This is not about the candidates for President this election cycle, but the people voting in the election.
Over the years, this blog, and the accompanying Facebook discussion page, have contained an ongoing theme of identifying and discussing ways to address the aspects of our culture we cling to consciously or subconsciously to hold us back. We have been calling this our Cultural Inertia.
An evaluation of the current election results so far has proven to me that I need to approach discussing our #Culturalinertia a bit differently. Over the next several months, I will be posting an ongoing, and cumulative guide on how we need to start dealing with this. Each post will give us the next step to begin working on to make dramatic overall shifts.
As of the time of this writing, 68.6 million people, and counting, have voted for at least four more years of malevolent incompetence, lies, criminality, fascism, racism, sexism, religious bigotry, and weaponization of faux (and real) Christianity through legislation. That’s over 5.5 million more than voted for Trump in 2016.
We can’t not have a serious talk about this.
We cannot truly have freedom in a multicultural society while any of these people remain in positions of power and influence over the lives of others and adhere to these belief systems. Whether that power and influence comes from the office of the presidency, elected or appointed members of government, judges, doctors, nurses, police, first responders, loan approval officers, Neighborhood Watch groups, Home Owners’ Associations, or anywhere else is irrelevant. What matters is that the power to oppress must be removed from the people that would take advantage of it.
Which brings us to:
Stop watching what’s happening and passively saying and thinking that “This isn’t America” or “This isn’t my America.”
Because this is America.
This is the America we have always had.
Trump didn’t change the hearts and minds of half of American voters. He simply gave them permission to be open about it to others.
Some still cannot bring themselves to openly admit their believes, so they lied to the poll takers, and their friends, and their family and said they would vote against him. Then they went in the voting centers and pulled the levers, punched the tickets, placed their mark, and pressed the buttons to select his name on the ballot anyway.
This is the America people of color have been telling us we were part of since its founding.
What Trump has done for the rest of us is remove the blinders so we can no longer pretend we don’t see it happening all around us.
We now know we have neighbors and family members who are among those who adhere to these abhorrent ideologies.
So, what can you do about it?
Start telling yourself, “This isn’t the America I want in the future,” and start actively working to change it by aggressively standing up and calling it out every single time you see it.
No matter who is doing it.
Be Bold. Be relentless. Be uncompromising.
Do not back down.
Do it online and offline, in public and in private.
Don’t fall into the trap of maintaining negative peace. Don’t avoid the necessary conflict to resolve a problem at the expense of allowing the problem to fester, spread, and worsen.
Do not agree to disagree on matters of human and civil rights.
Do not accept that we are all entitled to our opinions when challenging an opinion that is harmful or detrimental to others.
“Get in good trouble.” ~U.S. Rep. John Lewis
Focus on that step for a while, and then I’ll give you Step 2.