What do we do now- Speak up.
I am worried. I am a straight white male Christian in the upper middle class. A Trump presidency will probably be financially pretty good for me. Four years of tax cuts to big business will make my stock portfolio go up as my dividend returns increase. More tax cuts will help me and my ownership of my properties as tax deductions for home ownership will increase. I have a wonderful family safety net that if I were to lose my job, house, car, money, I would be able to move in with them and not become homeless or need governmental support. I have a job that pays for my schooling. Medical care is covered by my company sponsored health plan. I am not personally in trouble in anyway. I am married to a wonderful woman. The 1/32 African DNA in my blood that would exclude me from voting privileges in times past does not show in my outwardly facing white skin. My rights and life will not be infringed upon in the next four years. I am however worried for the future of our country.
We are being called to come together. To respect the voices of those who fought deeply to approve that what you might hate. I love our country and its values of allowing people to have opinions that might go against everything I stand for. I love our country where the KKK, no matter how horrible an organization, has the freedom to express their views. My respect for that freedom does not mean I have to respect that choice to oppress and deny the rights of other parts of humanity. I in no way have to respect those people for their views. With your mark you have voted to ban a portion of country to be treated equally. Like slavery, Japanese internment camps, and Woman’s suffrage we must fight for equality and the blurring and breakdown of divides.
We can disagree on taxes; is it better to trickle down or rise up. We can disagree on if access to higher education is good for expansion of an economy and tax base to help our country grow. An argument can be made on if our government should help the less fortunate or let them pull themselves up. What is right and what is wrong on an economical stance can be debated. There is no one clear answer and its solution could be D, all of the above. Even the invisible hand of the free market sometimes needs a fist bump instead of a middle finger. Should NASA have more government funds from our taxes to expand our understanding of the universe or should they be largely defunded. I can respect any side of these topics and as American’s, we all should. On these topics it is a stab in the darkness to hopefully pull a rabbit or hit a bullseye. We just don’t know for sure and must respect and debate both sides.
What I can’t respect is an ideology of hate, fear and oppression.
Marriage equality will be made illegal at the federal level, defining love and family as one man and one woman. The friends and family I have that love a person with their all their heart will be put in jeopardy. Their marriage could be made illegal. Their love and family could be trivialized to an inaccurate point of pedophilia or bestiality. The fight of “religious freedom” for companies to deny services to the LGBT community will become law. A company will have the right to not serve you if they feel your life choices do not align with their religious beliefs. Did we not learn anything from segregation and Jim Crow of the middle part of the 20th century? We should not allow the rights of companies to decide who they will and will not serve a slice of cake. If you do not wish to serve everyone, then serve no one.
What I cannot respect is a belief that our actions towards our globe is not having negative impact on its climate. Science is not a belief. Our Earth is being shook to its tipping point of no return. If we do not act now, there will be no future world to worry about. The actions in the next four years could continue to put us on a path to climate catastrophe. Our president elect seriously believes that pollution is not having disastrous impacts on our planet.
Two, possibly three or four Supreme Court justices will be placed in the next four years who will be against abortions in all circumstances. Roe v Wade will be overturned. Those freedoms we have had for decades will be repealed. It will become illegal for women to make choices that may impact their health. A judge could punish a doctor or a mother for making a very personal decision on the importance of their health. Government should have no part in becoming involved in the treatment of a woman and their medical professional. Do I personally agree with abortions as a personal choice that I would make? No. I do however know that my beliefs of when and where life beings should not be imposed on the body of others.
Military service to help the spread of peace should be celebrated. Carry a big stick but we should not use it as a first swing of negotiations. Compromise, slow progress to peace and the expansion of who are considered our human family is the path to salvation. Bombs, war, hatred, fear and force will only further divide and separate ideological beliefs that are held more steadfastly and warped than bringing our minds to one global peace. Understanding what pushes us apart is the only thing that can bring us together.
We cannot give in to hatred. I pledge to stand up, speak up and say no to intolerance and hate. During the next four years when hatred and intolerance is presented, I will not remain quiet. I will stand and shout from my soap box about the possibilities of inclusion and the freedom of all people to live without fear. It is now that we must unite, to not give up, to not give in and lay back as freedoms are rolled back to a time when people had to hide in shadows and closets for fear of disastrous repercussions.
There are those who say to not let this ruin your friendships. They say to not facebook defriend based on differences of opinion of what equality means. I say no. I do not consent. Just as I would not accept a friend request from David Duke, I will not remain friends with those who spread hatred or beliefs that black lives don’t matter, pussy grabbing is funny, Mexicans are rapists or menstrual cycles are a means to humiliation. A bigot or womanizer will quickly find their place outside my circle of personal trust. A simple vote for Trump does not put you as a racist just as another vote does not make you a saint. Your actions outside of your vote put you in a box of racism or outside the confines for absolute freedom. Your bigotry, racism, hate or vial actions does not mean I will not be civil and kind to you. It simply means I do not wish to validate your beliefs by allowing you into my life as a friend.
We must have a peaceful transfer of power. Trump has amassed enough votes in the Electoral College to become our president elect. Clinton won the individual vote count but the EC is there to balance our country. If pure numbers were the only requirement then candidates would simply focus on the best thing for large population centers. With the EC the entire country gets a voice in pushing our democracy forward. This peaceful transfer of power does not mean we sit idle for the next four years. We must act. Speak up.
We have elected a Billionaire reality TV show star to the most important office in the world. The most important position in the history of humanity will be handed over to a man who thinks women should be rated on a beauty scale of 1 to 10. A man who believes that it is ok to say “grab them by the pussy “ in “locker rooms.” Make no mistake, he has not said sorry for his misogynistic talk but has defended those statements as “everyone is doing it.” This is the same line of thinking that allowed slavery to permeate in our country for longer than it ever should have been allowed. Even when we knew it was wrong, we continued. If we are turning our freedom into a reality show, so be it. I for one am going to fight in our immunity challenges over the next four years so that hate, greed, bigotry and all evil ideologically is purified off our island. Hatred will be fired.
What do we do now? Stand up to those who promote things that are wrong. Speak up. When you hear hate, get involved in the conversation. Speak up. Write a letter to your government officials about your stance on new legislation that is introduced. Speak up. Help to give a voice when the downtrodden are being silenced. Speak up. Spread love. Spread peace. Spread inclusion. Speak up.