Wednesday, November 9, 2016

This Is a Terrifying Moment for America. Hold Your Loved Ones Close.

'This is the beginning of a sad chapter for our nation, and for the world.' (photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)
'This is the beginning of a sad chapter for our nation, and for the world.' (photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

(Gazette Blog editor's note: Please see the comment following this essay from Todd McKinney, a former journalism student of mine.)
By Steven W. Thrasher, Guardian UK

09 November 16
People of color, women, Muslims, queer people, the sick, immigrants: all are threatened by Donald Trump. They need your love, your warmth, your support
Hold tight to the ones you love, America.

Hold tight to the ones you love living in black and brown and yellow and native skin.

Hold tight to us, because we will have to face white people who think we are rapists.

We will have to face a nation that wants to stop-and-frisk us. Hold tight to us, because mass incarceration is actually going to get worse, and more of our brothers and sisters are going to be disappeared. We are going to be living as strangers in our land, among people who believe they have taken the country “back” from us. So hold tight to us, please, and to each other.

Women: hold tight to the ones you love who are also women. President-elect Trump – soon to be the chief law enforcement officer of the land - has bragged about his right to grab women “by the pussy” – and very likely, his subordinates will follow his example. The president-elect is against women having rights over their own bodies.

He will probably get to appoint a judge to the supreme court to curtail them. So hold tight to the other women in your life, women – your friends and sisters and mothers and daughters – because we men are going to fail you. We have already failed you.

Hold tight to the ones you love who have come to live in this country from abroad.

They are doing hard work in this nation, living lives of dignity – but they will be deemed suspect all the time by the likes of a Secretary of State Newt Gingrich, or a Department of Homeland Security run by Chris Christie. Immigrant communities, already knit with such love, will need to lean on its power more than ever.

Hold tight to the ones who are queer in your life – to the people living with HIV, who enjoy their sex lives being legal, who value the right to love or wed free from stigma and shame. We who are queer or LGBT are going to face a rolling back of our rights.

We’re going to be stuck with abstinence-only education, which vice-president-elect Pence favors in Indiana. We are going to have no plan for HIV/Aids, and a complete governmental indifference to such matters as gender identity or LGBT teen homelessness. Hold tight to us, please, because our government is going to try to shove us back into a closet.

Hold tight to the Muslim people in your life, for they have been marked for legal and extralegal vigilante vengeance. They and their loved ones could be banned from the nation. And they need love and protection from their co-workers, neighbors, teachers, and friends of all faiths and none at all – because the state is going to put them under constant surveillance. The American tradition of freedom of religious expression is going to fail them spectacularly, so hold them tight.

Hold tight to the ones you love who are sick and differently abled. The president-elect and the next Congress will end Obamacare, and leave them to suffer and die. So hold them tight even (or especially) when government medical care fails them.

Hold tight. This is the beginning of a sad chapter for our nation, and for the world.

The system, and our government and parties, have failed. This will become a frightening, vengeful, unjust land. And an angry white electorate, now using the levers of government, is not going to be kind to any of us not deemed integral to making America “great” again.

So hold tight to the ones you love, please – because all we’ve got is each other.

Todd McKinney
November 10 at 10:43am
Words well-chosen. The ability to disallow the ennui of the age is an important tool in our new social situation. To the extent possible, we all need to be vigilant, maintain the forward motion in which we've been involved since the beginning of the civil rights movement, and put pressure on the myriad points of impact that we've always found to be within our individual lives. Writers need to continue to write. Speakers speak. Citizens with phones should continue to record day-to-day interactions with police. Those who bravely joined our Native American brothers and sisters at Standing Rock need to be supported by those who remain active on the home front. And yes ... families and friends need to hold each other close and protect our hearts as we protect our liberties. Thanks for the honest and powerful essay, Mr. Keyworth.

Todd is a former journalism student of mine from many years ago back in Michigan.  Today he is carrying on the proud tradition of ethical journalism in Ann Arbor.  Thanks Todd for a brief moment of hope for the future.  Our cause is an ongoing process, and with people like you keeping the faith it will endure this setback.
Jim Keyworth
Gazette Blog Editor 

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