Yesterday was a difficult day. Many of us went to bed too late on Tuesday night, after drinking too much, and woke up to a political reality that we find personally terrifying and morally appalling. One friend told me that her college students, many of whom are minorities, are actively scared. Many friends worried about the state of women’s health care. I personally wonder if my family’s health insurance will be taken away, or become even more expensive if our subsidy is reduced or eliminated. I worry about families who receive food stamps and non-profits who receive government funding. I worry about my son growing up with a president who rates women on looks and compliance alone.
At the same time, we can and must move forward.
Racism, xenophobia and misogyny are factors in how we got here, yes, and we must stand against their enduring legacy in our country, but there is no one answer. As compassionate, curious citizens in a democracy we must also concern ourselves with how to improve life for everyone, yes, including those who just elected Donald Trump as our next president, while upholding the values of inclusivity and diversity.
There are a few smart lists of how to do this circling the internet. This open letter from 100 national leaders who are women of color is a good place to start. Jake Dobkin at Gothamist and Anil Dash both managed to clear their heads yesterday and write reflections and calls to action. If you need permission to step back for a bit, I’m troubled by this Garrison Keillor piece from the Washington Post, but there’s a place for it. And, after staring at my screen, reading everything on the internet until it felt like my eyes were bleeding, I talked to a few kind people in Brooklyn about their advice for this difficult time, compiled below. I also think step one is taking a media break for a few days–including social media–to eat dinner with people you love, hug your kids and be thankful for all we have and the opportunity to stand up for it. After you read this, of course.
Join a new community
I wasn’t happy when George W. Bush won in 2000, or 2004, but the way I feel about this election has a deep sense of moral crisis for me. I’m not religious, but in search of spiritual guidance, I reached out to Reverend Vince Anderson, who you may know from his Monday night services at Union Pool with his band, The Love Choir. Anderson is serious about music and faith, beauty and art in a way that is expansive, inclusive and profound. Maybe you’re repelled by anything that smacks of religion, or maybe there’s something comforting and positive about connecting to community in a different way than you’re used to–which is something we will all need to embrace in the years to come.
I emailed him yesterday morning to ask his thoughts and this is what he wrote back:
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