The Politics Post: Part Two
The following is cross-posted from my Facebook page, where I've been sharing my thoughts on the 2016 election and its results. I turned off the comments on my blog a couple of years ago because this is primarily a safe outlet wherein I share my personal views, in-depth thoughts, and difficult experiences; however, I welcome differing opinions and respectful conversations across my other social media platforms. What I won't ever tolerate is disrespect, bullying, or name-calling. And on the subject of politics especially, I don't appreciate snark because that's another form of mockery, and mockery is not OK. I don't care what side you were on in this election--you had your reason for voting as you did, and I respect that. What I do care about is the negativity that was nurtured during the campaign and the hatred that's transpiring by those emboldened by the words of this man. It's not everyone, I know, but it's enough. And I've had enough. I pray that on this, at least, we can come together and make this a safe and better world for everyone in it.
Now that I've had a few days to process everything that's transpired this past week, I know what I want to say. Even if what I think and feel is ever-evolving, as it should be, I'm moved to share what's in my heart right now.
I've seen a lot of people using the phrase, "get over it" these last few days in response to others expressing their reactions, their opinions, and their emotions--their very self--in the wake of the outcome of this election. It's a harmful term, negative in its connotation and dismissive in its very definition. It invalidates the very real, very visceral emotions that people are feeling--emotions they have every right to.
Loved Ones, you do not have to "get over it"--now, or anytime soon. Do not let someone's cavalier attitude invalidate your experiences. Do not let these dismissive words prevent you from processing the events--and their effect on your life--as you need to process them. "Get over it" implies that something was minor and insignificant, and we all know this election was anything but.
It is not about winning or losing. It is not about one side holding power and sway over the other. It is not about sides at all. It is not about shattering glass ceilings or history being made. It isn't even about the politics. What this election--and these profound emotions in reaction to the outcome--is about is the threat to our own democracy and the rights of our brothers and sisters; it's the very real possibility that those rights we've fought so hard for will be eradicated as promised. It's the violence that is ensuing now from those who are emboldened by those promises, by the hatred that was nurtured, as the rights that are meant to protect us even now are infringed upon.
This is not an isolated issue. This problem doesn't belong to someone else, someone over there, in that "other group." This is not about "them, not me." This affects every single one of us--yes, even you, who feel like you're safe because you're x, not y and z.
This affects you, too.
Get over it? No. We will not dismiss what we are experiencing so casually. And I hope no matter who you voted for that you won't either.
Of course these protests won't change the outcome, but that's not what the protests are for. While we will have to accept our new President-Elect, we don't have to stand for the hatred that's been nurtured. These protests are to show the world just that--that we will not lay down and accept the physical violence and verbal assaults caused by racism and bigotry. While that poison seeps through the cracks in our society, we will become the antidote, those from both sides standing up and pushing back, hundreds of thousands of voices showing up to say it will not be permitted in these streets, in these schools, in this home.
We will not get over it. Getting over it implies acceptance, and we will not accept children who fear going to school because they hear friends echoing their parents' chants to build a wall, women who are reluctant to leave the safe space of their home because there are those who believe we're property belonging to them, men who cannot provide for their families, who fear for their very lives, because they are tormented by small minds who refuse to see beyond religion or the color of their skin.
Process your emotions. Feel and heal as you must. And channel that hurt, that fear, that anger into action.
But be better. Be a force for good. React with kindness and love. Stand up for each other--and if you can't stand up for someone, at least stand beside them. Let them know they're not alone in the world. Let them know they have allies and friends.
Don't stop fighting for what's right. Don't stop being strong for each other. Don't get over this. Don't ever get over this.