With CNN News Channel in the background, I woke up, showered, had breakfast and got ready to walk out the door. As the presidential election results continued to stream in, I could feel the knot in the pit of my stomach tightening. Realizing I had been standing by the door fully kitted ready to leave for about 15 minutes, I walked back into the house, slowly put my hand bag down and sat down on the bed. I checked twitter and the news was disheartening; the unfathomable was unfolding right before my eyes. I made an Instagram post about uncertainty, and how I didn’t like dealing with not knowing. I undressed, got back in my pyjamas and crept back in bed, and disappeared under the covers. I felt helpless –the most terrifying emotion in my book. I can deal with any truth, however inconvenient; it’s the uncertainty, the suspense, that’ll get me every time.
I woke up to a phone call from hubby –I’d asked him to call me as soon as any official statement was made. And so he had: we were poised for a Trump Presidency come noon January 20th 2017. That was that; the silence was deafening.
I’ll spare you the details of the aftermath of that confirmation. What’s done is done. But here’s what I’ll say; the good old days that everyone keeps referring too weren’t so good for all of us. For many of us, our rights were denied, whether they be gender, race, religion, class, sexual orientation, etc. To understate things, there was quite a bit of suppression going on all around. I don’t believe in the suppression of some for the comfort of others, especially when both can co-exist without explicitly harming the other.
I believe in equality in all its forms. The US Declaration of Independence states in the second paragraph ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness’. These rights apply to all men, all men. Our job every single day is to ensure that no one is marginalized, that these rights are not denied any (wo)man, for we really are stronger together.
The fight for justice is far from won. We have come some distance here; one election is not what will stop our advancement. So now what? We call up strength from deep within us and we carry on. We cloth ourselves with dignity and move forward best we can. We smile from within and keep hope alive. Beyond surviving, we thrive. We love even deeper, harder. We stand with the marginalized, even as we ourselves are marginalized. We reach out to the fearful and we let them know we stand together, looking out for one another, closing ranks around each other. For in the final analysis we are together in this. From where I am standing, I am my brother’s keeper.