I have not been a functioning human today. Starting around 12 a.m. last night, I’ve cried more than I can remember. And I’m a crier. I’m all in my emotions over Trump being elected president. I’m disturbed. I’m disappointed. I’m sad. I’m scared. I’m angry.
I’ve blamed just about everyone and everything I could think of over the past 24 hours. But now, in the stillness of my house, after my kids have gone to sleep, I’m feeling angry at myself.
I did more this election cycle than I have in years past. I phone banked. I donated money. I text banked. I shared articles. It wasn’t enough. I did not do enough.
Activist and Executive Director at Charis Circle, ER Anderson, wrote today: “As a white person co-leading a multi-racial feminist organization with so many brilliant organizers, I cannot help but look at the number of white women who voted for Trump and see it as a failure of our feminist strategies and a need for a serious reckoning. Loyalty to whiteness is treason to humanity. We haven’t fought hard enough yet and I know so many of us have fought really fucking hard. It’s not enough. We have to do better.”
She then shared the article Get Your People, written by Susana Morris, and I knew. Deep in my bones I understood how I failed.
53% of white women voted for Trump. No matter my efforts, I did not go and get my people effectively. I engaged from my home, not in the streets. I engaged on my computer, not in-person. I engaged using my pocket-book, not enough in grass-roots organizing.
My efforts were well-intentioned, but they were not enough. I played it safe. I stayed in my lane. I didn’t take many risks.
My goal is not to publicly shame myself or wallow in self-pity and guilt. I am sharing this because I want to hold myself accountable to do better. I want to show up online and in real-life. Both actions have value, to be sure, but I truly believe the way to reach my fellow white people who voted for Trump is never going to happen through internet chatter. It’s going to happen through human, face-to-face, heart-to-heart connection.
Hope for me has and always will be generated through action. I cannot and will not let these feelings of despair go to waste. I need to be brave enough to dig deep and honestly confront my role as a white woman in Trump’s election. It’s already incredibly painful, but I know this is the only way to move forward.
For parents and educators, I want to lift up several organizations putting in work: Raising an Advocate, My Reflection Matters, Showing Up For Racial Justice Families, Raising Race Conscious Children, EmbraceRace. Know them. Follow them. They offer so much guidance to me as a caregiver as well as provide much-needed community in times like these.
And of course there are countless local and national organizations to tap into right now that will offer many ways to get involved. Please share with me how you plan to move forward, how you plan to strive for better and who you are turning to for guidance.
Tomorrow is a new day. Let’s work.