Never thought I’d say it, but I am grateful Trump won. I have always preferred a painful truth over a comfortable lie. I believed Black people accomplished more as a race. I believe America was more progressive as a multicultural nation. I never thought I’d be someone’s “one Black friend.” I never took account of the races of my friends. For some reason, I’ve always had a diverse group of friends that reflected the community where I lived. We were bound by common interests more than race, education or economic class.
Now I’m noticing, times I’ve been the Black friend who was used to keep my white friends from recognizing, accepting and dealing with their racism. Stupidly, I probably denied they could be racist. Mostly because I attended a Black college and was initially ostracized. I found Black people were more connected when we were fewer in number and divided where we were in concentrated numbers. It was an awakening that made me reach a lot of inaccurate conclusions. One of them being, we had grown beyond identifying with our skin.
I never thought we needed a Black space. I knew women needed safe spaces. Especially because in Black spaces patriarchy was the norm. Because of this, I have been praying not to be angry with all the women Democrats who voted for Hilary Clinton, simply because she had a vagina and they wanted to make history, during the primaries. Bernie Sanders was the better candidate. Clinton and established Democrats stole that election from Bernie Sanders. I was hurt but all the protesting didn’t change anything and Bernie Sanders conceded. I focused on beating Trump struggling with whether I should vote for Clinton or Jill Stein. I was frustrated with Stein after I read where she said she supported Trump over Clinton. Bernie Sanders never hit below the belt, he stuck to the policies, Clinton’s voting track record and his plans for the country. I ended up voting for Clinton because after research I realized what a serious threat Trump was. Still, Clinton didn’t win and we are all paying for it now.
This is also my struggle with feminism. On top of it’s heroes, like Susan B. Anthony being racist, feminism is sometimes a fight for a matriarchy more than it’s about equality. Hilary Clinton would have been a comfortable lie though I do believe she would be a better president than Trump.
Over the past few days, I’ve made peace with this truth I can only change myself. Honestly, because I am doing all that I know and can afford in my community I’m actually not as devastated. I see how I change things. I see how things are changing. I see the love and commitment of other people. Being involved in my community gives me peace in the face of the challenges.
I thank Kayla M. Reed for calling us together and finding a space immediately after the election results were final. I thank her for loving us. I thank her for her vulnerability. I thank her for unwavering honesty. I think it is greater for someone to say I am hurting, tired, frustrated and overwhelmed, but I’m still here. Than it is for them to pretend they are invincible. She teaches us we can be all of ourselves and still be powerful. She teaches us all we can be powerful. This is important, because in the past, if something happened to a leader the struggle ended. When we are all leaders, we just keep pushing.
I thank Kayla for pointing out how we do organizing in our own lives and how she supports different approaches by not tearing down other organizations. I love Kayla for being her beautiful, funny, confident, powerful and empowering self. I love her a little bit more every time I see her.
Yesterday, in a Black space, I was reminded I am powerful. I was reminded I wasn’t alone. I was reminded I wasn’t imagining racism. I let so many people go on learning of Trump’s win, it was nice to find people who understood the big picture. I was embraced in a community of people who are changing the world. I am grateful for this affirmation of my power and for this show of power. I am thankful for our resilience. I am hopeful, motivated and clear.
I am researching for the release of my next poetry book on faith, culture and identity. “Even Deities Evolve, When Me and God were Atheist.” I have so much to tell you and share. Keep me lifted in your meditations and prayers as I sort through all this research. I am overwhelmed by our history. I am overwhelmed by the amount of lies we’ve been told and how well they’ve been weaved to support each other. I am overwhelmed by my responsibility to speak truth to power. (That last line felt dramatic, but it’s real.)
I love yall. I love your strength. I love your adaptability to face truth, accept truth and apply it. I love your rhythm, your laughter, your resilience, your spiritual commitment to be connected, to be love, to be loving. I love your vulnerability. I am praying for our freedom from fear. I am praying for more action. I am praying more of you will stop waiting to be saved and figure out how you can save yourself, how we can save ourselves as a collective of talents, wisdom, spiritual gifts and skills.
I want to thank all those who put their bodies on the line for us. Thank you for your nights in jail. Thank you for your courage in the face of so much adversity. Not just from other races of people who don’t understand our struggle but from your own families, partners, friends and co-workers who are also Black. I thank God for you. I am praying for your spiritual strength. I am standing with you in all the ways I can and know how.
For everyone who is reading this, whatever your race may be, you don’t have to be on the front lines, you can help change the world however you are gifted to do it. We can’t all afford to go to jail. We can’t all afford to miss work. We don’t all have money to donate to every cause that is worthy. But we can cook a meal. We can pick people up from jail. We can lend our space for meetings. We make sure people get to meetings by driving them. We can make sure people make it to work before and after meetings, who don’t have cars. We can make calls on people’s behalf. We can hold people who are heart broken and depressed. We can feed our front line warriors spiritually by affirming them.
Know, no one expects one person to do all things but we will be successful when each of us do as much as we can. We have to pace ourselves. It won’t happen over night. This is a long term commitment. Commit to yourself first, so you can set healthy boundaries. Then commit to doing whatever you can to change the boundaries we are facing. We are most powerful when we all show up however we can. One of us does the accounting. Another does the art. Another does the painting. Another does the planning. Another uses their law degree to defend us. The doctors among us treat those who don’t have health insurance among us. The pastors among us remind us of our spirituality. The singers, drummers, dancers, chanters and criers pay homage to our ancestors, invoke and ignite our courage, our connection…
We are the ones we have been waiting for. Bring your gifts, your power and live your purpose in love and light.
WE ARE ALL POWERFUL! WE ARE ALL LIGHT! TOGETHER ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!