We Grieve, and Then We Get to Work

It’s November 9th, and the man so many of us have been having literal nightmares about for months will be the president of the US. It’s okay to be scared by that, to be grieving or disgusted and to feel helpless or fatalistic. It would be shocking not to feel that way. After we’ve all given ourselves time to feel that, however, we need to grieve and walk forward at the same time. There’s a lot of work to do.

Speaking very broadly, we’ll see at least these two things in the coming years. We’ll see a deeply racist, colonialist, misogynistic GOP have much greater freedom and power to create, block and enforce legislation after eight years of gridlock in Congress with a Democratic president. The legislation we’ve seen Republicans fighting for — blocking abortion access, anti-trans bathroom bills, “religious freedom” acts aimed at ostracizing LGBT people — will be much easier for them to make a reality. The violent colonialist agenda against Native people, like we’re seeing in Standing Rock, will be redoubled. I don’t know what will happen to education and healthcare specifically, but it is not likely to be good. The new appointee to the Supreme Court will be a huge loss to us; Trump has said he wants to choose someone “very much in the mold of Scalia.” It still isn’t easy or simple to overturn Supreme Court rulings like Roe v Wade or Obergefell, but it won’t be impossible, either.

The other thing we’ll see is outside the legislative halls: violence, from the white people all over the country — men and women, rich and poor, college-educated and not, religious and secular — who voted for this. They’re emboldened by the success of a white nationalist narrative, feeling reassured that it is, as prominent white nationalist Matthew Heimbach has said, “healthy, normal and organic.” We’ll see increased outbursts of violence at Muslims, Sikhs (who are often assumed to be Muslim), brown people and immigrants or those assumed to be immigrants, Black people, trans people, especially trans people of color. We’ll see a surge in anti-Semitism. We already see all of these things, but much like how hate crimes “soared by 41%” after the Brexit vote, they’ll skyrocket. The people in the US who are already unsafe will be even less safe.

All of that said, it would be absurd not to be sad and scared, but it’s not a time to be paralyzed. To be blunt: we can’t afford to wallow. I’m a white person, and am mostly addressing white people in this, as that’s who I can speak to. For some people in the US, white people, this feeling of terror and estrangement from your own country is new — even if you’re a woman or LGBT, you may not have felt like this before. For many people in the US, mostly Black, brown and indigenous people, there is nothing new about this. They have always been unsafe; they have always been targeted by their own government; they have always been dehumanized and subject to violence from their fellow citizens. This new era won’t be new, not really. The people who voted for this have been here all along. I say this not to make an argument that this isn’t a big deal, or that anyone who feels unprecedented horror is wrong or bad. I bring this up to say, when you look at the future and think how can we possibly go on, how can we possibly fight this, look to the groups who have been living in the world you were just recently inducted into for generations. When living under the constant threat of state violence, surveillance and oppression, how have Black and brown and Muslim and indigenous people gone on? How have they fought? It’s not a rhetorical question. Now more than ever is a time for white people to listen to people of color. We, white people, created this reality; it’s our job to change it and to keep people safe while we do. To do this, we need to look to the blueprints of resistance that people of color have already employed; not to usurp them or to center ourselves, but to learn how to do this. When you catch yourself thinking “We can’t live like this,” remember that both in the US and globally, many people already live like this, and have their whole lives. And organize to change it, sometimes at great personal risk.

It’s time to really study the civil rights movement and other liberation movements, not like you’re getting ready for a test but like you’re getting ready to help people survive. It’s time to donate time and money to organizations like BLM and other racial justice orgs, labor activism, reproductive justice orgs, disability rights orgs, climate change and environmental justice orgs, and movements for undocumented people. To go to the marches, the planning meetings for the marches, the vigils and benefits that no one else shows up to. We need to be more engaged, not less, in the political process than ever before, voting in every single local election for every selectman, city council member, sheriff and mayor. And for white people, I would argue that we need to resist the impulse to cut off and excommunicate those family members, friends and acquaintances who voted for him; not because of an ideal of empathy, but because if the country is going to change we need to change the people who wanted it to be this way. We have to keep talking to them, keep working to show them that the lives of others are more important than the narrative they’ve been sold. It isn’t fun, but lives depend upon it.

It’s heartbreaking to know that this is the country we live in — that this is the country we’ve lived in all along. But the fact that this is the country we’ve lived in all along and that we’re here to read this means that we’ve survived it so far, and that the tools to keep surviving in it are at our hands. If you’re feeling numb and not sure where to focus or what you can do, focus on this: it’s up to us now to get to work to change this into a country that couldn’t have made this vote, and where so many people’s goal isn’t just survival.

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Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. Thank you, and especially thank you for the part about white people not cutting off friends and family. We can’t afford to ignore or tolerate them, and we never could.

    • I like this. But how? Fe someone who has never been very politically active, but has motivation to do so, how do I mobalize?

      • Follow a number of organisations, local/regional/national, and pay attention to their calls for help. Donate. Share. Volunteer. Find people that need help where you are and help them. Get your friends together.

      • Try starting a search for organisations in your area.If you have a particular area of skill or interest make that a starting point. Read about historical political activism in areas that you relate to. See where activism has been and look to see how it got there.

