I’ve had a few days to think about this election. I spent a good thirty-six hours so angry I wanted to scream. Then, yesterday, I woke up not feeling like I wanted to cry. As I thought about why, Yoda’s words popped into my head: “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to the dark side.” The other side is filled with anger and hate because, instead of educating themselves, the react with fear to the unfamiliar. THEY fear US: the women, the immigrants, the disabled, the LGBTQIA community, people of color, and every other minority who calls America home. Yes, it’s still okay for us to be afraid. We now live in a nation that thinks it’s acceptable to disenfranchise us. I’m still afraid. And I’m still angry. But I refuse to react to them in the same way they’ve treated us.
I will acknowledge Donald Trump as president because Hillary Clinton (and Leslie Knope) was right; having a contested transition of power will do nothing but weaken our democracy and make it easier for others to push us even further backward. What I do not accept is the hate he and many of his followers feel toward millions of wonderful people. We are a nation of immigrants. We were founded on ideals of freedom, and what makes us great is openness and diversity.
I am done ranting (on Twitter). But I am not going to stop fighting. This week, I helped make history. I voted for Kamala Harris, the second black woman to become a U.S. Senator and the first black politician to represent the state of California. I was part of the Orange County, California pool of voters who, for the first time since 1936, voted blue. I will keep pushing for progress. I will continue to educate myself and others to fight ignorance. I encourage you to do the same. We need to learn from history, learn from those we don’t (yet) understand, learn from the world around us, and learn from this experience.
Be the change you wish to see in the world. – Mahatma Ghandi
We need to listen to Ghandi and follow his example. Protest, but do it peacefully. Rise up, but do not rise to the taunts of the other side. If you can, fight big. If not, there is no shame in doing only what you can. Contest injustice and discrimination in your everyday lives. If a friend says something you don’t think is right, say something. Stand up for the bullied. Be confident in what you believe is right. You have every right to be disappointed, but do not spread the hate by hating the haters. When they go low, we go high.
I am still upset, but I am hopeful. And that is how I am choosing to view this challenge. I refuse to move on, to be ambivalent towards bigotry, but I am moving forward. Right now, it is the only choice I have. We can and will get through this.
If you want to read further, refer to my post on Ignorance and the reading lists below.
- We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
- Common Sense by Thomas Paine
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
- Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenedies
- 1984 by George Orwell
- I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl who Stood up For Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
- Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
My Reading List:
- Madam President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson by William Hazelgrove
- A Nation of Immigrants by John F. Kennedy
- Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt by Sarah Jaffe
- White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg
- All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister
- The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin by Steven Lee Myers
- The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley
- Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by John Krakauer
- Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine
- 1776 by David McCullough
Please feel free to add your reading lists or suggestions in the comments.
Note: You are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions on this blog, even if you disagree with me. If you do not wish to share publicly, my email is open. However, if you choose to share hate or attack anyone, I will not engage with you and encourage my other readers to do the same. Know that your prejudice and intolerance only makes you look bad and fuels our fire. Thank you.