In six days, Donald Trump will be our president. I have no shortage of feelings. I have wanted to write something profound since about 2am on November 9th. A few things kept me from writing anything: insecurity and uncertainty. But alas, as I procrastinate on a sermon ruminating over the words of a sermon by Rev. Barber at a local MLK worship, maybe even with the insecurity and uncertainty, I will still pen some words, add to the noise. As you'll see.... I've started and stopped this post before.
On November 9, 2016 in the midst of a fitful night/morning of sleep, I awoke to President-Elect Trump. 20 Days later(nearly 3 weeks) and maybe I can add my thoughts to this cacophony of think(and not so think) pieces on the inter-webs? Today I was headed to a meeting at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church that, an organizer I met a day after the election invited me to. It was an assembled group for restless/maybe a bit broken pastor types(FYI, I fit the bill). I passed the church and end up turning around in the NC RNC Office (or maybe it was just Wake County Republicans). I immediately got to the church and sat down at a chair around a labyrinth and breathed a sigh of relief. I was at a meeting in a church that I knew as "the progressive baptist church" with a bunch of cynical Jesus-loving clergy types serving in my home state of North Carolina trying to figure out what it means to preach the gospel and be church in "times like these". As I write that part of me thinks aren't we always in "times like these".
So it seems fitting, that I finally just lay out the vestiges of what's been going on in my mind since then. As a lover of nineties hip-hop and the mantra "keepin' it real"
Lemme lay out a few cards on the table:
1) I did not vote for Trump. I was reluctantly "with her". In the primaries, I voted for Bernie. Why? As I told one of my favorite church ladies who watches too much MSNBC, " This might be the only time in my life I get to vote for someone who aligns with my ideology."
2) I actively worked to not get Trump elected. I didn't do AS much work as I could but I donated money, I did some door-to-door canvassing, I phone-banked, I did some GOTV, I was a poll greeter. It's not so much a love for Hillary but a fear of Trump that led me to this.
3)My life is pretty much an echo chamber. I don't usually get too riled up by my "racist uncle" or my "facebook friend". Although I've learned that who you vote for and what your politics are do not always aligned.
4) I'd say on a scale of "woke" 1-10 (1 being Rip Van Winkle), I'd put my self at a 6.5-7.
4a) I don't read all of the stuff or always use the right pronouns and names for various groups who I think I stand in solidarity with.
5) My main news sources are- NPR, The New York Times, and what folks share on Facebook.
Also for good measure Here is what I said on the Sunday after the election. My congregation is made of people whom I assume are Democrats, and know are Boomers. Also they're black.
SO NOW I'M BACK AND IT IS FIVE DAYS BEFORE THE INAUGURATION. FIVE DAYS. I got caught up in the yuletide and just like I knew was going to happen, January and the reality of it seems like being re-traumatized.
1. I've lost trust. I don't trust the media. By media, I mean all of it from NPR to FoxNews to the Atlantic and even(gasp) my beloved Robin Roberts (cause she works for ABC). I don't trust that people will choose compassion and empathy/sympathy over perceived self-interest. I don't trust that people know what their own self-interest is. I don't trust politicians. I think I had a thin trust in the idea of America or the American experience. I once teared up after a tour of the Liberty Bell and Constitution Hall. Full disclosure this was a few weeks after Obama was elected in 2008. And maybe because of all the other things I don't trust, I don't trust America.
2. I am exhausted from doing nothing. I've got friends who are organizer. And I dream that I am a justice-seeking revolutionary. I signed a few petitions on change.org. I made grandiose claims to a few people about what I am going to do. I did some "slactivism". You know hip shirts about current justice issues where somewhere between 0.0 and 15 % go of my purchase goes to help the actual cause. I think I will be come a revolutionary my being in earshot of people who are actually doing the work.
3. Speaking of exhaustion. I am tired of whiny liberals. I live in an echo chamber so I usually agree with people and their dense, overly-academic, further deepening the intellectual gulf articles.
4. I'm still angry. I have been working on my anger intentionally since maybe September. I'm black so this is helpful because I don't want to be an angry black woman stereotype. But, anger is ok. It's ok to be pissed. It's ok to not be ok. Because anger moves us toward action. I needed to hear one of the dopest people on the earth, Valarie Kaur say that last week to embrace it. I want to stay angry because maybe it means I see myself in my siblings all over the country. I want to stay angry because I want to be part of the resistance.
5. All of the Christian rhetoric I've heard that tries to make meaning of this all can feel sorta pithy and pie-in-the sky but I have no other alternative because of my above mistrust to believe it.
I have a seven point plan for the first 100 Days. It seems SMART.
I do wanna be the change I wish to see in the world. I'm also scared. I think I am scare of my own potential to be a bad-ass justice seeker, shalom loving, Jesus person who wishes I could twerk better. I don't want to hate people that voted for Trump but I still kinda do. I wonder how love overcomes hate? Even though I know it does. I wonder how I will resist, how I will be in solidarity. I wonder if I'm not as open-minded and progressive as I think. I hope I will surprise myself with what I learn about God, our country, and people over these next 4 years.
I'm still not sure if I can finally speak about it but, i also think that's ok.