        Anyway, a few places to start. Welcome aboard fellow traveler!

  2. Thank you so very much for this article. It makes me feel a bit less sick to my stomach. I know that doesn’t sound like much of a compliment, but it is. It is. Thank you.

  3. Thanks for this, and thanks to AS for being available as an outlet for the pain and confusion many of us are feeling today.

  4. “To do this, we need to look to the blueprints of resistance that people of color have already employed; not to usurp them or to center ourselves, but to learn how to do this. When you catch yourself thinking “We can’t live like this,” remember that both in the US and globally, many people already live like this, and have their whole lives. And organize to change it, sometimes at great personal risk.”


  5. This is my anthem, I will march to it in protests, I will sing it loud to other white people, I will share it and re-share it to the nihilists and the defeatists and the cynics.


  6. While I’m upset, historian in me reminds me that what’s happened is hardly an anomaly. Throughout history even in most progressive countries there were complete buffoons in power, but, eventually, progress goes on. And US have long history of democracy and checks and balances is still working, so… It’s not gonna last long. By wallowing, communicating, raising your voices you ensure that it’ll pass as quickly as possible.

  7. I love love love this. As a person of color, this really resonates with me. Thank you for taking the time out to acknowledge your privilege. Thank you for not only writing words but giving plausible measures of action.

  8. It may not be much, but I did, yesterday, convince my [white] [republican leaning] dad to read some bell hooks, just for the sake of getting a perspective that he normally wouldn’t encounter. (And for the record, no he did not vote for Trump!) Let’s all just keep pushing in small ways like this to affect change. It has to start on a local level!

  9. There’s already riots breaking out after the election, in a way I’m kinda glad to see so many people not tolerating a Trump presidency. So much irony in Trump’s speech about unifying the US and standing up for the unheard….

    • Too bad more of them didn’t actually show up to vote. ATTN Millennials: Your feels mean nothing without a ballot. LEARN SOMETHING FROM THIS.

      (I’m 35 and this election turned me into an angry old person yelling at millennials literally overnight. I’m bitter about this development.)

      • I feel you! I’m 24 and so upset that my 20something coworkers didn’t vote. But also, we’re in California, and it’s disheartening that even if we had 100% voter turnout, it wouldn’t have done anything to change the outcome.

  10. This is not just about white voters. Obama won a higher percentage of the black vote in 2012. Clinton also won less of the female vote than Obama did. One in three Latinos voted for Trump. For some reason, Clinton did not perform as well in key demographics that were predicted to give her the win.

    • Sierra, I would really challenge you to examine why you find the need to comment multiple times here that white voters are not responsible for this. In order to move beyond this, we must be willing to confront the white supremacist structure that built this country and allowed this to happen. We must acknowledge the toxicity of our privilege. That’s not a comfortable thing to do, but in the face of this election outcome, we truly have no other choice.

    • Keep in mind that the states that flipped for Trump have also put in a lot of voter suppression laws since the last presidential election. POC overwhelmingly voted for Clinton, but they also bear the brunt of voter suppression efforts.

    • According to CNN exit polls, 96% of black women voters voted for Hillary. Half (or just over half) of white women voters voted for Trump. This is why I, a white person with punjabi heritage, follow black women.

    • You are absolutely right. There was only a 1% increase in the number of whites voting for Trump compared to those who voted for Romney. Therefore, the white vote was not enough for Trump to have won. There was a dramatic increase in the number of blacks and latinos who voted for Trump, compared to Romney. There was a dramatic increase in the number of poor people who voted for Trump compared to Romney. There was a dramatic increase in the number of LGBTQ people who voted for Trump compared to Romney. These are the demographic increases to which we are now attributing Trump’s win. Conversely, There was a dramatic increase in the number of privileged wealthy people who voted for Clinton.

  11. Well that made me feel better… and humble.

    But I’ve already unfriended loads of people today, and while you may be right, I am too bruised and disgusted to care… and I think I’m gonna wallow a little bit, at least for a couple days.

    • I’m in the same place as you, and I am feeling humble about it, actually straight up ashamed, but I think when you’re still THIS angry it’s the best thing to do because if you end up lashing out at people who ultimately need patience and teaching (even if they don’t deserve it), you will just make things worse for everybody, as fucked up as that is. So I think you should take all the de-friending time you need until you’re sure you’re able to deal with those people. XOXO

    • One thing I’ve been thinking about is the difference between defriending and cutting ties. I was friends with my aunts on facebook for a really long time because I kept thinking about how I needed to somehow change them, but I kept getting angrier and angrier. So I defriended them, but I’ll still see them at Christmas parties and family events when I’m back home, and now I might be able to have a civil conversation with them that means something instead of just erupting like an angry volcano.

      And maybe that’s not the most useful thing, but it felt more constructive. I don’t know.

  12. This absolutely IS about White voters. It is not about 3rd party, not about ‘hey they minorities didn’t vote for Clinton.’ It is about the mobilization of white voters and a racist demagogue. It is about the first election after the gutting of the Voter Rights Act, that was killed the day after Gay marriage blinded us all to how great things were. It’s about redistricting. It’s about the KLAN out in public CHEERING this morning. Its about potently ingrained misogyny to the point that voting for a stunningly qualified woman over a literally unqualified cretin.
    White America walked into the voting booths, looked to make sure no one could see them, and voted against a Woman and for a racist fear mongering islamaphobe whose VP thinks Electroshock is a great time for queer kids.

