On November 9th, I felt overwhelmed with emotion with the news of the election. As I walked down the streets of Manhattan, I could see many other New Yorkers shared this sentiment. Eyes swollen from crying, dismal frowns…you could feel an energy of despair and darkness in the air.
I am a Canadian living in New York City. I wanted Hilary to win. To me, she represented progress, empowerment, feminism and unity. After the election results, I cried. I allowed myself to grieve and process the emotions that I could not quite understand. But the next day, the sun shined again, I got back up, as we do. Instead of being angry at the ones who did not share my sentiments on Hilary, I decided to listen, to try and understand, to step outside of the very privileged life that I’m so lucky to have. Instead of name calling Trump supporters as bad and stupid, I chose to exercise empathy – to see the point of view of the people who felt severely frustrated with a system that they did not feel was serving them.
During this time, I do not think that posting hateful messages, threatening to de-friend people who have different political views is the answer to a brighter, better future. Instead, let us take our anger, pain and confusion as an opportunity – to exercise our empathy, to open up our minds and hearts, to be more involved in matters of legislature and social issues… to be curious of people who don’t think or act like us. Let’s ask why more. Let’s ask how more. Let’s take this as a wake-up call that we need to be kinder, stronger, and more united more than ever.
Below are some Facebook posts by friends that express thought-provoking perspective, from both sides.
“I voted for Trump” – Chris Olear
I voted for Trump and I knew I was doing this maybe 15 months ago (maybe). It might be about destroying legacy snobs and money influence, but we all know it is more than that. Every time a “celeb” embraced Hillary it held a disconnect, a division so fake, forced and unnatural. Media pushed a path in our face like a spoon full of cough syrup. It actually pushed me further away with every smug hug and smile with a celeb & Hillary(side by side). Lets be honest, Alec Baldwin, Madonna or Miley are not the ideals or direction in our country. If Hillary spent more time telling me about her 30+ yrs of service, that would have been much better, but even so, she represented a political culture i wanted no part of. I felt nothing looking at her on stage.
I always looked at Trump as a defiance not a role model. Donald is not “my perfect” for sure, but I have developed a soft spot for the anti “pc”. I crave the “say it like it is”, “say what you really mean” bravado Hillary’s opponent came with and dominated with. Donald rocked history and foundation to its core. I don’t love all Republican policies and I don’t love all of Donald’s policy. They are different spectrums we will deal with together, we all know this. Actually, I’m more Democratic by nature. Women should always have the right to choose life inside their own body…. always. Climate change is real for me, and stem cell research is one of the most important ventures of our lifetime(to me). Both genders have the right to decide who they choose in intimacy and legally protected unions(recognition). My friends are colorful and universally awesome.
I’m Russian, Czech, Polish, Italian and Irish. My amazing wife is some of this too with a great addition of Mexican(she might say Spanish). She is my rock and our friends would back that up. I can’t put myself in the shoes of my friends that are citizens from Mexico, India, Asia, and so on. I’ve lived in many countries abroad but I can’t pretend to know how they feel now, but they want something American. Scared maybe, but mis-informed about how we got here and who we are in strength, resolve.. unity. I lived 9/11 in NYC, I know what can unite a group of people.
Last night …
Last night I danced with complete strangers in Miami … originally from Nairobi, Kenya, Dominican Republic and Columbia. We all just danced together, simple and pure. Americans, but wonderful ethnicities and smiles to go along with it. My moves were not so smooth, but they(friends for a night) made me feel like a smooth operator. All of this just two days after elections resolved.
This same night… “Lesbian/Latin/say what category you wish” friends who voted for Hillary … danced with me all night too. Fully understanding that we voted opposite each other. I just became so overwhelmed with hope. In fact, I never lost hope. We never spoke a word about it. We simply rocked the night away together.
Nobody controls my journey, my night, my fear, my joy, my dance, even in my car with my music blasting… That stuff is my untouchable space. Its mine. I choose to share it with you at will, nobody controls that either.
Media owes us an apology. Or they simply don’t understand unbiased reporting anymore. I think its liable and lost at moment. My opinion.
