I’ve kept quiet on this page around the election for several reasons, including my exhaustion at the immediate accusations and hatred that fly the moment either candidate’s name is mentioned.
I have my point of view and will vote for the candidate I respect. That is not what this post is about.
This post is about our stasis and the heartbreak that we are all feeling because of what this election has revealed.
The depth of the fear, pain, and hatred swirling around us – unspoken and not – is astounding to me. I thought I knew, I really did. But I had no idea.
We have fallen ill as a people and perhaps it makes sense that the diseases that plague us, the cancers, the heart disease, are just symptoms of something much deeper. This election alone has crawled all over me and settled in my stomach, denying me sleep and peace. Imagine the toll that our historic ills have taken on our bodies.
I am hurting. We are all hurting.
And our inability to see each other has denied us the gifts of empathy and compassion. Instead, our refusal to see and hear each other has become the greatest fuel for the hatred that exists. And so we stand aggressively in defense of our personal pain, making dialogue and understanding impossible, even undesirable.
I have seen white men denying racism and the plight of people of color racism.
Black men denying misogyny and the plight of women,
Black women denying homophobia and the plight of the LGBTQIA,
White women denying islamophobia and the plight of Muslims in this country,
the poor denying that black lives matter,
and etcetera and vice versa and on and on – all while we ask that our causes and suffering are recognized.
I have been guilty too and I know that for me this willful blindness it is born of fear. Fear that there isn’t enough justice to go around. But that is untrue.
The remedy for pain is not to hurt someone else. The solution for being unheard is not to drown out someone else’s voice. Shoring up your rights by denying someone else theirs is not a permanent solution and never will be.
How can we really be seen when we refuse to see? How do we expect to receive when we don’t give? How do we expect to be marched for and protected and advocated for when we will not do it for everyone in the name of doing what is right?
Those are the questions I am sitting with.
It is a tender time and perhaps we won’t be able to answer these questions right now. But there are answers and I pray we will find them.
For now, I just needed to put words around the chaos and heartbreak. Because it will linger, no matter what happens on Tuesday.