    • “White America” can’t decide the outcome of an election alone, especially considering the fact that Hillary won among college-educated whites. This is about the middle and working classes deciding they were fed up with the status quo, and Hillary was too much of an establishment candidate for them.

      • Sierra I get that this is difficult and times are scary but until you can be honest with yourself about the role whiteness played in this election, you can’t be useful to anyone or contribute to change. There’s a lot of writing on this subject already and more will come in the next few weeks; please read it and work to consider it seriously.

        • CNN exit polls said 96% of black women voters voted for Hillary, less than 50% of white women voters voted for Hillary. Even with a margin of error, there is zero blame on people of color for this outcome. It was never their job to save white people from our relatives, classmates, however distant, who voted for Trump.

      • White America most certainly decided that it was, AND IS, okay with Nazi’s, racists, and fearmongering.
        Non-College Whites? Trump beat Clinton 72% vs 23%. But lets not go all Neo-Liberal here and claim “Peoples Need more education.”
        Trump also won white, non-college women 62% vs 34%
        Trump also took white college-educated men, 54% vs 39%

        So yes, among white voters, Clinton only won among women with a college degree.
        By 51% vs 45% So YAY a victory there.. hardly. It amounted to nothing.

        And yes, Latinx folks voted at a rate just around their vote for Romney, 27 to 29%
        The African America vote was utterly laying in Clintons camp.

        But yes, please. Go on about how this is somehow not white peoples fault. How fear of “mexicans” and “immigrants” and the like wasn’t specifically targeted at and for White Nationalistic ideals.
        Or how the FBI, an arm of the US surveillance apparatus described as over whelming White / Male and “TRUMPLAND”, threw a completely disproven wrench into the campaign days before the election.

        Let us sit back and point at 3rd party people, and of course make absolutely sure we include the Latinx vote as a means of deflecting the visible and ongoing uprising of White Nationalistic fervor we are seeing right now.

        I have to question the need of “Not all WHITE people” right now. What weakness do we expose when we condemn the majority of those who just set out country on track for the largest right wing powerbase since 1929? If we do not mention Latinx or PoC voters is there some fear we will be some how weaker in our criticisms? The false equivalencies and ‘both are just as bad’ deception is not helpful. If we condemn those that are white is it absolutely required by some recently ingrained belief in all things binary that, of course, it can’t just be about white people? The gains certainly seem to be. The power definitely is.

        The protests right now are good. We have to keep them going, although I hesitate to hope they will work. We have 1459 more days of this, with a Supreme court legacy that will last far beyond it, and you know who is going to gain the most, be the safest, and reap these rewards?

        White People.

        Either start working to dismantle this toxic supremacy or, at the very least, stop denying it is, and has been, the core of Americas settler colonial vision.

  13. I just read that at Hillary’s party the confetti was going to look like broken glass and then made me sad all over again
    I am very disappointed. As an immigrant this is not the first time that the place I chose to live told me I am not wanted here (prop 8) but now I’m older and I am exhausted of fighting

    • Oh god, that’s too much. Beyond my main response of horror/fear/anger/sadness/grief, I keep having these images of Hillary being stoically disappointed today in various scenarios (like, Stoically Disappointed Hillary thinking about not getting to use the broken glass confetti she’d giggled about when they planned it; Stoically Disappointed Hillary having to change into her black and purple concession pantsuit instead of the gleaming white pantsuit she’d excitedly picked out for victory), and my heart grows sore again and I desperately want to give her a hug.

      (I sense I may be projecting. Was she ever excited about a pantsuit? I cannot say.)

  14. I love you Rachel and all of you. This is a weird week to be “out of the office” but thank you for all of this. we have so much work to do and we will do it together.

  15. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. this article and community are giving me a glimmer of hope today. After the night I had, that’s saying a lot!

    Sometimes it can be difficult for me to find motivation in the face of adversity – not today, however. Not now

  16. “it’s up to us now to get to work to change this into a country that couldn’t have made this vote, and where so many people’s goal isn’t just survival.”
    Yes. Thank you so much for being here.

  17. Thank you for this. I am feeling numb and scared and shell shocked. And sometimes angry. And deeply sad. I have not been very political so far. I was brought up with the belief that one makes a difference in small acts, in being kind to others, treating people well, leading by example,a and generally making your small world a better place which will ripple to making the whole world a better place. But that is not enough for me right now. I want to join with others who see and acknowledge my pain and fear because it is theirs too. I want to be a part of something. And I want everyone to see that we are here. We exist. We are upset. And we have a voice. Any ideas on how to get involved for someone who hasnt really been so far? I mean I volunteer and I donate. But I want to feel part of something right now, and not so adrift

    • hi! we’ll hopefully have more coverage coming up soon about concrete ways people can take action in their communities on specific issues, but for right now: many local orgs are organizing marches and protests. if you have a facebook account, you can download the “events” app and check that you’re interested in “causes,” and it may show you things nearby. i know moveon.org is organizing vigils that you can find on their website; vigils aren’t an end-all be-all, but you may meet other people or orgs there that can point you to more action. you can find different local chapters of the national BLM org at http://blacklivesmatter.com/. you can donate to the fundraisers of individual trans people, many of whom are trying to do as much as they can to change legal status of names/gender markers in the next 70 days for their own safety. if other people also have suggestions, please feel free to weigh in here!

