“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” ~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
For the first time ever following a presidential election, I woke up this morning and wept.
Because I am heartbroken about what happened last night.
Devastated that so many people in our country allowed fear and hatred to be the driving force in determining how they ultimately decided to vote.
I realize now how naive I have been. How blind I have been to the racism and the sexism and the bigotry still alive in this country. And how much work there is left to do to make things better.
To guarantee rights to every citizen, regardless of gender or sexuality or age or race. To educate people about equality. To dismantle fear about those who might live and believe differently than we do in our own lives.
So, yes, this morning I woke up and wept. And I felt ashamed to be an American. I felt angry and disheartened and hopeless. And, honestly, confused about how this happened.
But then I decided that I get to choose how to respond to this situation.
And I don’t want to respond by shutting down or hiding or pretending that what I do in this moment doesn’t matter. Because it does. What we all do matters.
We have to lift each other up. Come together. Refuse to be bullied. Protect our less privileged friends whenever possible.
Last night’s vote was a vote against women. Against minorities. Against the LGBT+ community. Against immigrants. Against healthcare for everyone. Against the environment. Against science.
I want every woman in my life to know that I am with her. That I will fight for her right to be paid fairly, to hold positions of power, to choose what to do with her body at all times.
I want all of my LGBT+ friends to know that I am with them. And that I will fight for their rights to be treated equally, to love and marry whomever they choose, to be respected in this country.
I want every person of color to know that I am with them. And that I will fight for their right to be treated fairly, to go to the grocery store without worrying about their safety, to not fear that their sons and brothers and husbands and fathers will not return home at the end of an ordinary day.
I want immigrants to know that I am with them. That I will fight for their right to be here, because the truth is we are all descendants of immigrants. ALL of us.
I don’t normally post about politics on my business website, but I feel strongly that it is important to name and own my beliefs about the issues at hand. To support every person in my life who was and will be directly harmed by last night’s decision, all of those who might be denied rights they have fought tirelessly to win because of who will soon hold the highest office in this country.
And to let you know that you are welcome here. No matter your race or gender or sexual orientation. I stand with you. Always.
We are in this together.