We write you less than hours out from finding out that Trump is our new president elect and that our government is controlled by the Republican party more thoroughly than it has been for decades. We are not going to pretend that we're not in a full on expression of lament. We are grieving our hopes that we'd finally see a woman in the Presidency, we're grieving what it says about our country that racism, sexism, homophobia, disability discrimination seem to be accepted at best and lauded at worst. We're grieving what this means for the beloved people in our lives who face some very real dangers, such as deportation and lack of medical coverage and religious oppression. We are grieving for our earth, which so badly needs us to advocate for her healing. In the midst of this we're thinking and talking about how we can show up in an authentic way that also allows others to have their reactions. We're processing and thought we'd share our processes and thoughts with you: Here's some tips that we are finding useful in our own lives in the wake of this election.
Feel free to take or leave them:
FEEL IT ALL
We get to feel our feelings fully. We get to lament or feel confused or rejoice. We have a right to our feelings. AND Others get to feel their feelings fully. They get to lament or feel confused or rejoice even if we don't get why.
..if you need to unplug from social media do that. If you need to post 20 things in 20 minutes do that. Take care of yourself. Eat that paleta, take that nap, soak in that lavender water you love...do your thang. R will be having some pesto and binge watching Friday Night Lights. M will be sipping tea and sleeping.
Let's talk to our people. Go get loved up. We're going to and have already. It's good to be reminded that we're still here, alive, beloved and loving and able to make powerful change in this world. Our people get to speak this to us and we get to do the same for them.
When we are ready, and in situations where it's safe, let's talk to some people who voted differently. Really talk about it. Let's learn from each other. We're getting this strong, strong feeling that it's what we need to do if we want to have a country that is not divided in a way that feels scarily Civil War eraish.
BE AWARE OF YOUR PRIVILEGE
Let's all be aware of our various privileges and how they may be unintentionally impacting the folks around us.
- #MovingtoCanada Movement and Rhetoric: This is understandable that people would want to leave and it may be something you legitimately feel you must do because you are part of a group of folks that Trump has promised to target. I get this. I also think it would be good for us to be really careful around how much we throw this around because we have many brothers and sisters in this country that tonight face the reality that they or their family members may soon be deported if Trump follows through on his promises about cracking down on immigration and deportation. Having the option to consider moving to Canada is a privilege and it's not wrong to consider or express, however please approach it with sensitivity knowing that many of our beloved neighbors may not even have the option to stay here.
- The Revolution Begins Theory: I think this may be the kick in the pants many of us need to become more civically engaged. That's not untrue at all. However, I think that when we say this, especially if we are not people likely to experience the full negative human rights infringing impact of the presidency that Trump has promised the American people, it's easy to diminish the real pain of many people in our country...It's as if we're saying, "It's somehow a good thing that you may suffer very unjustly." I think we need to be tremendously mindful about this.
- I'm Out/I'm Done: This is a really reasonable reaction when something as rocking as this election occurs. It's easy to feel like, "Yep, I'm done. Just done." That may be what you need to do and it may be a powerful move for you. I think though, again, this is a place to be mindful. Many people in our country can't just be done because they are not white and male and cisgendered and without a disability. When race and gender and sexuality and income level and disability are not just concepts, but a real thing in your life, you cannot unsubscribe from the feeds of racism, or sexism, of disability oppression, of socio-economic oppression, or homophobia, or islamaphobia. It's the daily reality. So when people who can because of demographic privileges react to loss by "peacing out", if you will, it sends a message that we're not really allies. It's an understandable, but privileged move.
- The Trump is Anti-Establishment: It is true that Trump is not a career politician and has thus been labeled Anti-Establishment. It is also true that many people voted, at least in part, for Trump (or opted out of voting for a President or voted third party) because they want to shake the system up. This is a really understandable desire. Please be aware though that Trump, although not a career politician, represents for many people an exact reflection of everything oppressive that the establishment has created: White Male Cis-Gendered unregulated Late Stage Capitalist who openly breeds cultures of bigotry and has promised his constituents that he will be reversing many liberties that protect people of color and women and the lgbtq community and folks with disabilities. So when we say, "At least it's an anti-establishment candidate" this can feel tremendously coded for folks whose liberties may be on the line. It's fine to want to shake up the establishment. I'm sure many powerful ideas and actions will be birthed in response to his presidency, but let us be clear that for many of us he is the exact reflection of the most oppressive and unjust elements of the establishment.
- I Know Exactly How You Are Feeling Because I'm Pissed Too: None of us know exactly how others are feeling. Let's come together in camaraderie, but if possible avoid projecting what we're going through onto others. We get to have shared experiences through different lenses. It doesn't mean we're less connected or able to commiserate. I think this is especially important when we're relating to someone who feels specifically targeted by our incoming government. For example, I (Rebecca) as a woman am feeling threatened by the anti-women's health and safety rhetoric and promises and I deeply empathize with my friends of color and Muslim friends and immigrant friends, but I do not get to say that I understand what it would feel like to be Muslim in America today or an immigrant or Queer, although I am an ally. I, Masando, as some who is Japanese American get to experience what this means to me as a person of color, but I also don't know what it is feeling like for women or immigrants or people with disabilities or Muslim Americans or people in the LGBTQ community. Let's be bold in our own stories and have space for other people's experiences as well.
ADVOCATE & CREATE SAFE SPACE
Let's come together and advocate for each other. Let's model for our government ways that groups of people can treat each other well. Let's become sanctuaries for each other. I'm not clear how we do this, but I know I want to be doing it. Let's find pathways together. As Liberals who are also very religious, we find ourselves wanting to build and hopefully be bridges of understanding and education between the two worlds of the religious right and the non-religious progressive left that often seem at odds, and have grave consequences especially during election seasons. Let's create safe spaces for each other so we can find the places that we are in alignment and work together as we ensure that our our liberties stay intact and expand to all people in our country.
So friends, we're sending you love and a lot of good hopes for our nation and communities and families.