  18. Thank you for putting words to this. And reminding us of our responsibility to keep fighting and trying to make things better.

  19. god this is terrifying. extra grateful that autostraddle exists and continues to do this invaluable work. feeling more able to live my life, get things done, etc. thank you <3

  20. Rachel, I remember your posts on the suicide crisis in 2010. You are always so good at breaking the problems down into their composite parts in such a thoughtful way, and then ending with a plan to action. I have seen people talking online about how they wish Obama and Hillary were in a position to react more strongly and with anger to all of this — we are missing our national mourner in chief at the moment. But in this community, you fill that role and I appreciate it very much.

    • this really means a lot to me, Naomi, thank you. i’m trying to think of those times in 2010 as a reminder that things have been dark before and that we take action in those times and that shifting attitudes is possible. your presence and support and love here are felt and appreciated.

      • <3

        It's terrifying to think of Trump taking control of the discourse and how much worse things could get. Honestly I don't know that things will be ok, I don't know that is analogous to any of the prior dark times in my (27 year old white girl) memory. Franco ruled in Spain for forty years, after all.

        But you are very right that there are models for how to fight. And we have to have hope, because we cannot afford to dispair.

  21. “It’s time to really study the civil rights movement and other liberation movements, not like you’re getting ready for a test but like you’re getting ready to help people survive.”


  22. I didn’t think it possible today, but reading this made the hopelessness feel at least a little less complete.
    Thank you, Rachel. And thank you to everyone here.

  23. This warms my heart. My mom, who is generally not into politics (but into humanity nonetheless) and has banned the medias from her life, called me today, because she was scared. There’s a chance that our country might face a similar fate in the near future, I don’t believe it will happen but I never thought today would happen either (call me naive). The sole fact that it’s something to be wary of is telling enough; it’s there, like it was there for you in the U.S, a weather propitious to bigotry and intolerance. And well, I don’t want to have to stomp on fascist fungus once it’s grown, I’m going to flap my freakin’ arms if that’s what it takes to change the temperature.

    There’s work to do indeed, thanks for reminding us of both our responsibilities and our capabilities. Thanks also for keeping us combative and hopeful when our mothers are sobbing on the phone. Off to study civil rights movements then !

  24. No financial or moral or logistical support for able-bodied Trump voters, even if biological family. Go all libertarian on them.

    I am not black, but I think that it is incumbent on me to discover (out-of-the-way) black-owned businesses and buy or use their services. Hitherto, I just use the closest reasonably priced stores.

    I truly think that 90%+ of straight whites (and a sizable percent of gay men) will go along with any fascism. We as a nation have made our bed of racism – now let the white special snowflakes die of heroin ODs and botched illegal abortions. You can’t fix stupid. Let them burn their hands, maybe they will learn that fire is hot. 404 Fuck Not Found.

    • Yay – I shifted all my toiletries to black-owned brands. Shampoo/conditioner from Shea Moisture (at csvs/wallgreens), soap from Nubian Heritage. It seems more expensive, but I only have to shampoo/conditioner twice a week. I have white people hair (Number 2 – a little wavy).

  25. Rachel, thank you for your analysis, kindness, and clear vision forward. Whatever privileges we have, we must put them to work.

  26. Thank you for this, Rachel. Thank you for all of it. Today we wallow. Tomorrow we organize. I needed to read this, and so I think did many many people who will see it, and so do many more people who won’t. This is beautiful and poignant and exactly what we needed.

    Especially “It’s time to really study the civil rights movement and other liberation movements, not like you’re getting ready for a test but like you’re getting ready to help people survive.”

  27. Given all the activity here today, I’m sure someone has said something along these lines: if there’s a silver lining to be found here, it’s the prospect of the left finally uniting. For far too long, we’ve all been dealing with our own shit and excluding each other from discussions. White feminists have excluded women of colour, queer women have dealt with discrimination from within the queer community, etc. These are no longer “black problems”, or “lesbian problems”. These are human-beings-with-any-modicum-of-decency-and-respect-for-other-humans problems. And we all have to work together to make sure that a shitstorm like this is never ever allowed to occur in the U.S. again, or in any other country. We can’t afford to ignore each other any longer.

  28. Rachel, this piece was such a bright light on this very dark day. Thank you for giving me direction and hope.

  29. I have been feeling so beleaguered with the wall to wall Trump on every single news sites today. I just wanted to thank Autostraddle for being a safe space on the internet for us to feel our feelings and then focus on the work ahead.

    • Brilliant. I’ve always made it a point to befriend my Muslim co-workers. The simple fact is I felt safer with them than white Christians I worked with. I’ve been fortunate to learn so much about Islam and various cultures. Sikhs have been another absolute delight to work with. I love people.

