The day after election day. I was up past 3 a.m. I left the safety of my war room after midnight for the reality of exit polls and concession speeches.
I’ve been seeing a lot of discussions about percentages of people voting. About who voted how. Breakdowns regarding race and gender sliced and diced to serve up with a large side of anger and hurt.
Throughout the next days, weeks and months, I think we have to take a hard look within our own communities to acknowledge some facts, dig into the figures and get a game plan together for this future that we so desperately need.
We need to start looking at this from the point of systemic racism and how the constructs here today were built for the purpose of the outcomes we have consistently seen in elections, especially over the last 2 years.
I met a woman at a registration event that told me, without pause that she has never voted in a midterm election because she’s always been told that they’re not that important.She looked like she was in her 50s. Think about how many elections that covered.
I met a 19-year old who could not register because she didn’t have I.D. Her mom takes care of everything for her, she stated. While the first instinct is “what?” think about it. If you don’t drive, what’s the incentive of an I.D.? If your mom works 5 days a week, how are you going to get to the place that can issue you one?
There’s a deeper issue that we don’t talk about. There are barriers in our own communities that we assume aren’t there because we do not have them. Education regarding politics is just the tip of the iceberg. We are all oppressed by the system but a lot of us still have some privilege that we need to understand and acknowledge in order to shed the biases that hinder us from empathy, understanding and the ability to truly lend a hand to change the course of history.
Shaming people to vote is scientifically proven to not work. It’s time we all acknowledge what’s lacking and work slowly toward what our communities need. And it doesn’t begin with reaching out to Black people June/July of 2020. It begins next week.
We have got to disrupt the system.
Not with shock and awe. Not with shame. Not even with anger. This disruption has to be organized methodically and with precision. There will be much that needs to be sacrificed. Time, money, energy. But our mental health, our integrity and our peace won’t be up for grabs. This disruption will start digitally, of course. And it will be led with love. Not necessarily the “love” that folks like to experience but the love that is needed during times like these.
And then, with the ancestors at our back, we come together and put out into the world something they’ve rarely seen. This resistance is going to happen.
Ima just need a week of sleep first. And possibly a million dollars to fund it .
The loses we experienced last night are tough and seem bigger in the light of day.
You know what else is bigger? My hope.
I’m taking the rest of the year to build out the framework that I started in 2016 but didn’t get back to due to betrayal and plain ol’ overwhelm. It’s hard to run a faction of the resistance when you have limited spoons and with two surgeries ticked off on your calendar. But, I keep coming back to it and so, I know this is what needs to be done.
Through it all, I realize that there’s been this fear of losing. This apprehension of failing. When, in fact, failure can be a catalyst for growth and for change. Because you see, we do not lose, we learn.
What are you learning during this period?