“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dark days lie ahead. It is a time of uncertainty. A time of disbelief, shock, confusion, disappointment. It is a time I did not see coming. Perhaps I was naive, but my faith in humanity prevented me from believing this moment would come. A moment where a bigoted, racist, sexist, homophobic man would become the president of the United States. I thought we had come further than this. I thought we had come further as Americans, humans, people. We are all people. So why would we elect someone who denigrates and separates people? Us?
I know that it is very easy to say we are all one and the same, that we should all be able to get along. I know that we are the same as human beings but that we all have different backgrounds, experiences, upbringings. So why not learn about one another’s differences? Why not seek to understand what we can’t comprehend? Instead of shunning or shutting out, why can’t we ask and aim to be open?
We are frightened of what we don’t understand. So I would say, obviously, the remedy is to try to understand. Killing, dividing, hating; what does this grant us? When we see our brothers and sisters as strangers, when we see our great family as the enemy, we lose our humanity. When we let our insecurity, our fear, manifest and take control of our lives, we lose our chance to become great, to honor this bewildering, beautiful existence. We falter.
We falter as a people, as a human race, when we uphold false idols, when we take comfort in words of hate. We falter as Americans when we see ourselves reflected back in the face of a pathetic man with no morals, values, integrity. It’s not about which political party we identify with. It’s about what kind of person we identify with. It’s about what and who we stand for and behind. It’s about supporting a campaign of disrespect and disregard rather than honor and inclusion. It’s about hate.
My heart is breaking that my fellow Americans, my fellow human beings, would want someone like this in a position of power. That they would agree with what he says, what he believes in. That they would find logic in the emptiness of his words and actions. I am saddened by the lack of integrity, the separatism, the shallowness. I thought more of us. I believe in open minds and open hearts, curiosity and compassion. I wanted to believe that we all did. That we still do.
My heart is breaking as a woman, as a person of color, as a hardworking citizen, as a human being. My heart is breaking as a person on this planet, a simultaneous drop in the bucket and a voice that will be heard. I am numb with the sadness of it all, I am angry, I am.
I am. I am still here, I am still breathing, my heart is still beating. I remind myself of this as I turn off the radio, as I attempt to do something, anything, than dwell on this darkness. I am here, I am alive, my voice, like your voice, matters. I will not give up, I will not despair. I will grieve, I will be angry. But then I will fight.
I will not fight with hate in my heart. I will not let hate win. I will fight with love, for love, because of love. I will even love those I do not see eye to eye with, those who believe in words of hate and madness. I will even try to love this orange man who hates so openly and freely. He hates those who are different from him, us, because he is ignorant, entitled, arrogant. His bluster does not hide the truth from me: he has hate in his heart because he is insecure and frightened. So I will send some love his way. We could all use more if it right now.
I wish you a wild, free life.