  30. As a non-American living in a place hostile to LGBTQ+ and discriminatory towards women, I can’t help but felt horrified (at first) and sad that America has chosen such a duo of sexist-racist-homophobic white men to lead the country. All the progress made, especially in terms of marriage equality and LGBTQ+ rights may well be undone in the next four/eight years.
    How is America gonna uphold these human rights and tell/ask the world to treat everyone equally and humanely when the President does not even respect his own non-white non-cis male citizens? It’s gonna be a different world and world order. Yes, there’s still hope but now it’s looking pretty grim from the outside..

    • Yes! I didn’t catch all the CBC coverage, but I was pretty impressed by her. Passionate and very smart, she made so many good points.

    • I saw this too, and was cheering. The rest of the coverage before was all about how sad the white working class was, now that the jobs and economic security they had been promised were disappearing.

      And i was growling at the screen “no, that’s not it. They have legitimate complaints, sure, but this is not focused on those but on hate.”

      And then Danielle Moodie-Mills spoke up and i was so grateful the elephant in the room was addressed. Don’t know if that clip includes old white guy being all “now, hold on a moment, that isn’t true” but i hope it does. (Because of course he pushed back.)

  31. This is incredible writing and I wish I and all the other white people in Britain had been able to read it back in July!

    Wishing everyone strength in our global struggle against hate <3

  32. Trump did not win by a landslide. There aren’t enough working and middle class white men to win the election, on their own, for any presidential candidate. Had other groups voted in larger numbers for Clinton, the powerlessness and minority status (in numerical terms) of white men would be visible. But that didn’t happen. Not only did large proportions of other groups vote for Trump but also, as always, many, many people did not vote (as was the case in the UK with Brexit). Trump voters are not the majority of Americans just as Brexiteers are not the majority of British people.

    Trump voters are threatened by the reality that white working class men are no longer the majority- but if they vote in higher proportions than other groups they will always be able to exercise a degree of power that does not reflect their actual demographic position.

    It might be empowering to have a article looking at the US’ changing demographics… and perhaps this will push people to fight to increase voter participation in 2018 and 2020.

  33. I think I’ve passed through the final stages of the grief cycle. It really feels like someone I loved died. I work in a public school with a predominantly Latino population. On Tuesday, we had a mock election for the students. There were reports of kids getting bullied by classmates with taunts about how their families were going to get deported after Trump won. This isn’t a hypothetical. I have students whose parents have already been deported. I was furious. I tried to not blame the bullying kids themselves; after all, they didn’t learn that shitty behavior on their own. The adults in their life modeled it for them. So now I feel a great responsibility to model kindness and compassion for the sake of our most vulnerable students.

  34. In all the talk I’ve seen both here and elsewhere about how to deal with relatives and loved ones who voted Trump, I really, really hope we remember and remain sensitive in our rhetoric to situations where that ideological gap marks a power imbalance or abusive situation of some kind. In addition to your points about thinking before you defriend in the hopes of keeping the conversation going, I’ve seen so much rhetoric on social media about how there is “no excuse” not to cut Trump supporters out of your life or actively fight them on their beliefs.

    There is an excuse. It’s called power imbalances in relationships. It’s called, please consider your audience when you reblog or retweet that sentiment and remember that closeted queer people may be hearing you, and that for some of those people, engaging in an active debate or defriending a relative on Facebook may provoke questions as to why the cause matters so much to them personally, and those questions may lead to compromises of safety and security, especially in the cases of closeted queer teenagers and young adults from red-voting states and families being bombarded with that sort of rhetoric on Tumblr and Twitter right now. Don’t be that person who sends a 15-year-old social media hate for not telling off their red-voting parents loudly enough for your liking. Remember, too, that mentally unhealthy minorities can hear you when you say that sort of thing, and so often those people’s mental health issues are greatly exacerbated, if not sometimes outright caused, by the stress of an abusive or dysfunctional family situation. Encouraging a closeted, mentally unhealthy, or otherwise fearful and immobilized queer person or other minority to engage in political debate with an abusive or toxic relative is a super questionable and touchy thing to do, and outright shaming them or blaming them in a “silence is siding with the oppressor” way crosses the line into outright reprehensible.

    (And this applies to “there is no excuse not to vote” rhetoric, too. In an election where a picture went viral of the president-elect peeking over the voting booth to monitor his wife’s voting habits, remember that some people – minorities and white people in red states alike, honestly – live in domestic situations where even broaching the topic of why you were home late stopping at the polling place on your way home from work or why you received a mail-in ballot and can I stand over your shoulder as you fill it out? Is enough of a safety and stress compromise to significantly hamper some people’s access to voting, or voting for a certain candidate, even before we get to the issue of voter suppression.)

    Just like with how we need to be careful with discussing things like National Coming Out Day and pressuring people to come out for the cause when it could be personally unsafe for them to do so, we need to be really, really careful not to frame our rhetoric here in a “there is no excuse” not to behave a certain way with regard to loved ones who voted red. Because sometimes it’s not a matter of empathy or optimism for future dialogue. Sometimes it’s a matter of immobilization that starting that conversation at all could be personally unsafe.

