we are worth fighting for

I was complacent, really, in or just out of high school. Sure, I voted for President Obama in the ‘12 election. Voting Democrat doesn’t always make one aware of the situations facing people. 

I have been aware of hate for a long time, though, even if I didn’t always act against it via activism. I have felt betrayed for a long time by other people, people who hate, people who hate disabled and LGBTQ+ people like me. (In recent years, I have worked to be more intersectional and further the rights of people whose identities I don’t share, because we need that. It’s needed more than ever). 

***

The election – which I desperately wanted Trump to lose, which I desperately hoped Trump would lose, which I wasn’t sure he would lose, and which he didn’t lose – is bringing out a lot of fear in people. And of course there is fear.

A Babson College student drove his truck through Wellesley College, Clinton’s alma mater, and harassed students – namely, women of color – there. Swastikas are being painted and flown. The KKK is planning a victory rally in North Carolina. I have heard of Jews being assaulted, of Muslims being assaulted, of people of color being assaulted. Trump has promised to try and end sanctuary cities for undocumented people, increase immigration raids, and attempt immigration restrictions.

I will not say no one has nothing to fear. I will not say things are okay. Those statements would be lies. I fear for my friends. I fear for people who are not my friends, people I don’t know. I try to not think about myself, but I do wonder about my psych med prescriptions, my queerness and any ramifications from LGBTQ+ people being targeted, and I am suddenly wondering how long it will be before I might lose the ability to get insurance because of pre-existing conditions – and again, I wonder about the psych med prescriptions that help me stay stable.  

***

But here’s the thing… Trump wants us to hate each other. Trump wants all of us, the marginalized, to be terrified out of our wits and not trusting any of each other. Trump wants us to only trust certain silos of our activist movements and for people to pick a dominant identity and stay with that one – Trump wants us to ignore intersectionality. Trump wants us to burrow down, ignore each other.

There are people who are out there who are working to change things: people who are thinking about going into law and public policy, people who are deciding where to volunteer, people offering kindness. We can respond to everyday bigotry. We can fight on. We can fight on. We can organize to prevent damaging policies. We can be in solidarity against hate crimes. We can fight on. We can fight on. If you cannot organize or take action directly, do not be too harsh on yourself.

I will not say that times weren’t rough already for some of us, that our safety nets for people were perfect, that America pre-Trump was a haven for everybody. I will say: we have fought especially dark times before.

(As this article says, “existence is defiance.”

And we are worth fighting for).

***

Here are some other posts that have reactions to the election, and ways we can move forward, to be updated:

I Wanted to Believe (+ mental health resources)

I wanted to believe. I wanted to believe this country could do this. But we didn’t, so I want to say, now: Hold each other up, hold each other, we will do our damndest to make sure as many of us as possible make it. Please don’t kill yourselves. I know how painful it is to watch over half the country vote, in essence, for (at the least, an effort at) the total destruction of human rights here. I know what it’s like to want to die. I know what it’s like to be close to it. But please don’t. Hold each other up. Hold each other. Please try to survive. Find any reason you can. Remember that your existence is defiance.

Please stay alive.

***

Here are some resources, I originally created them for a support group I’m part of – they are mostly taken from my mental health resources page. Some of them are specific to certain identities, like gender or racial identities.

***

Other Blog Posts on Moving Forward

 

Waiting for Wednesday Morning and a Plea: Election 2016

This is not the blog post I intended to write; I had to create an entire new category on blog for this post. I wanted to write about other things. But I have a plea to make.

It’s Monday night, and my Tumblr queue is stocked like the beginning of many people’s ends may not start with the results of the election Wednesday. My emotional support cat sits nearby grooming herself; I drink Celestial matcha green tea. Tomorrow I will go to the grocery store and do more work and then wait for Wednesday morning. I will not stay up to watch the election results. I will wake up on Wednesday morning and know almost immediately the moment I get online before I go to therapy.

Someone I don’t actually know on Tumblr put it best when they said that voting for Trump is going to kill people if he wins, and not because we’ll suddenly be in 1930s Europe. Our rights would not disappear overnight. They would disappear slowly and then later, all at once. More people will die if Trump wins; it will be because all the things we have that help people will slowly cease to exist, violent hate crimes will increase sharply, human rights violations will skyrocket, and we will stop being able to talk about it. We will cut benefits as sharply as the U.K. and more. They wrapped up the post with:

And we will die. Either through neglect or our own hands. But we WILL die. And you won’t know it because no one will talk about it. One day you’ll look up and there will be another hole where an entire generation has been ripped away from life for no other reason than being who they were.

I know we already have human rights violations and hate crimes and that our welfare net for disabled people, low-income people, and anyone else who needs help is not enough. I know this country is not the land of the free for some people. I know this country could do so much better. I know people are worried about Clinton’s foreign policy. Do you really think Trump would be better? Would a third party or write-in protest vote save more people when it might help elect Trump?

Trump would make everything unbearably worse. So many more of us would die.

Please don’t vote Trump. Please don’t vote third party – this is not that election.

Related Posts and Articles

Voting Resources