours last night waiting, hoping, praying, but only realizing minute after minute that this is indeed what we have chosen, that this is indeed the truth we need to face, the division we need to feel. It gives us grief to see in numbers that we are not only still broken, but that this ailment can take such an unbelievable shape. We have attacked ourselves from within. We are a cancer eating away at our own immune system, and in this ailment, I worry most for the children.
The bullying will begin. The racism will begin. The sexism will begin. The kids ... we need to love them all up to shield them from the truth... the truth that had never been healed in this country, but simply silenced. Some children will think it is ok to see children of color less worthy than them. That rolls rivers down my eyes. There will be children that will encourage their friends to promote the hate; there will be parents that will tell their children to promote the hate; there will be teachers that will not say anything when the hate is promoted. I worry for our girls, and more so, for our girls of color. Imagine the intersection of everything at which they stand... the intersection with no traffic lights and semis driving towards it full speed. Love them. Protect them. And let's find a way ... let's find a way to maybe even show them how to direct that unruly traffic that is headed towards them. No child deserves to feel this hatred. No child deserves to have the fear that the color of their skin means they do not count as much. No child should fear that their perfectly documented, legal parents who immigrated to this nation over 20 years ago might be turned into slaves now. Believe me when I say, kids have already shed tears today and asked that question. No child should feel this... and yet, it seems that they will. And what we can do is to love them all up. We need to make sure they know where their support systems are, where their communities are, where their identities are. We need to make sure they find faith in the importance of their existence and to rely on it the most when they are caught alone in this storm. We have to give them faith in themselves.
This America that is so happy with The Beast... these Americans found their voice in him. He is a man, with power, desperate for more power. He saw this as the next best glorious thing to do, to show everyone he can have whatever he wants. Even though this was much more personal than wanting to "make America great again", like a true salesman, he heard the need of a group of people in this country and he marketed to them. He said just what they wanted to hear, and they loved every moment of it. This America needed a voice too. They found it. The Beast gave them meaning once again... a meaning that they lost when whiteness started to lose its meaning, its power, its grandiosity. When a group of people have been in power for so long, as soon as that power starts to slip away, they will latch on to the first opportunity of regaining that power, even if it comes in an orange suite, combed over hair, and endless self-righteousness. He speaks their gospel without having a care in the world about the consequences, and they have become his disciples. Even though a bumpy, difficult, and turbulent one, it may be a path to healing some deep and old wounds. We will all have to embrace that now. We will all have to see that, smell that, feel that, and confront that. And more importantly, we must do this with love. We must know that it is uncomplimentary behavior in the face of hatred that gets us to a place of understanding. It is when we face hatred with love that we can rise above it. First and foremost, we must love one another, our communities, our elders, our youngsters, and ourselves, and then, we must love this divided America and those who have found their voices in The Beast. And then, we must remember that in the end, it is the people that matter. We must remember that politics has become trickery; that even the best of us will have to sway and bend in the face of power, money, greed; that regardless of these media driven "idols", spending millions of dollars on doing nothing but disrespecting one another for over a year, and creating some reality-TV like entertainment and calling it politics, we the people, will survive. We are, after all, higher in count than the less than thirty percent of the population who decided this. There are many of us who did not and will never feel like we are truly a part of this nation. This is especially true of those who were here before all of this. We will love each other. We will love our neighbors, we will love our communities, and we will love them even more now. And we will be patient with those who will want to join the hate camp. Let's just love our children. Let's just make sure they know what really matters. Let's make sure they learn good values in this world. Let's make sure they understand that there will always be differences in this world and that's actually a good thing. Let's make sure they understand the true meaning of diversity; that embracing it is what makes us stronger, that we shouldn't look for people who agree with us at every turn but find a way to truly listen to them before wanting to change their minds, and that if they will not give us that time of day it is their loss and our gain, for we listened and grew while they wasted words, time, and even anger.
Let's just love our children.
Let's just love each other.