For everyone who’s asking me “where do we go from here?”, some thoughts:
Yesterday was the day that the myth of American democracy died. That doesn’t mean we quit, it just means facing reality. That is where we are. Grieve it, but see it for what it is.
Then note this: 100 million people didn’t vote in 2016. We must convert as many as possible to voters by November, while also understanding that the regime we’re living under now is going to do everything it can— including criminal conduct never before seen here— to maintain power.
If you haven’t educated yourself yet on combating systemic racism and oppression in daily life, do it now. Read the books of Ijeoma Oluo and Ibram X. Kendi. Follow Michael Harriot and Bree Newsome and The Root and so many others.
Understand that what got us here was a fundamental failure to reconcile the rot of slavery and genocide at the root of this nation, and that Trump is merely a symptom of that, not the root cause. That battle is ongoing, as it has been since the dawn of America.
Understand too that racism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia and transphobia, ableism are tools that were deployed by the right and by Russia to destroy democratic values, and not to put too fine a point on it, to destroy lives. They will continue to be until we dismantle them.
Those in power will not stop playing on hate to divide and conquer us. Hate is a national security issue as well as a systemic and interpersonal one, and it weakens us from the inside out. Learn how to fight it every time you see it—in yourself, others, in candidates, in the world
Engage in community with like-minded people. Create pockets of safety to grieve, to speak your mind, to collaborate and organize. Find inspiration in folks like LaTosha Brown and Melanie Campbell who are out in the streets and the halls of power every day fighting for justice.
Organize for 2020 and beyond like your life and the lives of everyone you know (and don’t know) depends on it, because it does.
Find joy where you can. Don’t be afraid to engage with it. Dance with your kids. Commune with your friends. Engage with nature and take time for silence. Appreciate how precious life is, how lucky we are, truly, to get to live it, and how fragile it all is too, right now.
And when things get worse (because they will), keep organizing, keep speaking the truth, keep working for change, keep looking power in the eye, keep fighting back in whatever way you can.
Now listen up: there’s a space inside each of us that they can’t take or access or buy or destroy. It’s the space of real power, the inherent worthiness that each of us came in here with, the space of bravery and determination, the well we tap when everything else runs dry.
We each must find it now. The will to keep going. The courage to do things that scare us because we know they are right. The groundedness in knowing we are all connected and the ferocious drive to manifest justice and righteousness in the world. We each must find it, and share it
It’s a day to get real about what’s ahead. And to understand that we must go to the place of courage we didn’t know we had, and compel others to do the same. Organize. Speak to your neighbors and friends. Create safety. Fight back. Educate yourself and others. Love hard.
What LaTosha Brown posted on Thursday was right, as always: “we who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.”
Go with courage. And keep going. That’s what I’ve got.
PS. Read these books.
Originally posted on Twitter. Re-posted with permission.
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