Thursday, November 10, 2016

Stand Up. Straighten Your Crown. Carry On.

Love did not trump hate. Hate has made a temporary win. We are in for the long haul. I wept. For hours. I expected a tough election. I will be humble and I will admit: I did not expect to lose. Not because a website or a poll told me the chance of Clinton winning was very high. I did not expect to lose because I did not realize the level of disgust, hatred, and fear within American society. I did not accept that a little bit less than half of the voting population support or, in the best case scenario, brush-off sexism, racism, homophobia, and so much more. So I wept. I knew that my son and my daughter would wake up and would ask "who is the big boss?" And I knew I didn't know what to say. So I called out for advice and help on Facebook. This is what I posted: Van Jones on CNN "I'm hearing about a nightmare. It's hard to be a parent tonight for a lot of us. You tell your kids, "Don't be a bully." You tell your kids, "Don't be a bigot." You tell your kids, "Do your homework and be prepared." And then you have this outcome and you have people putting children to bed tonight and they're afraid of breakfast. They're afraid of "How do I explain this to my children?" I have Muslim friends who are texting me tonight saying, "Should I leave this country?" I have families of immigrants who are terrified tonight. This was many things. This was a rebellion against the elites...but it was also about something else." I'm open to suggestions for how to explain - in a way that does not scare him even more - to my 5 year old tomorrow morning that the man who says mean things about mommy and sister and papa and our black and brown friends is now the boss. And to my 3 year old daughter too. If you can. Thank you. So many people answered. This is my public thank you to you. You reached out from all over the world with messages of strength, love, compassion, and support. Your acts of together-ness and caring matter. I took a number of your suggestions. I took the day off of work. I meditated. I drank a quite coffee. I let the tears roll. The Mr. and I agreed on how we would start the conversation; where it would take place; and what we would emphasize. As soon as PJ woke up, we all four of us cuddled onto our bed together. The Mr. and I both took a deep breath and then we told them both that the man who says mean things about mommy, sister, and papa won. My son, like so many adults, couldn't understand why. Mean people don't win and being kind is 'very important'. The Mr. and I were honest and stayed with our messages: - we don't understand it either. - we don't know exactly what this means for our immigrant family. - we won't stop working towards love and kindness for everyone. - we won't stop protecting our friends and our family. - we won't chose hate. - we love them, we love them, we love them, we love them. And then we got pancakes. The US has entered into a trying time and - like many - I am concerned of my place, my foreign-born husband's place, and my dual-citizen children's place. I am devastated by how many people cast their vote against common decency, inclusion, progress. I am disturbed by how many more sat this entire opportunity out. I am shaken by how little we really know of each other and of how surprising the result is for almost the entire world. I am confident, however, that in many years when my children ask what I was doing, where I stood, what actions I took I will answer, "I was on the right side of the history and I was doing everything I could." On November 8, I wore my orange pant suit for both gender equality and gun violence prevention and then I knocked on over 100 more doors. I did so with joy and hope in my heart because I believe in the goodness of humans. The end was heartbreaking and I am proud of the work that I did.

And the work continues. This is the long haul. I won't stop and I won't slow down. I may not be a little girl anymore -- I am raising two little ones instead. I will work so that they "never doubt that [they] are valuable and powerful and deserving of ever chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and to achieve [their] own dreams." - Hillary Clinton

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