  35. I wrote somewhere about wanting to reach out to a queer student and needing advice for the approach.
    I emailed her yesterday and asked her to come to my office today.
    She just left, was here for almost an hour.

    We talked a bit about the election, she mentioned an ex girlfriend, but didn’t talk about how the election through her queer identity which I overheard her talking about and really struggling with.. so I jumped in- told her about how when I in college the amount of hope we felt for the same sex marriage movement.. and then Massachusetts legalized same sex marriage.. and I left class crying and called my girlfriend and celebrated with her; and how I see this situation as the total opposite of that, and that it has sucked some hope out of me as opposed to invigorating me like I was in college….

    student smiled, totally relaxed in her chair and *finally* started talking about how she actually felt. Totally opened up, different student than I ever interacted with.

    We talked election, happiness, goals– she’s pre-med lit major who never seemed *excited* about med school. I gave her my favorite piece of pre-med advice: “If you are sitting around wondering whether or not you want to go to med school, you probably don’t”… (I do this not to discourage people from going to med school, and wouldn’t give the advice to someone who was wavering on med school because they thought the prereqs were too challenging–just to students who have the attitude of ‘eh I guess i’ll go to medschool” There is SO MUCH PRESSURE for high achieving science students to go to med school, and people feel trapped in that path even if it isn’t what they *actually* want. This piece of advice freed me in college).
    She mentioned taking a semester off of the sciences, which I encourage (and which is something I did and told her about). and she then said “if not med school, what?”. So we talked about what to do with a lit major, and I mentioned getting an MLIS. I told her about my friend who after library school started working in a state archive.
    Student jumped out of her chair, started crying and was like “I didn’t even know that was a think I needed to do, but I need that”.

    Two take home messages:
    -Because of this stupid result, a babygay realized she wants to get a library degree. (Things just became a little more right in this world. )
    -Queer visibility in academia (and everywhere), and queer academics are so so important.. and while I have always been on the quiet side of out. This has made me realize that being OUT is important to me.

  36. From London we are with you, we will fight, we will come through. Silence will not be an option we wake up and we get back on the horse. We kick and we scream and we will be heard. Too many have fought for us, died for us and we won’t forget. We are here. We are here to stay. This community, this movement. We are here. We are NOT going anywhere. X

  37. I decided to channel some of my feels into making cards of support and love to Islamic, immigrant, and LGBTQ youth. As someone who works with youth both as a volunteer and in schools, I know many are feeling scared, unwelcome, and isolated.

    A few organizations have emailed me back with addresses where cards could be sent and they would be given directly to youth. If any of y’all are interested in sending cards to those orgs along with me, please message me directly and I’ll send the names and addresses your way.

    As to the rest, <3. We will grieve, we will love, we will organize, and we will come back fighting. #wetooareamerica

  38. “For some people in the US, white people, this feeling of terror and estrangement from your own country is new — even if you’re a woman or LGBT, you may not have felt like this before. For many people in the US, mostly Black, brown and indigenous people, there is nothing new about this. They have always been unsafe; they have always been targeted by their own government; they have always been dehumanized and subject to violence from their fellow citizens. This new era won’t be new, not really. The people who voted for this have been here all along. I say this not to make an argument that this isn’t a big deal, or that anyone who feels unprecedented horror is wrong or bad. I bring this up to say, when you look at the future and think how can we possibly go on, how can we possibly fight this, look to the groups who have been living in the world you were just recently inducted into for generations.”

    Yes. THIS. This is exactly what I needed to read right now, as a queer woman who is also a very frightened white person. Thank you.

  39. Um I have no idea where to post this, but I remember the election day open thread some people being concerned the executive branch could have the power to overturn decisions of the judicial branch, of the highest court in the land the US Supreme Court.


    -Reverse any Supreme Court decision
    This includes Obergefell v. Hodges, which made same-sex marriage a constitutional right; Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which reaffirmed a woman’s right to choose first articulated in Roe v. Wade, another Supreme Court case. Grutter v. Bollinger, which instituted affirmative action, the entire body of Civil Rights case law, plus anything related to due process, including the right of minors to due process, your right to an attorney, Miranda rights, inadmissible evidence, etc.
    (Even if Trump appoints the worst possible SC nominee, they still can’t reverse any of these decisions without a really significant case coming before the Court with new facts, and then they have to write an opinion stating how this case is different than that other case…it’s unlikely to happen.)

    -Write law or repeal any existing law
    While traditionally, presidents have exerted influence on the legislative agenda (see, Obama’s role in advancing and promoting the Affordable Care Act) they cannot actually write or pass legislation. Bills, joint resolutions, concurrent resolutions, and simple resolutions must be introduced in the House by a Representative.
    Presidents cannot strike down law. Only Congress can repeal laws, and only the Supreme Court can strike them down as unconstitutional.
    Presidential influence is just that—influence.
    (And if—for example—you are hated by 95% of the party you joined last week, and burned all your goddamn bridges by insulting them at various points in your campaign…..they’re unlikely to partner with you in crafting legislation.)

