First of all, let me get this out – USA! USA! USA! Phew, now that’s out of my system, if you’re here in the states like me, hopefully you voted on Tuesday (or before!) for a candidate you thought would best run this country and not into the ground. But now that it’s Saturday, I’ve been trying to figure out the words to say on how I feel about the outcome. My candidate of choice might not have won and I may have several fears, feelings, etc about the outcome but the fact of the matter is that we have a new President-elect that I’m still not sure if he’s fit to lead our great country. So what do I do when I can’t find the words? I start reading. I start singing. And I start listening.
The written word has always been a safe space for me, it’s part of the reason I started in the first place. I wanted to create a space for my recommendations, find more like minded individuals who loved the written word and caffeine as much as I do. So I put on some tea, sat down covered in a blanket, and I tried to put into words on how this election outcome terrifies me. Absolutely frightens me. Because people who are near and dear to my heart as well as those I will never meet are being targeted for things they cannot change. And it’s atrocious that our country is so divided right now.
The songs I’ve been having on repeat right now are ‘Home’ by Blue October, ‘Piece by Piece’ by Kelly Clarkson, and ‘Talkin Bout A Revolution’ by Tracy Chapman. These songs have always made me cry yet always given me the most amount of hope. But the song that feels the most applicable right now? Definitely that last song by Tracy Chapman.
My favourite lyric in that song has to be Don’t you know/Talkin’ ’bout a revolution/It sounds like a whisper. With the protests, the social media conversations and debates, it seems like we just might at the tip of a serious change in this country. The amount of anger, fear, and outright hatred hurts my heart so much. And the amount of violence I’ve seen here where I currently live isn’t the America I know and love. It’s not the country I believe in and it’s not the country I want for my future kids.
So what can I do? What can we do? I’m still learning. I’m picking up novels by authors with experiences that make me feel utterly uncomfortable, I’m supporting businesses that are the most at risk, and I’m watching videos or reading stories about bigotry that are happening right now. And I’m boning up on history. Because it’s like the adage goes, history is doomed to repeat itself. Especially if our memory is short and we don’t learn from our mistakes.
If you were able to vote in this year’s election, listen to people’s fears. Validate them, they’re real experiences that will make you completely uncomfortable. And it’ll be easier to dismiss them as willy-nilly and irrelevant. It will be easier to think that their very real experiences are just some weird part of the liberal agenda. But they’re not. Listen to their experiences. Figure out how you can help, how you yourself can be a better person. And realize that you’re not in the clear because you’re not ‘one of those people’. Let’s make Tracy Chapman proud and remember that revolutions always seem to start with a whisper. Then it becomes a roar.