Today I.

This post will be constructed in reverse order (footnote, conclusion, body) due to the importance of each section.

Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
ETA: Crisis Text Line: Text START to 741-741
Trans Lifeline: (877) 565-8860
The Trevor Project (LBGTQ+ youth): 1-866-488-7386
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673
To report a hate crime: 1-800-VICTIMS
Naseeha Hotline (for Muslim Youth): 1-866-627-3342
Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1)
Samaritans: 877-870-4673
Nacional de Prevencion del Suicidio: 1-888-628-9454
Options for Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889

If you did not fight this and feel like you have lost:
Listen to your friends who are afraid for their lives now.
Listen to the Black people you thought were hyperbolic about the violence they face.
Listen to the Muslims who are afraid for their lives and rightfully so.
Listen to the queers, and the Jews, and the women, and the people that aren’t you, because we’ve been through this and you haven’t and just listen.
Just. Fucking. Listen.

If you fought this and feel like you have lost:
The takeaway from all of this is that we are still here.
We still have our voices.
We still have hands with which to work and feet with which to move.

Today you may be curled up in fear. Take your time. Breathe, and know that you are not alone.
Today you may want to think about everything. Today you may want to think about nothing.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow you should seek out people who are sharing this same experience. Tomorrow you should find others who have been going through the same things.

And the day after. You should think about what you need to say and do.

And the day after that, let’s do it.

Yesterday I was mad.
Yesterday I wanted to hurt people in response to the way I was feeling hurt.
Yesterday I lost my faith in democracy.

But I’ve thought about it last night and this morning.

Today I’ve learned a lot.
Today I learned that I can’t trust my neighbors nearly as much as I thought.
Today I learned that every group that has sounded hyperbolic about justice and recognition in the past few years has been right.
Today I lost faith, not in democracy, but in the voting public.

Today I went from “how do we…” and “how did we…” to “how did you?”

This was about prioritizing the change you wanted to see in the world and making your voice heard in that direction. What I’m about to say doesn’t apply to what party you affiliate with, but with how you make yourself heard. Republican representatives can be called RINOs, Democratic candidates can be Hawkish, and Green Party candidates can abuse and ignore science. This isn’t about labels but actions. This wasn’t about electing Bernie or Hillary or Jill. This wasn’t about making a statement in a vacuum, about using your vote as a status update.

Today I learned that a lot of white people didn’t just hate Obama, they hated that things were getting better for black people.
Today I learned that a lot of men just don’t care about women.
Today I learned how many people are willing to stay secure in their own privilege rather than help others.

Many of these things I already knew, but I didn’t understand the extent of it all. I think we all do now.

About Adam

Adam is a Jewish American who's sick of the white Christian male being America's "default" setting. For money he works in a public library because free books and information access are wonderful things. For love he writes here for his pet project, The Chaotic Neutral, which is always looking for more writers. You can follow him on Instagram, Goodreads, and at his oft neglected Twitter where he will try to post more, and probably live-tweet the Eurovision Song Contest.

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