I’m sitting here, coffee in hand and slightly hungover, in complete shock. Our nation by-passed a qualified individual who could run this country with dignity and a united front and elected a misogynistic, racist, homophobic and morally and intellectual inept man to the highest office in the country. Devastated doesn’t begin to describe what we as a nation feel.
Many people, including myself, feel frightened for themselves, family, and friends at the next four years to come. With the unfair and brutal treatment of minorities, blatant disregard for females, and out-and-out violent behavior towards the gay community, how do we actually survive?
Easier said than done when we’re faced with a population that believe in killing people because of who they love or what color they are. However, this is proving to us that now more than ever, we need kinder people in this world. We need people who are brave, polite, and who see the good. So, be that person.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS.
Don’t wait for people to tell you your rights because they won’t. This man believes that basic rights are unnecessary and that The Constitution are guidelines, not rules. Know what rights you have as an individual, from sexual assault and harassment in the workplace to basic rights as an immigrant to what constitutes as discrimination by school committees. Yes, they seem minute, but they won’t be when you run across the problem in real-time.
The whole point of democracy is that an election is not the end say of who we are as a country. It may feel like it during these times, but it only becomes true when we stop trying to make our voices heard. Now, I realize this becomes more of a challenge when people fear for their lives in the process (i.e. mobs, open shooters, etc.). However, you don’t have to have a podium to speak up. Use whatever means are available to you: call out friends on racist remarks, post informative articles on social media, assist with activist groups.
EDUCATE THE CHILDREN.
Clearly, this election has taught our children that a grossly under-qualified and bad-tempered (to say the least) man will win out over a dignified woman who has dedicated her life to public service. Not only has this election truly pointed out the ugliness of our society greatly devaluing our women, it’s given the green light for sexual assault, violent behavior, and aggressive prejudice.
Teach the children because our education has failed us as a people. If you have kids, take the time to talk to them about racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and sexism.
EDUCATE YOUR NEIGHBOR.
There’s a fine line between educating because you care and educating because you think you know better than everyone else. Unfortunately, a lot of Facebook updates come off as the latter. Don’t engage in political arguments on social media. Instead, offer something of substance: latest articles, pieces explaining political processes, moral and ethical standards, etc.
When all else fails, do. Always do. Volunteer to help in your community. Volunteer with large charities looking for global impact. You are a valuable member of society, and as such, you hold an immense amount of weight on important issues, but only when you take action on them.
Elections are wonderful at pointing out large differences. Most people, including myself, try to live by a philosophy of not letting politics get in the way of a relationship. However, that is challenging when some political beliefs get to the core of who we are. It’s time to let go of people who don’t share in your belief that racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and sexism are blatantly wrong. And, if they voted for Trump, they don’t share in your belief, no matter what their justification is.
Remember to protect yourself. Always be on the look-out for suspicious behavior. Never let your loved ones wander into unsafe territory alone. Don’t panic; we’ve got this.