U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton listens as she is introduced by Gold Star father Khizr Khan at a campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S. November 6, 2016.  REUTERS/Brian Snyder - RTX2S84K
Don’t just stay within your comfort zone, posting your opinions and frustrations on social media to friends, family, and likeminded citizens. Go out and do something.

World

11.9.2016

When They Go Low, You Go High: Hopeful Responses to Trump Win

It’s easy to steep in the unfathomable reality of the U.S., of the unbelievable results of last night’s election. But it’s important that we not only acknowledge what happened, but also why it happened—and prepare to face it, head-on. Last night, as the dismal results started rolling in, so too did comments about the inevitability of such results. The general consensus being: why is everyone so surprised? Is this not a country built on slavery? Established under misogyny, racism, prejudice, homophobia, and xenophobia? It’s clear that we were naïve to believe love would trump hate in a country rife with mass shootings—in a country that has already seen 10 mass shootings in this month alone. “Trump was not elected on a platform of decency, fairness, moderation, compromise, and the rule of the law; he was elected, in the main, on a platform of resentment,” David Remnick wrote in a New Yorker essay published early this morning. “This is surely the way fascism can begin,” he wrote. But “fascism is not our future—it cannot be; we cannot allow it to be.”

We must try to find at least a glimmer of hope, a trace of a silver lining. True, last night’s results paint a dark, harrowing, soulless picture of America and its citizens. But maybe this is what we needed to galvanize us into action. To convince the remaining percentage of whites who have still not spoken out in favor of Black Lives Matter to do so. Perhaps this was the inevitable reality check we all needed. True, we elected our first black president eight years ago, but in July, already 215 black Americans had been killed by the police, “at a rate of 5.38 deaths per million,” according to Think Progress. Racism in America is not only alive and well—it’s flourishing. True, we’ve made strides in the fight for gender equality, and LGBTQ rights, and true we’ve become more outspoken than ever about misogyny, rape, and sexual assault. But the numbers haven’t decreased. The discrepancy has always been there.

Remnick closed out with, “Why not leave the country? But despair is no answer. To combat authoritarianism, to call out lies, to struggle honorably and fiercely in the name of American ideals—that is what is left to do. That is all there is to do.”

Don’t just stay within your comfort zone, posting your opinions and frustrations on social media to friends, family, and likeminded citizens. Go out and do something. Below, we’ve compiled the most optimistic and hopeful responses to Donald Trump’s win.

From Kamala Harris, CA Attorney General: 

From Dayna Evans on The Cut:

“Much of this election has centered on women’s roles in the working world. Should we be free from sexual harassment at our jobs? Should we receive equal pay and equal respect? Can we aspire to lead the free world? One way we can respond, now, is to refuse to participate in a nation and economy that does not value our personhood, nor the personhood of anyone who doesn’t identify as a white male…

“We aren’t insignificant — as women, as minorities, as people feared by the status quo. We are powerful. If not powerful enough this time, next time. If not powerful enough then; after. Unlike the people who fear us — and who fear other races and religions and identities and even the people who have come to hate themselves — we aren’t scared.

“Use the anger and hurt that you feel today, take one day to indulge it, and then don’t give up turning that anger into action until Trump’s years — and the years this country has spent hating women and minorities — are through.”

Hillary Clinton, in her concession speech today in NYC:

“Our constitutional democracy demands our participation. Not just every four years, but all the time. So let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear. Making our economy work for everyone—not just those at the top—protecting our country and protecting our planet, and breaking down all the barriers that hold any American back from achieving their dreams.

“So now your responsibility as citizens is to keep doing our part. To build that better stronger, fairer America we see.

This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”

Jonathan Chait in New York Magazine

“I love this country. I believe in it. I’m not leaving. I’m sorry to sound hokey, but I’m going to stay and defend truth and democracy.

“Never in my lifetime has the United States seen a period of darkness like the one that lies ahead of us. But we have seen periods of darkness before — segregation, McCarthyism, the internment of the Japanese, the Civil War, slavery. The American story is fitful progress punctuated by frequent reversals, some of which appeared at the time like they would last forever. None of them did.”

From Deadspin

“It’s time for a new movement… What this movement will ultimately unite against, though, is the rise of an American strongman. We Americans have always fancied ourselves to be superior to the banana republics and quasi-dictatorships that we often helped create; now, we are offered a chance to prove it. If we do not wish to be the sort of nation that allows itself to be run by a strongman, then the movement starts now.

“The fight against Trump’s racism, and his xenophobia, and his attacks on women’s rights, and his foreign policy bluster, and his policies that will worsen economic inequality, and his threats agains the First Amendment are not separate fights. They are all the same one. You can jump in anywhere and start helping anywhere… Don’t move to Canada. Reach out a hand to someone who is scared today and say that you will stand with them. Once a hundred million of us do that, we have a coalition that is stronger than one small man who has gained control of a very big office… It’s time to get to work.”

Image via Salon. 

Stay tuned to Milk for more on the future of America.

Related Stories

New Stories

Load More

K

Like Us On Facebook

X