Dear Muslim persons:
I see your radiant beauty–in each and all of your varied forms. I respect you. I want you to know I love you. You belong here. We belong here together. We are enriched by each other.
Dear persons of non-US national origins who seek home or shelter here for any reason:
I see your radiant beauty in all of your varied forms. I am sorry for the hateful messages of my current president-elect. He is not president material and he does not speak for all of us, or even half of us. We are enriched by your presence here, by your diversity of experiences and perspectives. I want you to know I love you and I am so glad you are here.
Dear LGBTQ, Gender-nonbinary, Gender-nonconforming persons:
I see your radiant beauty in each of your varied forms. I respect you. I want you to know I love you. I am so glad you exist. You enrich my life so much. We are all so enriched by your presence, your authenticity, by your commitment to your truths, even and especially when they are unfamiliar to us. I am sorry for all the times when you don’t feel seen, accepted, loved. I trust you, I see you, I respect you, I’m so grateful for you, and I fucking love you all.
Dear persons of color:
I see your radiant beauty in all your varied forms. I have so much respect and awe for you. I am so sorry for the deplorable and truly unfathomable history of suffering you have experienced at the hands of white people. I did not understand racism, could not see it, when I was growing up. I left the white “Western” world; I came back; I see it. White people, you can’t say you’re not racist if you haven’t seen it, both out there in the world, and inside yourself. It is ugly. It is brutal. It is systemic and it is personal. It must be so hard, so painful, so exhausting to be on the other side. I am ashamed, enraged, and deeply sorry. I am doing the best I can to unlearn my own atmospheric/ideological racism and to stand up against its systemic and acute forms. Thank you for not giving up on your non-poc allies, for generously helping us while we clumsily try to help you, which is helping ourselves, though some of us don’t seem to get that. It is so unfair to you. We are trying. I have so much to learn from you. Thank you for your incredible kindness while I try. Tell me when I’m out of line. I will try not to react with white fragility. It is uncomfortable to have so much to learn when any misstep brings up so much guilt/regret/frustration. I will try to be humble. It is a process.
Dear women, young, old, unborn, and past,
and dear men:
Wow. Wow. Wtf. I am shocked. I am enraged. I am disappointed. I am afraid. I am so deeply saddened. So bottomed out by this blow to our value as women, to our sense of self worth. The most prepared presidential candidate versus a tyrannical, anti-democratic, anti-everything buffoon. And more white voters than ever turn out to elect the buffoon with no experience and no plan, who speaks to and treats women like absolute trash. I have no words. Women of all worldviews, backgrounds, dreams, faiths, shapes, colors, sizes, I see your radiant beauty in each and all of your forms. You are so important. Do not be cowed. Do not be discouraged. We are winning the long game. We have come so far. We will go so much farther. Humans struggle with change, especially when life feels hard, stressful, unsatisfying, as it must feel for many in the US in order to have elected the likes of Trump. Young voters voted overwhelmingly for Hillary, for inclusivity, for bridges not walls. The future is more inclusive and more full of love. Let us listen to each other’s grievances across lines of disagreement, so that we can understand, so that we can work together to make things better, rather than recede with resentment until one of us makes this kind of rash, catastrophic act of recklessness.
I hope everyone will do their part. The road ahead is complicated and tiring, but we have to engage; we have to contribute. A few things I think will help us most: desegregated education, more equitable access to quality education that delivers critical thinking and research skills, and personalized life guidance. And listening and debate skills. (Nonviolent communication has a role to play.) Quality education requires paying teachers more; respecting teachers. I think the extremeness of socioeconomic disparity have led us here, and I don’t know how to get us out. I personally am going to keep developing my ability to teach mindful, informed, and empowered communication across lines of difference.
There’s so much more. Gotta leave it here. Bon courage to everyone in this long fight ahead. We are so much stronger together. At least this election revealed the head of the nasty beast so that no one can call us crazy when we say white male supremacy is alive and active. Let’s work together for a better future. I can’t imagine bringing kids into this world, as is. To current parents, stay vigilant. Love.