In the days and weeks after the election I like many Americans experienced a profound sense of despair and depression. I considered leaving the country. I shut off the TV and stopped reading the newspaper. I could no longer bring myself to lead a bi-weekly discussion about current events at a senior adult residence; reality was too painful to discuss, tears and rage came too easily.
The Women’s March on January 21st was the first light I saw at the end of a dark tunnel; millions of Americans gave a loud cogent ‘no’ to the anger, intolerance, xenophobia and chauvinistic nationalism that seated a totally unqualified, unstable narcissist in the Oval Office.
Then again on Saturday, January 28 millions of my countrymen without any planning or pre-organization took to the streets and appeared at America’s airports to say loudly and clearly NO to Trump’s on immigration ban of immigrants from 7 predominantly Muslim countries his financial empire doesn’t do business with. And I knew then that the proverbial glass that I had been seeing as half empty is actually half full.
The election of Donald Trump is doing to America what the Vietnam War did in the 1960’s, it’s waking us up and calling on us to be the kind of citizen-democracy that doesn’t simply read the news, but makes it. Americans of all ages -but thank God -young adults in particular, are rejecting the reactionary, xenophobic fortress state Trump and company are trying to ram down our collective national throat.
If you too believe in an American dream that welcomes (vetted of course) immigrants; if you believe in an inclusive America that celebrates diversity and guarantees economic and political equality to all, replace your despair over Trump’s election with the sense of urgency and responsibility that will resist and inevitably bring down this white-nationalist regime that denigrates and defiles the values that MADE AMERICA GREAT.
Please, take a moment to listen to Valarie Kaur, a Sikh lawyer and activist deliver this stirring message about the dark place so many of us think America is in.