This week, the daughter of an African-American woman told her mother that she, her Latino husband and their children would be moving out of the country following Tuesday’s election of a man who has promised to show nothing but contempt for them.
Another woman’s biracial grandson was called the N-word on the school bus.
A lesbian friend was called a reprehensible name and told her marriage would be annulled.
A Muslim friend is afraid to go grocery shopping.
These examples are just among my friends.
In our schools, Latino children are being taunted with threats of deportation and gay and trans children are being harassed.
This is the new America.
On Facebook, a high school friend complained that Democrats are bad sports because a white man reportedly was beaten up by black men because he voted for the man whose name I refuse to utter.
I reminded that friend of the verified news reports of gays, Muslims and people of color being beaten up as their assailants named this man who might move into the White House.
The hatred is palpable.
I will not hate. I will not commit violence in any form. It is against everything I believe, everything I stand for.
That does not mean I won’t fight.
Last night, I listened to Rev. William Barber on a conference call with hundreds of other people, as he told us he believes we do not have to be gracious about the political victory of a man who has promised to be cruel to immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ people and more.
We do not have to offer congratulations to a man who has shown no compassion, no honor and no regrets for the violence of his followers.
This morning, I spoke with my friend, Rev. Rodney Sadler, who echoed Rev. Barber’s sentiments. Rev. Sadler and I talked about the protests we plan to organize and/or attend, and about our fears for the safety of people we love.
Sitting at home is the same as doing nothing. Silence in the face of tyranny makes one complicit. As this man tries to implement his hate-driven policies, we who enjoy privilege must stand against all of it.
I will stand with my brothers and sisters whose lives and bodies are under threat. You will have to go through me to get to them. I will do everything in my power to protect them, except violence. I will not stoop to that.
I am a follower of Christ, who instructed us to love our enemies, to care for “the least of these” among us. I will feed the hungry and love the marginalized. I will defend the defenseless and give voice to the voiceless.
To me, loving my enemy does not mean being gracious toward someone who would let children go to bed hungry, who would deport millions, who would strip women and LGBTQ people of their legal rights, who tweets vile insults to people who disagree with him.
Loving my enemy means not harming them in any physical way and believing that they are deserving of redemption if they seek it.
Loving this person him does NOT mean any form of approval for his policies or beliefs.
I will stand against this person as I stand for peace and justice for everyone. I will not sit down.
I will take to the streets with my brothers and sisters. I will do no violence. This is my promise.