Since the presidential election, I’ve been unable to find the right words to express how I feel. I jokingly tell people that I’ve put the election results in a file labeled “I’ll deal with it later” and I’ll finally crack it open and tackle it when I’m emotionally able to do so. It’s like I’ve stuck my head in the sand, or I have my hands over my ears and I’m screaming at the entire world: “La-la-lah! I can’t hear you!” While I say these things with my lips curved slightly upward in what might be the beginnin’s of a smile (because smiling hurts these days), I kinda-sorta actually really mean it.
I’m not ready to accept the results. Or… while I’ve accepted them, I’m not ready to deal with the consequences of them. He Who Shall Not Be Named (HWSNBN) is not someone that I can honor or respect because he and his very vocal supporters stand for things I find reprehensible. The number of hate crimes that have occurred in the weeks since the election in the name of him (whose name will not be on my blog) make me ill and make me afraid because, as my rabbi put it, my house “is made up of a black man and an soon-to-be-Jew.”
While I’ve filed away these results and the fear that would shake me to my very soul if I let it, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can be a positive force in the world these next four years (or until the inevitable impeachment hearings start). As a couple, we’ve settled on three things: Organizing, Donating, and Caring.
Organizing: The first thing we’re doing is getting involved in our local Democratic organizations. There are several, and we’re joining them. Our party needs to put forth ethnically diverse candidates who can speak to the future of America because, while HWSNBN’s win is basically the last stand of a scared, older white constituency, the future of our America will not look as it did in the past, regardless of the many white supremacists who are crowing gleefully about this election. I want to be here to support diverse, strong candidates and help elect them to office. They will lead us into the future. Not HWSNBN, Newt, Rudy or any other withered, liver-spotted GOP cronies who doesn’t know jack squat about what America’s actually like today.
Donating: We’re going to start contributing monthly to several charities effective my next payday. The first one is Planned Parenthood. We know they will be under constant attacked by a GOP-controlled government and Planned Parenthood (PP) does a lot of good in this world. They deserve our support.
In addition to PP, we’re giving to our local humane society because… well… fluffy pets! With so much horrible in the world right now, puppies and kitties are happy spots.
Finally, we’re giving to an organization called The Survivor Mitzvah Project that supports Holocaust survivors in Eastern Europe. While it’s not an American-based charity, it’s a personal thing for me, and another way for me to help care for the Jewish people who have been so welcoming to me.
Caring: This is the idea that’s still forming and I’m going to need to look at resources in neighboring King and Pierce counties to fully develop it, but in addition to supporting the local Jewish communities, of course, I want to find a way to get involved in outreach to Settle metro’s Muslim population. I want to say, “Hello, I’m here, and I’m a friend.” I’m sure these opportunities will come up, and I’ll ask my rabbi for resources, as well, but now, more than ever, I want to stand in solidarity with those who are and will be marginalized in America’s temporary stay in the nuthouse.
While my “I’ll deal with it later” file is pretty full (and oddly orange colored), I’m trying to forge ahead and be positive. I’m not gonna lie – I’m scared as hell. But I hope that activism and love can get me through – can get all of us through. Now if only I could get all this sand out of my hair…