    -Make any law or declaration that infringes in any way on the rights of the states
    So in the US, most of the rights are reserved to the states. You name it, it’s a state-run power. Criminal procedure and law? States. Medicare and Medicaid? States. The definition of marriage? States. Insurance, health departments, housing, unemployment benefits, public education, all these are state programs. And the president cannot infringe on those powers given to the states.
    (This is why down-ticket voting is so important, because Mike Pence as governor of Indiana had 800x the power he’s going to have as VP.)

    -Declare war.
    This one is the most complicated, because with the advent of our “conflicts” in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc. there has been a significant shift in the articulation of the war doctrine, and it is one of the least restricted of the president’s “restricted” powers. But, despite all that, a president still has no power to declare war.

    -Unilaterally appoint heads of administrative departments
    -Unilaterally make treaties with foreign nations

    Essentially, while presidents have a lot of power, it’s mostly unofficial—they can’t make sweeping laws, they can’t overturn existing rights, the most they can do is refuse to enforce them (which is absolutely a threat! and a problem!) but we aren’t electing de facto royalty here.

    Source of this write up:

    If I had the time I’d double check it with a civics textbook or write it myself, but my semester is reaching finals crunch. I barely have time to fart which is what I’ll be referring to the oopma loompa in the oval office as because that is what his name means. :P
    Don’t bring up his first name up, just don’t. It ruins everything.

    But hey if you’re an Alex, a Lex, or a Sandy your(our) name basically means defender of humanity. And American history ain’t too fond of “rulers”, sic semper tyrannus.

    • I just got a response from civics geek (my ma) and adding to the fact of only the Supreme Court can over turn their decisions is that it’s a difficult thing to make happen because:

      A) it has to make it’s way up through appellate court first
      B) there is a narrow window of time to submit a case
      C) the justices have to agree to even bother reviewing it
      D) the court is only in session so to speak from first Monday in October to late June or early July

      So the yeah GOP could get a conservative into the Supreme Court but the chances of being able to overturn Obergefell v. Hodges or Roe v. Wade would quite slim and very difficult to accomplish.
      Like uh first someone would have to find a basis for their suit and people have trying that Roe V. Wade for about 40 years and it hasn’t happened.

  40. OMG you are such snowflakes! Watch this by an African American female trump supporter: https://twitter.com/StacyOnTheRight/status/796364933344743425

    Stop the race baiting and crying already and let’s get to the things that really matter like jobs, fixing our healthcare & education and securing our country. Let’s make America great again! And by the way, I identify as a conservative gay woman since the progressives have become the regressives. The intolerance for people with other opinions has made them become regressives. Intolerance especially for somebody like me have made you all become like the very people we once fought when fighting an actual fight for being able to be your own true self. We do exist and don’t conform to the divisive race baiting of regressives.
    And just a final note to comfort you all who don’t seem to have the slightest comprehension of the workings of our economy. Obamanomics has crippled our economy because obama increased spending while our country was already broke which let to the doubling of our national debt. To top it off he dramatically increased regulation which choked our businesses and high taxes for both business and household made it even worse since nobody had a dime left to spend or invest. Now American families in some states are confronted with the reality that healthcare will cost them more than housing thanks to obama care. These disastrous socialistic polices have done nothing for American businesses and families. The only thing accomplished is an even greater inefficient government. We now know that since Obama took office 2 million more women have slipped into poverty and approximately 16,1 % of women live in poverty today. Labor market participation is at the lowest point since the 70s and African American youth has never been less employed then now. As such we have seen increases in social tensions and violent crime rates. Trump’s economic plan is directly in line with president Kennedy’s and president Reagan’s economic plan who are now remembered as the most successful presidents when it comes to economic development. Fiscal responsibility, trade deal and immigration reform which protects the American worker, decreased taxes and regulation for both businesses and households, maternity leave and child care tax deductibles’ for working mothers, decreasing student tuition more towards the actual cost of education, education reform so that every child in America can go to a school of his or her choosing. These economic proposals will for the most part start growing the American middle class again and lift millions of American out of poverty. This will greatly benefit the latino and African American community in our country. The fact that a record percentage of African Americans and latino Americans voted for trump is a testament to that. And remember, the only thing that truly eliminates social tensions is an economic policy that ensures prosperity for all Americans. Trump is the way forward to make that American dream reality once again.

  41. Braided rrugs were coming into vogue and Navajo blankets on floors and walls
    was another suggestion.

  42. It is not even my country and I am still picking-up the pieces. Posting below is a part of the exchange between 2 commentators in another blog in India. It brings a very fresh prespective and interesting exchange of words:

    (and it did not have a ‘huge role’ either.)
    >>What are you smoking? I would like to have some of it, if only to deaden the almost-physical pain I feel. For the past 18 months, we have seen the attacks on Hilary Clinton – almost always based on her gender.

    (the national debt has tripled,)
    >>Where are you getting your figures from? The alt-right media? Even the Drumpf only said Obama doubled the national debt.For some real figures and a decent analysis:

    (And you said the US is not ready for a woman President but if Michelle Obama or Tina Fey or even Rosie O Donnell had run against Trump …they would have won by a landslide.)
    >>Do you have any evidence to back this up? Or are you just spouting off? Rosie O Donnell is hated by the Republicans. So is Tina Fey. They are seen as liberal shills. And they are very, very left of liberal. Michelle Obama has a huge popularity rating but that is because she is a very private person and they don’t know much about her. Much as I admire Michelle, I wouldn’t want her as my President either.

