It’s been a rough couple of days in America. Upset, anger, confusion, and sadness are only some of the emotions that people are dealing with after Hillary Clinton’s loss (or, rather, Donald Trump’s win) on Tuesday, not to mention the feelings of panic about the future. This election was different from others: it was the nastiest, ugliest, meanest cycle in our lifetime and in the end the Democratic loss/Republican win wasn’t upsetting simply because it was a loss. It was (is) upsetting because the racist, misogynistic, and anti-LGBT comments made by Donald Trump during the campaign along with his promises to rid the country of immigrants, build a wall, and change laws that were put in place to protect citizens–just to name a short list–were (are) downright scary. Don’t even get me started on the icky underbelly of our country, the citizens who have been emboldened to act upon their hatred of those who aren’t Christian white men.
I was very sad yesterday. I felt lost and a little numb. I stopped watching the news and tried to stay off social media a little bit more than I normally do (working in social media is hard!). Periodically checking in, I saw a whole lot of link-sharing and anger. I have some friends who are sharing link after link after link about the election, how terrible the Trump presidency is going to be, what rights are going to be lost by segments of our population, and more.
By yesterday evening my sadness was being replaced with a little bit of anger, not only about the election but also social media. I started wondering how many of the people who are out there sharing everything they’re reading and lamenting our future are actually going to go further than that and do something, take action, be a change-maker. It’s so easy to click “share”, but it takes some effort, energy, and time to actually do the work. (Sidenote: I know that a lot of people will. However, I’m certain that the “work” of some people will stop on Facebook.)
Donald Trump is our President-elect. Those of us who don’t want that can’t change that. (Personally I agree with President Obama in his hope that Trump is successful because a successful President makes for a successful America. President Obama is so wise. I’m going to miss him.)
What we CAN do is get active on a local level. We can talk to our family, our neighbors, and others around us. We can donate to organizations that do great work for people of color, women, non-Christians, the LGBTQ community, the disabled, and the environment. We can volunteer for those same organizations. We can promote the work of those who are doing that work.
There are so many options for those who want to do something. Here is an article that lists a bunch of worthy causes, but if you want to dig deeper and truly go ground-level local then a simple internet search is your friend. I suggest searching for your city (or larger area or region in your state; for example East Tennessee or Quad Cities, etc.) plus the kind of organization you’re looking for. If I search for “Chicago LGBT organizations”, I get a bunch of great information. Try it. It’s easy.
I will tell you that I’ve gone from sadness to anger to a state of being ready to help do the work. I’m energized. I’m looking forward to it, and I know lots of people who feel the same. What about you? Are you ready to do something?