To simply say, “It’s politics. We’ll get through it,” is not enough. To say nothing at all, cowardly.
Because this blog project reaches out to people across the globe, because its intention is to encourage open discussion, and because I rely on the generosity of strangers, I think I need to be honest about how I feel regarding the election of Donald J. Trump.
I am in pain.
Physically and emotionally, I am spent. Each night, I go to bed drained. Each morning, I wake up with a heaviness that follows me throughout the day.
The man who will now assume the highest office in my country does not have my respect. He does not have my trust. He never had my support. His racist and sexist rhetoric terrifies me.
But I am not alone. The people in my world are also hurting. My family and friends. Colleagues. The people I encounter on my walks around the neighborhood. The people I brush past in the grocery store. People who sit in eery silence in cafes and restaurants. People who are shutting down their social media platforms to get some peace.
Donald J. Trump does not represent me or anyone I know. How I will go forward from here is uncertain. In the meantime, I hope you will give me time to grieve. Recover.
I love this country. I love the spirit and passion of its people. But I am also painfully aware of the problems that got Donald J. Trump elected. Problems we have ignored for far too long.
One problem, in particular: racism.
In 1946, Albert Einstein addressed it in this talk at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. It is powerful and relevant to conditions in America today. One of my favorite quotes from that talk is this, “There is a separation of colored people from white people in the United States. That separation is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people. I do not intend to be quiet about it.”
In closing, I’d like to share a Michel de Montaigne quote my dear friend, Jenny Scott, posted. Thank you, Jenny, for the reminder that the only control I have is how I will respond to this development.
“To compose our character is our duty, not to compose books, and to win, not battles and provinces, but order and tranquility in our conduct. Our great and glorious masterpiece is to live appropriately.”