    None of these people have the qualifications necessary to be in a cabinet position, much less the President of the US. Or do you think we voted for Hilary because she is a woman? You insult us.

    (…instead of the Golden Gal of the establishment with her Clinton foundation (please don’t tell me you think it’s purpose is purely philanthropic) ,..)
    (Because they can’t see past gender either and clearly neither can you if you insist on hailing Hilary Clinton as a Messiah of the masses and champion of downtrodden women.)

    >>I have never said Hilary is a saint. Please don’t attribute to me something I have never said or implied. But Hilary is extremely intelligent, extremely qualified, and extremely capable. And she has cut her eye teeth in the political atmosphere.

    (because thankfully the human race has come a long way from the days when we believed a woman’s job began and ended with the home, hearth and birthing bed.)
    >>I am sure. But I don’t know who this ‘we’ is that you talk about, because while things may have changed, they haven’t changed so much that it is not still believed that a woman may work outside, but the home and hearth are still her responsibility. (By both men and women, I might add.)
    I live and work in the US. I have lived and worked here for 18 years. Have you? No? Then I’m more qualified than you are to say that gender discrimination is a Very. Real. Thing. We fight it all the time. Double standards exist. A man’s ambition is leadership. A woman’s ambition is ‘pushiness’. A man’s emotions are ‘sensitivity’. A woman’s emotions are ‘that time of the month’. A man is decisive. A woman is bitchy. A man sleeping around is a player, macho, manly. A woman sleeps around, she is a slut, a whore. Men are ‘assertive’, women are ‘bossy’.

    Where Hilary was concerned, she was alternately ’emotional’ or a ‘nasty woman’ or a ‘bitch’ – ‘Trump that bitch’ was not just Donald’s rant. She was asked to ‘smile more’, she was criticised for her pant suits, her age (and the Donald is older)… you name it. Even for sticking by Bill even though he is a philanderer. And for being the reason Bill ‘strayed’.

    They have drawn and quartered a good woman candidate and served her up for tea in the Old Boys’ Club and they are having the last laugh because after all, it is Hilary and she is a ‘nasty woman’.
    the need to prove that they were good Catholics ( which made political as well as practical sense at the time)

    You know, I am pissed off enough to say that if you want to teach me my adopted country’s history, you need to at least get your facts right. The Puritans were English Reformed Protestants who wanted nothing to do with the Catholic church or the Papacy.

    (…faith in …the checks and balances present in a democracy to stop the likes of Trump.)
    >>You see, that is the problem. Trump is attacking the very foundation of democracy. And honestly what checks and balances do you see when the President, the White House, the Senate and the House, and most probably the highest court in the land is in Republican control?

    Do you understand that we here in the US have been sitting and watching in dismay as the Republican governors and leaders have steadily challenged our very freedoms – what part of Texas shut down all but 19 abortion clinics; Planned Parenthood, which offers a wide array of women’s health services has already had its funding cut. It will be totally cut, or so DD has promised his republican base. LGBT rights has taken an enormous beating in these past two years. Attacks against minorities has increased. Trump has threatened to throw open libel laws, thus muffling a free press. He has already shown a propensity to sue; our First Lady to be has just filed suit against a blogger.

    >>No. ‘Moderation’ against Trump and his ilk who want to chip away at our freedoms, who want to stake their right to women’s bodies, who want people ‘not like them’ to be thrown out of the country – a country, mind you, that was raised by immigrants, who want people who believe that sexual orientation is a sin – no, I do not get how ‘moderate’ is going to help them. I am lucky; I am privileged. I earn a good living. I live in one of the most liberal of US states, the place where the immigrants first landed, the place where the constitution was written, the place where brave men and women fought for the land ‘of the free and the brave’. If Trump decides I am too brown to live in his all-white country, I have a home to return to in the country of my birth.

    But others are not so fortunate. Some of them have no other country to go to; this is their home. Massachusetts has one of the most enlightened health care system; women in Texas and Arizona and Dakota don’t. LGBT people are not a rare sight here, and it doesn’t matter to us if they are lesbian or gay or transgender or transsexual. The same cannot be said for other parts of the country which voted for Trump.

    They have the power; to undo – by law – the equality granted to all people.

    We know the ground reality. We need to be angry, because it is this anger that will drive change. And by anger, I don’t mean attacking people who voted for Trump.

    The anger to stand up and say, no, this is NOT acceptable. The anger to get out there and help the people who stand to lose the most because of this cretin in the White House. (Who is still busy tweeting about how the ‘liberal media’ are unfair to him. Just what I want my President to do.) The anger to stand up when it counts, not choose to conciliate a petty dictator. The anger to regroup and stand together against a racist, xenophobic, sexist, misogynistic leadership.

    Or. We can all lie down and let them wipe their feet on our backs. I call that cowardice. And I may be a blatant feminist, a bleeding-heart liberal, a nasty woman, and politically correct… but I. Am. Not. A. Coward.

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