Over the past few months, we have been inundated with labels. We have watched people, social classes, and members of political parties be labeled broadly. We have replaced love with hate…respect with anger.
Stephen Colbert said it best on Tuesday night during his election special. We have overdosed on the poison. You have a gentle high as you take each sip to hate the other side a little more. To partake so much in order to believe you are right…and it tastes good.
But the fallout is dangerous.
We have developed a climate where Mexicans and muslims question if their days in this country are limited. