Eight years ago I felt joy the night after the election. I had seen the election of our first African American President. The only sadness I felt was that he had to beat Hillary Clinton to get that place on the ticket. I felt even more joy 4 years later when Obama was reelected. It felt like this country was ready to actually have the conversation about race and prejudice. It turns out, it was far from it and still is. I was thrilled, in this election to support a woman who was, in my opinion, the most qualified candidate in decades. I was thrilled to be able to actually vote for her.
Needless to say, I am not so excited right now.
Yes, I am very scared about what this election means. Yes, I am worried about what this means for the future of my country.
This entry is not about my fear. This entry is about what comes next. I was taught to never forget what happens when people don’t speak up for and fight to protect those targeted by hate. Regardless of what our next President says or does, he opened the door and made hate groups feel emboldened. They have stopped working in the shadows.
Those of us who value life and equality must speak out. We must fight along side with those being persecuted. We can’t stand on the sidelines and refuse to get involved. We must also try to show love even in the face of hate, even when it’s hard to do so. That will probably be the hardest thing to do, but it is necessary.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.