Don't Give Up Your Power.
My response was that I would do the same thing, no matter the election result. I would wake up the next morning, with the same plan I've had now for the last months, to take my students to North Philadelphia to local community center Serenity House, for a conversation and discussion with local residents about neighborhood identity and activism. We spent some time this semester in my sociolinguistics course analyzing the language of the presidential debates, and in the previous semester I was following election rhetoric with students in my course on Languages of Fear, Racism, and Zombies. If there's one thing I've learned about zombies, it's that things aren't always what they appear to be.
Look, nobody respects women more than I do. *Insert wry laugh* But the last thing I'm planning to do is to throw in the towel, move to Canada (or elsewhere), and give up my social justice work. Hell, no.
The moment we give way to calling this an apocalypse, we script this occurrence and phenomenon as inevitable and out of our control. We seek to absolve ourselves of our shared responsibility for turning this ship around. Now's the time for critical thinking, instead of conjurings about the end of the world, about deportations and mass executions.
I want to instead think about how to work to educate others, communicate with people I don't already know, and push for new elected representatives and legislation. Even in the movie The Day After Tomorrow, survivors had to begin improvising together, and the U.S. ultimately had to form a coalition with support from the Mexican government. There was always a next step, and it's no surprise that a library, a fountain of knowledge, is what saved the movie's main characters.
"I Am A Women's Rights."
Years ago, it was Sojourner Truth, born to enslavement in New York state, who got up on that same stage in 1851 to fight to be seen, heard, and recognized as a woman, in front of other women, White women, and men alike. It is said that Sojourner stood up at the conference in Akron, Ohio that year, amid jeers of "Darkey" and "Don't let her speak, she'll ruin us!" The struggle for recognition and humanity in the U.S. has always been intersectional for Black women. To this point, Sojourner famously said in her remarks: "I am a woman's rights."
Deliberately articulating her body and intellectual sovereignty as a symbolic vessel of freedom and self-determination, Sojourner Truth made her stand for Black people, for women, for the marginalized, for Black women--for all of their "rights". It's a role that Black activists have always taken on in the U.S., to agitate for the freedom and self-determination--the civil rights--of everyone.
We're Not Post-Anything, Except Post-Election.
Seeing our electorate literally cleaved in two puts everything out in the open. No one can deny that our sociocultural polarization creates barriers to our understanding of one another, and our ability to form effective political coalitions to challenge the status quo. As I look to 2018 and 2020, I know that we're on the cusp of tremendous change. The big question now, is what will you do the day after tomorrow? How will you change? How will you work to meet and learn from people you don't already know?
So, I have to be stronger. Let the violin strings play, and then get up and get to work. Fired up, and ready to go. I'm still with her. Because she is me.