Months ago, talking with my mother about the upcoming elections, I told her something I haven't told many people. I said it doesn't matter who wins. I explained that our country is so deeply gone, that to have Hillary would be the same slow death, to have someone like Trump would just mean we crashed sooner and woke sooner. I said that if Hillary was elected, what would most likely happen is that we'd feel just safe enough to keep not doing anything. But if Trump won, maybe it would be such a fucking tragedy, maybe it would scare us so much, that maybe we couldn't keep walking around like we do right now, pretending everything is just going to be fine as we sip on our almond milk lattes.
I said maybe Trump would mean that we'd finally get upset enough to do something, and when I say "we," I mean those of us who have had the privilege to believe that something like Hillary Clinton becoming the POTUS would mean we'd be saved.
This morning on a group text, a friend said "this is so fucked." And it would be great to think that THIS is where fucked began. But it's not the truth. FUCKED is what we have always been.
We started this country with slavery. We killed off the Native Americans and raped the land. Women have never been equal. Racism has NEVER not been. This is like, not the day it got bad. It's BEEN bad. All this is here is the day that people with privilege and the ones who have something to lose, finally feel what so many of our disenfranchised brothers and sisters have been feeling for their entire lives and for entire generations.
In other words...
This is not the worst thing. The worst things have been happening. We just haven't felt it like, say, a young black man living in Oakland does.
We didn't just wake up today to a spontaneous rock bottom. We didn't just trip into a hole. We've been headed this way for a long time. We live in a country where people sleep on the streets, children go hungry, 300,000 of our babies take guns to school, and ~1 in 100 of us are in prison. This is the short list. And, none of this happened last night.
There is so much good here in this country. So much good. But there is so so so so so so so much wrong. Most of us don't know where to begin. And so we don't. We sleepwalk through this nightmare, and we wait for it to magically get better. And it doesn't. It gets worse. To me, Hillary would have been a continuance of this magical thinking. Hillary would have relieved us of an idea that we had to actually do something. And so we'd just go to work today and celebrate and fist pump Susan B. Anthony and wipe our hands and say "okay now I can relax." So maybe, just maybe, thank God that didn't happen.
Today we are sitting here and most of us are thinking the power has just passed to a madman. Except it hasn't. Because no one man, no one woman, no one corporation, no one government - no one anything outside of us - can take away the power that is inherently ours, that is inside us. Inside You. Inside Me.
So today while our hearts are breaking and we are saying things like "what do we tell our babies" and we are scared and we feel helpless and we are angry and all the things we so rightly feel - remember that we also must ask this:
What can I do, today?
What one damn thing can I do with that force of one thousand suns inside of me to make our country a better place?
And then we go and do that one thing. And then? We do it again tomorrow, and we do it again the next day, and we do it all the days for the rest of our god damn lives. Until we can do no more. Until we can look in our mirrors and know that we came here and we did everything in our power to leave a better something behind.
And what we should not do? Is sit around and bitch that we are fucked. Because we are not fucked unless we let ourselves be fucked.
This is NOT how the story ends. This is just the part of the story where we wake the fuck up and remember we've had the power the entire time. Just like Dorothy.
I know you are scared. I am too. But I also know there's a part in each of us that knows we are alive at this time to do big things.
So let us with our breaking hearts and shaking legs stand up and scream from our bones and guts and hearts "we are not afraid to do this because we were born to do this."
And then let's get our asses to work.