This election has shown me some of the ugliness that exists in this country, but something good has come out of it that I couldn’t have predicted and it has given me hope.
Over the last few days I have spent a lot of time on Facebook. Not just scrolling through, but actively engaging with people. Through this, I have met a few people who, like me, are saddened by what is taking place in this country. They are saddened by the racism, sexism, and hate in general for people who are not white, straight, and Christian. Within these various groups of strangers, I have found my voice. That may sound funny to some who know me, since I never seem to be silent, but the truth is that I have been.
When people make remarks that are racist, I have been silent. When men make sexist jokes, sometimes even directed at me, I have been silent. When someone says something disparaging about a different religion, I have been silent. My silence tells people that it’s okay. My silence makes me an accomplice to the hate. This is not okay. It’s never okay.
Through random post in random groups on Facebook, I have met people, who are complete strangers, encouraging one another to join together to fight the hate. They are pledging to “Love, honor, and call out racist bulls***” when ever they see it. They want to “create a world filled with learning, laughter, and compassion” and to “work together to foster equality knowing that together we will build a world far better than we could imagine alone.” Is not an amazing attitude to have at a time like this?
For those of you shaking your heads and denying that there’s anything wrong with the new leadership. There is. Maybe not for you, but for many there is. Since Tuesday night, suicide hotline calls from LGBT teens has gone through the roof. They are scared of future legislation that might restrict their lives or threaten their safety. Whole schools have dismissed early because of an abundance of racial slurs and threats. Families are worried about being torn apart. This friends, is a problem. A problem that was caused by silent compliance. I read a blog post earlier. Here it is so I don’t have to write it all out: The Cinemax Theory of Racism Basically, someone who voted for Trump, even if they are not racist, sexist, or any of the other things he stands for, they were willing to accept those things in order to “Make America Great Again.”
In random Facebook conversations, in Random Facebook groups, I have seen that America is already great, if you know where to look. I have seen that there is hope for our future. The hope is in people who want to make this country great for everyone in it. The hope is not in the silence – the hope is in the collective voices of those standing up against all the terrible things that the election of that man represents.