Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Recognize our humanity in each other

After the initial shock that we could allow such hatred to flourish, I have had great faith restored by the beautiful and most important people in my life tonight. I have watched us comfort and console, challenge and support each other in raw, difficult, and real ways.

Here's what I know- we all recognize change is needed- we all believe we can do better- as a country, as a world, but also as individual humans. So let's do that- let's do better. "When they go low, we go high"... And not just high cause pot is legal in more places but high where we continue to stand proudly in who we are, where we continue to use all of our voices in the name of good. Where we protect and honor each other more - because clearly we have already too often failed at that.

So stand for what you believe in, stand for justice, stand for hope, and equality.

If you wanted to completely flip American politics- congratulations you have succeeded- so now what will you do?

Now what will we as a county stand for? Will we really continue to decide our government should have a say in our bodies (I thought that small government idea was a thing- so why are there laws about my body)?
Will we really allow people to starve in front of our eyes?
Will we return to when our elders were left with even less than they have now? Will we take away healthcare from the most vulnerable?
Will we really take away the rights of loving couples to be married?
Do we sleep well at night turning away immigrants who pursue the American Dream?
Are we really okay with so many young black kids being killed?
Are we really okay with corporations as people?
Or that so many of our civil liberties are not being supported or upheld?
What will we stand for as a country?

Or as my internal optimist cling to the little shreds of hope- might we start to unravel the complexities of social issues and economic decisions we have tied together as if they are the same thing, might we begin to see how interdependent we truly are, might the insanity of how divided our nation has become allow us to unify around the central tenants for which we all stand?

If I let this election silence me, then I have surely weakened the causes I most believe in. If I let this election enliven the passion and commitment of my values, and so do you, then maybe we can be one step closer to a better world.
 Trumps's messages have been against everything I believe in- against diversity on all levels, bigoted, racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableism bullshit - that is exactly what I as an anthropologist and a human reject. But maybe we can prove ourselves far better than that hate. Maybe when given the potential to destroy so many lives, maybe we can all decide on some basic decency and respect that we could share in common. My greatest hope is that we can recognize the humanity in each other once again- that's my mission as an anthropologist- that's why I teach. I want us to recognize our humanity in each other.

We have the power to do that- no government can take that from us or decide that for us. We the people create the world in which we want to live. So whoever is in office- maybe we can all search our hearts for compassion and maybe that can help unite us.

All I really know is that the people in my life are amazing- they are beautiful, intelligent, inspiring humans who are unbelievable forces of good in this world. I can sleep now- thinking of all of you out there working for a better world.

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