There’s not going to be anything about food in this post. Or birds. And hardly anything about running. It’s probably a mistake to write anything about the election on this gray and weepy morning after, but I’m going to anyhow.
My most enduring memory of last night (this morning, actually): walking home in the wee hours and seeing a lone figure crouched on the sidewalk outside the lesbian bar down the block, sobbing uncontrollably.
My most enduring memory of this entire election: learning after the fact about the white, rural, Trump-voting Ohioans who flipped off my (brown) nephew as he walked down the street with my (white) nieces during our family vacation.
I woke up early this morning and went for a long run, because what else was there to do? As I ran, I thought about what’s next. And what to do.
So here’s what I came up with.
- Do whatever I possibly can to help protect the safety of my neighbors here in New York City who are in real, physical, bodily danger under a Trump administration. First things first.
- Write, speak, do whatever to defend the right of workers to organize, and strengthen their organizations. The workplace is where, in this segregated country, whites are most likely to come into real contact with people of color – and the experience of workers joining together in a multi-racial organization to build collective power that makes concrete improvements in their lives is transformational. Among other things, it transforms peoples’ politics . . . which is why white union members vote differently from the “white, male, blue-collar, Rust Belt workers” we’ve been hearing so much about. And it’s also why the (shrinking) labor movement has been under such intense attack. With total Republican control of government, the only line of defense now is . . . us.
- Scream from the rooftops to defend access to health care. Don’t let them repeal Obamacare without one hell of a fight, and for God’s sake, don’t let them dodge and obfuscate. Confront them with the fact that what they are doing is taking health care away from cancer patients. (Do I sound emotional? Well, yeah, because this is personal.)
Maybe, at some point, if I have the energy, I can try to summon up some radical empathy for the white guys who flipped off my nephew.
But right now? Nah, sorry. I’m not feeling it.