#ImWithYou

I wasn’t with her, and I am not with him.

But I am lucky enough to have friends and family on both sides of this spectrum who keep me informed on the emotional climate around lots of issues, including the election – and my Facebook feed has felt so dichotomous for the last two days that I thought it might just break itself in half.

How can you read in one post that Hillary is demon-spawn… and in another that Trump is the next Hitler – with only a cat meme to separate them – and not wonder if Facebook is trying to play some evil, ironic joke on you??

But seriously – I’d like y’all to meet each other. You actually have a lot in common. You all are hoping to be treated fairly and justly – and you would like for your friends and neighbors to be treated fairly and justly, as well. You all want to live in a safe, peaceful country. You all enjoy your freedom and you want to keep it.

And you all are scared that the “other side” is going to take those things away from you. 

Believe me. As much as you point fingers and ridicule people on the “other side”, they are pointing them right back at you. You’re scared of each other and angry at each other. Calling each other names behind their backs… except that it’s on social media, so I hear it. And both sides are guilty of blowing things out of proportion, blaming each other for ridiculous things, and assuming the worst possible intentions in each other.

The fear has mostly been political up to this point – made up of strongly differing viewpoints on how to handle important issues (and whether or not those issues are actually important).

But now it’s different.

Things just got really personal.

We just elected a man who encourages and spreads fear. A man who has publicly made degrading comments about Latinos, African-Americans, immigrants, refugees, people with disabilities, people who didn’t vote for him, people who did vote for him, his daughter, and, oh yeah… women.

I don’t know what Bible Trump is [not] reading, because my Bible tells me that God is all about reconciliation – between God and people, and between people and other people – not about divisiveness or disunity or racism or classism or narcissism. God is about unity and forgiveness and looking out for each other and treating other people the way we would want to be treated.

I’m sad that evangelicals just helped elect a man who is the polar opposite of those qualities. And I’m sad that so many of my friends of color, immigrant friends, and others feel more scared, marginalized, and inferior because of it.

Unfortunately, unless we want Trump’s divisiveness to infect our whole nation, we are going to have to work extra hard to counteract it. We will have to stand next to each other, get to know each other better, befriend people who are different from us, listen to each other more closely, and be with each other in this.

So just as an FYI…

I am with you, so many friends of mine who have recently or not-so-recently immigrated here from India and Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria and Mexico and Rwanda…. and Sweden and Ireland and Great Britain and Italy and Germany… {Ahem}… Oh yeah, that’s just about all of us, isn’t it?

I am with you, friends of color, because racial tensions are high in our country right now, and what we need is someone who will advocate for peace and justice and unity – not ignorance and discord and downright ugliness.

I am with you, the 14-year old son of my friend who was told yesterday by kids at school to go back over the border just because his dad is Latino. Ugh. This makes me sick. And I know it’s not the only story like it.

It really doesn’t do any good to point fingers at millions of people to try to find someone to blame for this presidential mess we’re in. And it really doesn’t do any good to say “It’s not my fault!” We’re here now, and somebody has to stand up for reconciliation and unity. And if it’s not going to be the president, then let it be me.

#ImWithYou

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