I have no words for the unadulterated calamity of Tuesday’s election results. With a lack of my own words, I have come to rely on the words of others that have gotten me through these past few days:
A close friend and colleague told me, while we reflected on the reality of a Trump presidency, that their family was from Germany and that a distant relative — a great uncle — was a Nazi. He wasn’t more than a child when he joined the Hitler Youth, but this fact weighed heavily on my friend’s heart because they knew that at some point good, decent people made a decision in Germany about whether to resist or go along with their government’s campaign of genocide. My friend told me they were afraid of being presented with a similar choice under Trump’s authoritarian presidency… and they were scared they wouldn’t be brave enough to make the right decision.
I don’t know what the next four years will portend for our Black, Brown, Asian, Muslim, LGBTQ, poor, disabled, Native and other communities. But I do know that we will be presented with a series of decisions. Some large and some small. But we must choose the brave choice each and every time.
Whether it’s something as simple as signing up to accompany a Muslim neighbor on their commute to work, or something bigger like taking action in solidarity with Standing Rock to resist the Dakota Access Pipeline, we must remember that we have access to our own resources, tangible and intangible, and we must take our own safety and liberation into our own hands — because we can no longer rely on our government for these things.