I did not burn an effigy of President Obama. Nor would I support that. Nor do I support an effigy of our President Trump being burned. These are our presidents, respect has nothing to do with agreement. Whether we agree with them or not, if we do not respect them, how do we expect other countries to? I did not do all the things Trump supporters are said to have done. Groups of extremists did. Everyone who supports Trump is now lumped in with groups of extremists as if that is who Trump supporters are. This is what I am speaking to, from all sides. I’m not going to get into a political debate right now as that will get us nowhere but a screaming match of who is ‘right’. This conversation I’m bringing up here goes in slightly a different vein. Who a person chooses to vote for is no one else’s business. These conversations are being used to lump people into groups and give no one space to disagree with each other. We as humans will never fully agree with each other. That is the beauty of being human. Politics do not divide us, we choose the division.
This conversation is beyond the presidents themselves, beyond the election. People have become so blind with rage they are physically hurting each other. I am being told by Hillary supporters I deserve to be beaten. Because these extremists want to see me hurt? Should I call these people Hillary supporters? Or should I look at them for the extremists they are who are feeding off of the mania that is happening in this country?
The hypocrisy of people constantly shutting down MY voice, ME, a bisexual, Black and Latina female who does not fit their narrative while they say they stand for anti-sexism and anti-racism is baffling. I point it out and remind myself, that we are all human. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE votes from their heart. Whether I agree with their choice or not, is not for me to spread heinous things about them or get so enraged I want them hurt or project my upset onto ‘Hillary supporters’ saying they deserve horrible things done to them. That is just crazy. NO ONE deserves to feel unsafe in this country because of their political choice! That is why this is America! People want me hurt! They want to see me physically hurt and in pain because of my choice, are you hearing me? That is NOT peace! That is not love! People want to see people hurt too because of choosing Hillary. Should we feed this?? The bottom line is we are all people, we are all countrymen/women. When we allow our personal choices to become ‘the way’ we close our eyes to the people in front of us.
Can we the people see each other? Or are we, the individual, no longer more important than our own political choices? How much are we claiming we stand for the ‘greater good’ while we can’t even hold relationships with each other? Is it really more important to dominate each other into saying ‘you’re right’ than actually being with the people we love?
We are Americans. America was designed for freedom. People fought and died for me to have freedom to vote. We don’t have to have absolute agreement to have peace, that is a misconception and would not be peace that would be dictatorship. Can we give each other space to have our own truths and do the work to find our commonalities and raise our country up? I believe we can. It’s going to take work and it’s going to be messy as hell, especially at first. However, it does NOT need to be violent. We are all adults here. We are responsible for what we leave the future generations. For me to make a difference means to be responsible for my communication, be responsible for how I am occurring for others. If I make a mess with people I love, the relationships I’m in, let go of my ego and clean that up. Do the work to be connected to those close in my life. THAT is the difference in this world. If I throw away relationships near me, then how can I have compassion for those I do not even know? How can I hold a listening for those across the globe if I cannot even listen to those who are in my life in the here and now? I don’t have to agree and we don’t even have to go into politics, fancy that! If we are too charged, leave that discussion off the table. The relationships I have with people are more important to me being right about my personal beliefs of politics or religion. After all, the basis of religion or spirituality is not meant to be used to tell others how wrong I think they are. If I am truly to be a stand for love, it starts with myself and then to those in my life. Otherwise no matter how ‘right’ I think I am, it is all for nothing.
If I can take a breath and realize my body is reactivating to things older than this election, older than the conversations being had, then I can find the path to the conversations that create new possibility in the space of disagreement. I can give pause to my knee jerk reactions and defensiveness. There is nothing wrong with disagreement, it is the fertilizer for creativity when utilized as the tool for forward movement that it is.
The gift of this current disparity in America is we have a chance to create a new conversation. One that truly unites us, sans expectation of absolute agreement. We don’t all have to be the same to work together. We don’t have to quiet our rage or upset, what we can do is funnel all of that mighty force within EACH of us regardless of race, skin, gender, age, income and transmute it to make this country the greatest it has ever been.
I am not immortal. I will die one day. And I choose to leave this beautiful country even better than when I was born into it. That is my goal as an American.
What do you choose?