The Last Thing They Expect Is For You To Be Strong
You have borne witness to an American tragedy.
You have witnessed the American electorate nominate a xenophobic buffoon into the highest office of the land. This high office has been made low. The American presidency is now a joke and it's not even a funny one. The joke is classless, in poor taste and the more you look at it, the sicker you become.
They will tell you to get over it.
They will tell you to give him a chance and that this is all a normal part of the election process.
Don't listen to them. This is not normal. They are trying to placate you into believing that you can do nothing about the ugly, bigoted turn that this great nation has taken. They will tell you to stay at home and not to take any action.
It seems like the easy choice. Your generation has never been faced with the prospect of having to do any real activism. You have never NEEDED to stand for anything. For the last eight years you have felt safe in the prospect that the president basically cares about all Americans of all ethnicities, religions and sexual identities. You have seen LGBTQ rights expanded to unprecedented levels in the last few years. You have been able to focus on your own life without having to be concerned about the world of politics at large. You have smartphones and reality television, why worry about geopolitical issues and the direction of American society?
Did you know that all the while a monster was brewing?
Did you know the poor and disenfranchised in the middle of this country were angry, seething and spiteful? The economy in the 50's that provided any able-bodied American with a good paying factory job was long gone. These people were struggling with the reality that society has moved on without them. The left had won the culture war and they couldn't make their voices heard to their government. Wall Street and crony capitalism had greedily gutted them and they couldn't take out revenge on anyone for their struggles. The men in the high towers were out of reach and free from reproach.
Until someone took advantage of their anger.
A professional con man with a gold plated elevator who they recognized from T.V. told them that he empathized with their struggle. He also was uncomfortable with having a black man for president for eight years, and he sure as hell wouldn't want to suffer the indignity of having a woman be his president after that.
He used fear and hate to his advantage and emboldened his audience into action. He replaced the racist dog whistle with a full on bullhorn and it worked like a charm. His audience grew and his populace became impassioned and fortified. He was promising them that they could get their country back.
These people bought it hook line and sinker.
On the other side, the Democratic party was putting all of its bets on an establishment candidate with a familiar last name. Despite the emergence of a viable candidate that had the populist vote and the passion of the youth without the baggage of corruption looming behind him, he was shut down. The Democratic party decided that this was HER time and you were going to get her in. You had to be enthusiastic about her. You had to be on fire about her despite the nagging feeling that she wasn't very authentic when she spoke and her unpopularity was notorious. Didn't matter, said the DNC. You were supposed to hold your nose and vote for her anyways because the alternative was horrendous.
It didn't work.
Now here we are, this was a massive failure on all sides.
Your president elect in his infinite wisdom is instilling a known anti-semite, into the position of chief strategist in his cabinet. All bets are off as far as having a kinder, gentler president than the nominee who was elected. So don't believe that he won't try to make good on his campaign promises, we are already too far down the rabbit hole to turn back now.
They Think They Have The Monopoly On Strength
You see, the people who lost the culture wars in the last decade believe that you are weak. They think that you are lazy and complacent. THEY have the guns. THEY have the discipline. THEY have the market cornered on hard work and ingenuity.
They call you Libtards and sheep.
You now have the opportunity to prove them wrong.
The Last Thing They Expect Is For You To Be Strong
I see my former students marching on the streets. I am proud of each and every one of them.
People I know disparage them and regard them with disdain and it makes me furious.
Hipsters and Millenials were once a culture of irony and passionlessness. Now they are standing up for something they believe in. They are saying that they won't stand for bigotry and hate. They won't be bystanders while women's reproductive rights are stripped away. They won't watch all the societal progress that's been made become stripped away legislation by legislation.
This could be the new 60's.
I know that it's scary, people will be targeted. Some may be hurt, others may even die. The easy choice is to stay quiet while your 1st amendment rights are being eroded until you won't be able to even lift a finger in protest. Action must be taken. You must stand, you must fight.
If you didn't vote or wrote in "Harambe", then you owe us
You are culpable in this and I will accept nothing less than your full participation in turning this around. I will treat you with disdain until you make yourself part of the solution.
You may be depressed, angry and heartbroken over this turn of events
I feel you, I am there. It comes and goes in waves. Once you pull yourself out of it you must decide how you will move forward. Years later your children may ask you why this happened and they may even be curious about what you did about it.
Shame on you.
What will your answer be?
Financially support at risk institutions
John Oliver has a handy guide about what to do now starting at 19:30.
This is nothing short of a terrible turn of events. The only opportunity I see is a movement that will define this generation.