This past week has been a whirlwind. For those of us who truly believed love trumps hate, Wednesday morning was a rude awakening. I think it was most shocking to white female progressives like me. It felt as though the world we thought existed was exposed as a fantasy. Our brown and black brothers and sisters while angry about this reality, were not nearly as shocked. This election simply confirmed what they already knew.
For days I have sat in the whirlwind watching the escalating hostility and have felt powerless and defeated. So I sat, listened and prayed.
In the midst of hate-filled remarks, the more wise among us have been whispering a message I believe we need to hear. That message is, “We will rise.”
As a nation, we can rise above this. No matter who you voted for, we all lose if we allow hatred to win the day. We are allowing our nation and our view of one another to be defined by the most hate-filled on both side. It is tempting to define the enemy as the person who simply voted differently than you did and if we start classifying half of America as the “enemy” we all lose.
The real enemy is not our fellow Americans – it is racism, sexism, intolerance, bigotry, homophobia, injustice and a multitude of cancers that are eroding our civic life and our nation. I believe no matter who you voted for, most American’s would agree that these are the real enemies that we face.
I saw a rally being organized around the theme, “Better than Trump.” For many Trump is the personification of racism, sexism and bigotry. Is this fair? Probably not. But it is important to understand why people are protesting. It is not because they are sore losers. It is because they are afraid that under a Trump administration racism, sexism and bigotry will grow.
If we are to rise as a nation, we have to come together and fight the real enemy. We need to organize against any effort that promotes racism, sexism, bigotry, homophobia, injustice and intolerance. We need to hold our newly elected president to a standard that demonstrates respect for all of our brothers and sisters. But most importantly, we need to remember we are not powerless.
We are Americans. We are a resilient people. We will rise!