This morning I received a text from a friend checking in with me and recalling the anxiety and grief she felt as a result of the US Presidential Election. She ended it with “I’m sure you’ve been writing about it extensively.” She was wrong.
As much as I like to holler about injustice, I was dumbstruck by last week’s election results. While my fellow ethical bloggers living in different countries were quick to offer resources and solutions, I was sitting in my dark office at work hiding from my more conservative volunteers and trying not to have a meltdown. Daniel and I had thrown an Election Party that had all the frivolity of a funeral by the end of the night. I watched my friends’ faces drop.
By 1:00 am, the hope had been sucked out of the room. It felt – physically in my chest – like drowning.
I’m a born and bred American and, until last week, I was proud to say that. I love to use the quintessential American phrase, “Because it’s a free country,” whenever I get the chance. Since last week, it’s taken a turn toward dark humor, and I’ve been saying, “Because it’s a free country…for now.”
I really believed that Trump’s overtly sexist, racist, homophobic, ableist, xenophobic – not to mention unprofessional and inflammatory – rhetoric and behavior would be intolerable to the vast majority of the American public. I really believed that the Evangelicals I grew up with had a strong enough grasp of Jesus’ radical inclusion and outspoken love to reject the Republican nominee. I was wrong.
And I’m having to reconcile that with the fact that most of my family voted for him. I’m disappointed in them, I’m disappointed in nearly 50% of American voters, I’m disappointed in the people who opted out because they thought their vote wouldn’t count.
I’m scared for the future.
I was taking a week to sort out the emotions and figure out where I need to direct my action. I’d been under the impression that if I did my civic duty, the government would respond in kind. A rule follower by nature, I’ve never really rebelled against the system.
But now I realize that the democratic system in our country really is a rigged game, and there’s no point playing against a cheater who doesn’t have our best interests in mind. I’m going to have to push out, and push forward. It’s time to rebel.
I’m treating the marginalized and people of color in my community with intentional sensitivity. I’m boycotting companies that support Trump. I’m signing petitions. I’m trying to wrap my head around the best ways and places to publicly protest. I’m refusing to be silent.
I’m refusing a false reconciliation that sweeps legitimate concerns and dangerous ideas under the rug.
I’m trying to hear people out to at least understand what they’re saying, but not every idea is legitimate, or gracious, or effective, or life-affirming.
I’m reclaiming my Christian faith, and emphasizing the counter-cultural love Jesus had, and has, for the other: for sex workers and refugees and the diseased and the corrupt and the racially marginalized and everyone who has ever been and continues to be othered by people in power, and people too scared to see past their own concerns.
Above all, I’m trying to take this seriously, as seriously as possible. Because the moment we all decide that we can just go about our daily business is the moment we leave room for hate to become commonplace.
I don’t have much more to offer, but I’ll leave you with a few posts and resources. Please feel free to start a conversation in the comments, or offer additional resources.
- Life After Evangelicalism, Rachel Held Evans
- A Post-Election Sermon, Rev. Elaine Ellis Thomas
- To resist a Trump presidency, ask: “What would the abolitionists do?”, Washington Post
- Trump: Resources and Responses for Moving Forward, Ethical Unicorn
- Trump Won, So What Are You Gonna Do About It?, Leotie Lovely
- This Shopping Spreadsheet Is A One-Stop Way To Boycott The Trumps, Huffington Post
- The DJT Resistance
- Million Women March being planned for January 21, 2017 in D.C., New York Times