A Time to Cry, A Time to Fight

Photo courtesy of Pixabay user MIH83.

The news today shook me to the core. It made me not want to roll out of bed, perhaps in the hope that if I curled up and slept all day I’d wake up from this bad dream. But this is no bad dream; this is our country’s chickens coming home to roost.

Today we will mourn. We’ll cry, stare dead-eyed at our screens, and perhaps even bend ourselves over bars among our fellow scared Americans. We’ll join together in pain, and let it out in raw, awful displays of emotions.

But tomorrow the crying must end. We can’t wallow in self-pity, because at this very moment the man elected to be our president is planning how he will destroy the livelihoods of millions of our fellow citizens, and his supporters are rallying to join him. This is not a question of simple politics anymore: it is a question of survival.

Tomorrow we strategize for the future. We come together as marginalized individuals, and create the communities we will need to survive the imminent onslaught. Divided we will assuredly be unable to protect ourselves, and we will all pay the price.

And so we must come together. We must meet in libraries, coffee shops, homes, and colleges. We must stand with each other, in solidarity. We must accept that we are now in danger, that we could lose our homes, our jobs, perhaps even our lives; we must know that there is no way that we emerge from this unscathed.

Then, once we are organized and ready to defend each other, able to find our footing in a world turned upside down, and at peace with the danger we are now in, we must do one more thing:

We must fight.

We must take to the streets. We must protest. We must disobey and disrupt. We must make our voices heard. We must protect our rights and the rights of those around us, and we must do so by any means necessary.

They wish for us to disappear, and they are willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen. But we will not disappear without a fight. We are Americans, who believe that we can make our country better even as it shows us its ugliest traits; we belong here as much as any of our fellow countrymen, no matter our gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or even immigrant status.

It will not be easy. We will have both the President and the entire Congress working against us for a minimum of two years. Meanwhile, the emboldened alt-right will attempt to act with carte blanche to suppress and hurt us at every turn, and will likely be given a pass to do so. This will painful, tedious, and could result in truly awful losses.

But we have been on the ropes before, and we pulled ourselves up and made our voices hear. Our generation and generations before us have changed the very culture of America with our actions, and we can do it again. We can make the Trump presidency the last hurrah of a dated, hateful ideology, and in four years finally begin to purge it from our country.

Donald Trump says he will make America Great Again. Let’s go prove to him that we’re the only ones who can do that.