The election is over, the ballots have been counted and a new president has been chosen. Is it as fair with this as with any other election to say democracy has spoken and yet, for so many of you, the outcome you see is the one you most feared.
It would be easy, at this point, to turn these few words into a bitter diatribe against your new president – a man noted for his racism, sexism and generally unethical nature – but now is not the time. A million words were used in the fight to prevent his win and they have not altered the uncertain future you now face. Re-hashing it all will make no difference.
Perhaps instead it is better to focus on the future, and on that crucial word ‘uncertain’, for in that word lies hope. For so many of you, the fear over what lies ahead looms, with visions of walls around Mexico, KKK resurgences and mass deportations all apparent possibilities. In the face of such eventualities, the future seems grim and frightening. Here, in the post-Brexit UK, there have been similar fears, and only a minority have been justified in comparison to the overall population. Our process is incomplete, our own future uncertain, but I say to you the same as to those of us in the UK:
You can fight this.
I am by no means inciting violence in these words. There are other ways in which we all can fight. Suffragettes marched, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus, hippies staged peace marches, rallies and sit-ins. There is always something you can do. In a world dominated by social media, voices are easily lost in the maelstrom, so don’t forget it is an ally AND a took. If you find yourself persecuted, find others who feel the same and make your voices heard. Protest peacefully, yet forcefully, and let social media spread your words. There is more strength in love than in hate. Remember that. Use it, and be better than the man who will guide your country. Be brave in the face of the fear he spreads. Spread love against his messages of hate. Now is the time to reject complacency in favour of the chance to make something – BE something – great. Your complacency is how he truly wins. Don’t let that happen.
America is YOUR country, not his, and you should fight like hell to keep it.