Election 2016

We Know Things Are Bad...

I'm appalled, disgusted and embarrassed to be an American today. It's not about political views or difference in policy. It's about a candidate running on a platform of hate, racism and misogyny, and winning. I thought we were going in another direction, and it makes me sick to my stomach how wrong I've been.

Yesterday I apologized to my entire class, about half of which are here on student visas, for what they are about to endure in this country from here on out. They're scared, and I don't blame them. It was quite honestly the most embarrassed I've felt in a room in recent memory.

My wife is devastated. This election will affect her patients directly is horrific ways... In her own words "I spent the day in clinic working with patients who already have so little, but have so much to lose in the next 4 years. How do you take away health insurance from 22 million people? How do you deport 11 million people? I see fear, hatred and violence written on the bodies of the people I serve. How much more can they take? The gap between what is needed and what I have to give has never felt so great. My heart is breaking tonight."

This is not a difference of opinion. I'm not upset because of some trivial disagreement. Stop telling me to respect your views, that's for things like "I don't care for coffee" not for things like "I think Mexicans are rapists and all Muslims should be banned from entering the country." The ignorance displayed by so many in this nation is absolutely staggering, and I refuse to tolerate it. Bigotry is not an "opinion."

But things don't stop. Tomorrow we all have to wake up and do it again. I know I'll wake up and go to school and continue to teach, and I'll make photographs and create art and put good things out into the world. My wife will wake up and go to clinic. She'll help those that truly are in need, the most marginalized and vulnerable among us, people with so little left and so much to lose. She will do whatever she can to keep her patients safe and healthy. We'll both take solace in the fact that we're part of a community that doesn't judge people on race, color, creed or sexual orientation, and we'll make sure those within our community know that they are valued and respected.

War is not peace. Freedom is not slavery. Ignorance is not power. Now more than ever, it is so important that we keep moving forward, no matter what.

In the long famous words of Howard Beale, you've got to get mad. You've got to stand up and say "I'm a human being god dammit, my life has value." Get up, go to your window, stick your head out, and yell "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take this anymore."

Write, create, speak out, help, educate... If we stop, it's over, and hate wins.