Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What Do We Do Now? Where Do We Go?

If you're at all a reasonable person, you're likely gripped by fear by the results of yesterday's election that have ensured that rapist and white supremacist Donald Trump will be the 45th President Of The United States. A man fueled by hatred is ruling our country, and his followers who love to burn black churches and support his rhetoric will only help ensure that the racially-based bigotry (which has always existed in our country for that matter) he has exploited for this election will become all the more prominent. Now would be a great time for someone to offer words that stir one's soul and let everyone know everything's going to be alright in the end.

That is not this piece of writing.

I have no clue what comes next folks. Hate has won, it is ruling this country I love so much and so many people in my religion (Christianity) are standing by him. A politician with decades of experience could have won this, and she almost did (hell, she won the Popular Vote), but alas, it was Trump who is now in charge of this country. A campaign based on fear and racist lies has resulted in our new leader and his influence and political views means civil liberties previously thought to be permanent staples of our country are now in grave danger of being eradicated.

Last night, I was scared and frustrated. Now, only fear fills my body. You see, this morning I awoke to see that the KKK were prancing around in North Carolina. That image alone sent me into a spiral of terror, and then I began to wonder if the KKK would resurface around the state I reside in, Texas. After all, Texas did go to Trump, will people in those menacing white hoods start showing up here? The thought of them hurting and spreading fear to people of color was already weighing down on my psyche. And then I thought of how the KKK said just 15 months ago how their members should kill gay people and my brain suddenly thought of my Uncles, two gay men who have been such an integral part of my life and influenced me so greatly, and the thought of a prospective Texas-based KKK charter hurting them. Those feelings of pain that I had kept inside since last night suddenly transformed into tears dripping from my eyes.

I don't want anyone to get hurt because of their skin color, gender or sexuality. We should take pride in this country over our differences, not let them separate us.  We should be growing in our acceptance of individuals as the years go by not blatantly regress like this. I'm not naive enough to think this countries been an eternal idyllic racial, gender and sexuality based paradise, but for Christs sake, I thought we were better than Trump. And yet, here's Trump running a campaign centering on white nationalism and cruelty towards all that aren't straight white men. I was wrong. So horribly wrong. And I doubt I'm the only one who feels this way about this election, that's why I'm writing up this piece. I can't offer a foolproof solution to this disastrous election, no one can.

But I can reassure anyone going through turmoil right now that you're not alone. You are not the only one whose sad today. Perhaps we can find some minor consolation in our unity in our understandable sorrow. So, what can we do now? Well, let's all participate like hell in the 2018 United States Senate Election. And we also need to listen to the experiences of people of color, women and LGBTQA individuals in these next four years. We now have a President who can't seem to go a week without insulting women or an entire ethnicity and, as a white guy, I will never truly experience the sort of hell the folks Trump's specifically targeted over multiple decades are about to experience for four straight years.

To all the types of people Trump has insulted, let me personally say you are so extraordinarily brave and remind you that Trump and his followers are on the wrong side of history, not you. Beyond that, let's all try to spread love and kindness whenever we can and always stand up to the inevitable inequality that will emerge from this wretched administration. We are going to need courage in these dark and uncertain times ahead. As for today, I'm just trying to work through the pervasive fear that's clouding my mind and hoping that one day I will regain the urge to write movie reviews again. Such matters feel so trivial right now though in the face of oppressive darkness and fear, maybe that's why I don't feel compelled to do my usual film-based writing at the moment.

I know I'm not alone in feeling this low this morning and I want you all to know that none of us alone in this life. It may seem like it sometimes, especially on days like today, but there are always others. In the words of Patton Oswalt:

This is a giant planet and we're lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they're pointed towards darkness.
But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We'd have eaten ourselves alive long ago.
So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, "The good outnumber you, and we always will."

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