By Jillian Polland
Donald Trump has been elected as the next president of the United States.
Clinton supporters, Trump haters, activists for women’s rights, allies of the LGBTQ+ community, supporters of Black Lives Matter: This is not the time to bemoan your defeat.
This is not the time to take a mental health day.
This is not the time for tears or tweets or frowny face emojis.
This is the time for action.
Donald Trump has been elected as the next president of the United States. There is nothing we can do to change this. Half of the voters support him – that cannot be argued now.
But if you are a human being who believes in equal rights for other human beings, you must act.
It does not matter if you voted for Trump or Clinton or Stein or Johnson or if you wrote in for Harambe, the rights of your fellow Americans are in danger.
I’ve heard people wail, “We’ve fought so hard already – what’s the point? Is it even worth it?” and I am not swayed in the least.
Every syllable of racist, homophobic and sexist rhetoric that Donald Trump has spat targets millions of human beings. His words do not exist in a void. They are not amorphous concepts you can just dismiss.
They represent lives and livelihoods in danger.
They represent mothers, fathers, daughters, wives, husbands, sons and friends.
Even if Donald Trump has been full of hot air, even if he fails to pass a single law in support of his violent rhetoric, his election has already given his words explicit consent. His election has told the world, minorities, immigrants, women and the LGBTQ+ community that we hardly value them at all. His election has told people their violence and hatred is justified.
His election has imperiled lives.
That is a terrible precedent to set. That is something worth fighting against no matter how defeated you may feel.
But I’m not sure how I can do it. I truly do not know.
I’m one person. You are one person. No matter what the dystopian novels tell us, one person cannot change the world. This cannot be fixed alone.
We need to stand up together as a voice for the people he is trying to silence. We must band together in ways this nation has not seen in decades to walk with those whose lives are in peril.
This is not the time to lay in bed or move to another country or shroud ourselves in a cloud of newly legalized marijuana smoke.
This is the time to act.