Last night was surrounded by the best kind of diversity, friendship, trust and hope (Not interrupted by projection of ones opinions). I owe it to myself to have more of those nights. We rock united. We “the men that should hold the door open for a woman”. We “the persons that make simple pleasant gestures a daily practice”. Every action counts and has consequence. Simple positive gestures nurture better communal actions.
Trust yourselves in this next step together and never wish yourself “Happy Birthday to the next President”.
“There are no accidental realities.” – Azita Ardakani
To be certain, there has been a death. A collective death in the hope of what our (I say our even though I am Canadian, this is my home today) next President would usher. A personal death in the safety & preservation to the way of life you (who reads this in the echo chamber of our shared vision) want to live.
When there is death, there is a time to grieve. A time to reconcile the personal and the collective. A time to honor what no longer is, before what can be. This time can change the outcome of what follows it. Everything in nature works this way, and you and I are of nature.
The veil has been lifted & there are no accidental realities. There is no otherness that will allow us to get anywhere. No duality strong enough. Labels of bigotry, misogyny, & racism, are all rooted in the same thing: fear. Fear of not being enough & so devastatingly small that you need to tear down a hijab, verbally or physically over power a woman, or those who have disabilities. Imagine the hell realm that one has to live in to externalize that kind of hatred, which to be sure, is worse than any kind of punishment you or I could dream of.
To have a mind and body filled with cancerous fear that has transformed into a belief system & has pushed out of you as hatred, disconnecting you from a collective whole is spiritual alienation & a psychological suffering that is incomprehensible to most.
We cannot systematically leave a large part of the population uneducated, without access to consistent health care, and poorly fed as individuals and expect them to fight for something greater than themselves. And yet, I’ve never been more hopeful. There is no transformation that happens without a total deconstruction, a death, followed by a call to activate whole heartedly. This discomfort is good. It is time. It’s a new muscle being built. And everything that happens after this will happen with our eyes wide open. Wide awake.
There are no accidental realities. You are here because you play a role in this during your life time. Your only job, is to stay open and be the light where you go, just your immediate surroundings, that is enough. Nothing will happen outside of you, and it won’t happen with your cerebral powers, it begins within the chamber of your greatest muscle: your heart.
“Take back your cities.” – Ashley Tyson
The fuck are ya’ll moving to Canada for? Yeah I get it, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal are real cute but the rest of the barren Iceland in between…?
I have a better idea: MOVE IN. Most of ya’ll came from some regular ass basic (red) town in the middle of America. These Trump people: they are your people. You may have forgotten while you were out Ubering around NYC and SF dropping 5 months of their income on your monthly rent. But this is your America too, and they won’t let you forget it.
Yes, some of them are racist and misogynistic. But guess what? They can be taught. If you’re white and “woke” you may know this from your own personal experience, yeah? This is the work. It’s not calling on other democrats who share your view to vote. And your idiot liberal friend who voted for Gary Johnson or wrote in Bernie Sanders didn’t really matter – because even if Hillary won we’d still have half the nation hating us for being rich, coastal living liberal elitist assholes. Winning was not progress – it was a front.
Move the fuck back home and into that shitty red state you so disdain. Your rent is way too much, your mom misses you, and your silly tech job (that you’ll soon realize is irrelevant to the people back home) will pay you to work remotely anyway.
Stop traveling to Thailand and Tulum. Take a damn road trip into your country. Tennessee is a beautiful state, as is North Carolina. And the people there are mostly good, honest American people. See those Trump signs in the front yards of your countrymen that you refused to acknowledge. Meet people who are outside of your upwardly mobile entrepreneurial social circles. Ask them questions. Invite them into your home. Teach them. It’s only going to get worse when we automate every job they have ever known. So if you think this is bad now – hang in another 10 years.
The work does not happen in the bullshit liberal tech echo chamber of our own creation. It happens in the backroads of Alabama, in the crevices of the dry counties of Kentucky, in cornfields of Kansas and in the now-earthquake zones of Oklahoma. It happens too, in Detroit Michigan and in these god forsaken white suburbs of everywhere America.
Take back your cities. Share your perspective and your resources and your wealth. I swear to God it will teach you to become a better American in the process too.