I don’t mean to write a political post. Honestly I am still too used up and empty to summon the right words for it. I don’t know how to string together the perfect letters to form the perfect refrain that honors both sides, exposes the pain that exists in the wake, and finds some way to cast vision for unity and peace. I want magic words and I fear that might not be possible.
All throughout the election cycle I assured myself that his supporters were fringe – his hate speech and endorsements by such hate mongering supremacist groups as the KKK surely provided enough cause for concern to reconsider him as the party nominee – right? Surely we don’t want a man leading us who has multiple accusations of sexual assault, including facing trial for raping a 13 year old girl. He summed up in one vulgar sentence why it is so scary to be a (person with disabilities, a woman, Muslim, Latino, Black, or LGBTQ+ person) today. That is not someone we want representing us.. Right?
And as I watched the numbers tally and collect all night long, I realized that I might not actually have a clue what more than half of our population wants.
I went to bed sick to my stomach. I woke up and felt like I had a horrible hangover, achy and slow and spinning. November 9th is a blur, I could barely find motivation to get through the day. I felt the weight of it all. A shift of cosmic proportions began the moment we picked him.
I feel the weight of it because I am a woman. Because I am raising one. Because I’m also raising a son, and I don’t want him to think its okay to shame, exclude, bully and make fun of people who are different.
Because I still hope to adopt our boy in Ghana some day. And because I am terrified of what his future might look like if he comes home in the next four years.
Fear is the catalyst to all of this mess.
Make no mistake – this is war we’ve been thrust into. And it isn’t other people we are fighting. It is fear masked as hate and fury. It is fear masked as control, as power, as supremacy.
The only remedy is love.
Not the trite kind. Real love. Humble love. Honest brave welcoming love. The kind that takes a deep breath, rolls up its sleeves and volunteers to be step up to the front lines of this war.
I see you, brother. I see you, sister. I see you with fear on your shoulders and I see through your hate. I’m fighting for you, really. I want you to be free. It’s better to be free. It’s better when you can let go of your agenda, stop holding onto the slithering tail of fear and let it go. I’ll be brave and stand up to the fear you throw my way, because I want you to be free.
I see you, brother. I see you, sister. I see you feeling like you are worthless. Like your skin has become a threat to your very life. I see you unsure if it’s safe to walk through your neighborhood anymore. I see you shaking as you try decide if you should forgo the hijab today. I’m fighting for you. I want you to be free. I want you to be safe. I want you to stay strong and stay away from hate. Don’t go there. Be brave and hold the line with me.
I’ve asked for book recommendations that will help me understand what it is like to see the world in a way that differs from my experiences. I want to know, because I want to find that common ground so we can walk together, arm in arm, advancing on enemy lines every day. No matter how tired and scared and wounded we get. I’ve got your back, love warrior.
*I will add another post with a list and links to the books I’m going to be reading. Please feel free to recommend more.