“Even in the inevitable moments when all seems hopeless, men know that without hope they cannot really live, and in agonizing desperation they cry for the bread of hope.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
For months, the sound bytes of politics have plagued my heart and spirit with so much doubt that experiencing kindness is more shocking than expected.
…and I hate it
I’ve watched clips, heard audio and read some of the most vitriolic chatter amongst people who have yet to understand the cultural progress of our country and all of it’s “melting pot” glory. I regret watching those clips because seeing/hearing didn’t show me something that I didn’t already know. What it did was make it entirely impossible to forget…and trust.
A piece of me was prepared for Tuesday night as there’s no way that any person could deny the crowds of people who were ignited by frustration with the status quo or by our new president elect’s messages of hate and I’ll never understand how we got here to a place where open hate-speak and actions are okay…excusable…for the sake of winning.
…And yet here we are.
(psst…our kids have watched this too)
I honestly tried to stay away from social media and have gone as far as “un-friending/unfollowing” many on facebook because self-care matters y’all. Self care!
Twitter is a different story as trending hashtags of bigotry seemed to have had a “click me click me” power and it literally made me sick to my stomach while opening my eyes further to the plight of white nationalist who seemed to have felt threatened by anyone that isn’t them. For the record, “Drain the swamp” in political speak means something entirely different to those fueled by hate.
Again, the amplifying of racism/sexism/xenophobia…etc, is far from new but it goes without saying that seeing it in print/video or hearing it are entirely different experiences than simply knowing because the evidence of it is impossible to un-know. I can’t repeat this enough.
On facebook, people are posting that “we losers” need to get over it and get behind the man that rose to power by banking on not just talking about physical walls but truly creating proverbial ones through a rhetoric and tone that hasn’t been outwardly seen in years. (FYI, he is not the first openly racist president as many have shared online.)
With all of this said, I realize that allowing myself to be stuck inside this cyclone of misery doesn’t help progress on any level and more importantly, it is actually critical that we begin to have some real conversations in our communities and schools about the issues that both bind and divide us. (Not every Trump voter was a racist POS…Thanks Zac Chase for this reminder as it is important that we acknowledge this)
…because from the looks of what’s about to happen over the next few months, we can’t sit idly by while the progress that we’ve made as a country is torn down for the sake of those who’d rather people live by their own selfish contrived standards versus those that contribute to the diversity that makes us who we are….and more importantly each individual by choice.
I don’t know what happens next but I do know that the road ahead will be long and difficult.
I am hopeful.
I am hopeful.
On a more personal note, the one powerful part that came of this entire process was learning much more about our government, financial systems and the power that creates them. School taught me none of this and just as it is our duty to make sure that students are prepared for a changing digital world…civic understanding and participation is just as important. We cannot forget this, especially in a world where social media amplifies more false narratives than can be debunked.
One more thing, I’ve never felt more hopeful than seeing thousands of people take to the streets in peaceful protest of sending our country down this path that we’ve voted for. I say this not just by protesting our president-elect but by standing against the policies that he is surely to enact during the first of days.
This is an important act.
One can only hope that our voices of unity can still make a difference.