Like many of you, I have spent this week feeling a mixture of fear, nausea, and shock. Now there is someone at the upper echelons of government whose stated views about everyone that is not a white Christian male—not to mention our planet earth—is disdain. I’ve had a hard time knowing the best way to respond. I would like to share ten thoughts that are guiding me now:
We need to take good care of ourselves in this time. Eat well, drink water, nourish yourself. Being healthy means you can help others in need.
Find strength in each other. Community magnifies our power. It is a dark moment, but we must never let our hopes and dreams dim.
Be vigilant. Pay careful attention to those under attack: Women, Muslims, immigrants, Hispanics, Native Americans, Jews, LGBTQ, and Mother Earth. Attacks have already dramatically increased since the election. There must be zero tolerance for condescending, racists, misogynistic behavior. An attack on one is an attack on all.
Bring healing to this moment. I refuse to believe that the millions who voted for Trump are all racist and misogynistic people. There are some, to be sure. But many working class people across the country are suffering. Their vote this week shows it.
Commit to kindness and compassion. We must build bridges in our society, not walls. An us versus them mindset is counter-productive. Seek to understand first.
Be creative. Write. Make art. Make media. Facilitate the voices of others—especially those in targeted communities. These stories will connect people and enrich all of our lives.
Be active politically. Mobilize now. We need to quickly determine what organizations will be most useful in this time and build connections between them. ACLU Nationwide. 350.org. MoveOn.org. There are many. Let’s share resources, not work in silos.
46.9% of eligible voters did not vote on November 8—that’s 20% more than either Clinton or Trump received. It doesn’t help that Congress did not reauthorize the voting rights act. The years of Republican redistricting and suppression through voter ID laws are designed to make it harder for working people and people of color to vote.
From where I sit today I think we should immediately focus on increasing voter access across the nation, elect progressive candidates and retake control of both the House and Senate in two years.
Use your limited time and energy wisely. Facebook is a great way to network and build community, but it can also be an eddy—leaving us swirling in circles and not moving downstream. Act intentionally and thoughtfully with your very finite resources.
Resist. Obstruct any regressive policy. If actions are proposed or enacted that will hurt people, that will hurt the planet on which we all depend, they must be emphatically and actively resisted. The November 9th joint statement from California’s legislative leaders was powerful, as were Governor Jerry Brown’s comments to “lead the resistance” against Trump’s possible changes on climate and health care. Oregon, Washington, let’s join forces with California on this. To the nation’s first LGBTQ Governor Kate Brown: Your November 9th statement was a good start, now let’s turn that into the entire Pacific coast.
When it comes to resistance, violence is counter-productive. The petty and misdirected vandalism that happened in Portland last night plays directly into the hands of those who would like to seize power by force. The news calls it a “riot.” It gets seen around the world. Not only is it misdirected (What does smashing cars in a Toyota dealership have to do with Donald Trump?), but it allows the entirety of the protest to be painted in a negative way. We must not give someone with authoritarian tendencies this kind leverage. We hold the moral high ground. Let’s act like it.
The Trump election can be a catalyst for a positive movement.
Tomorrow we begin.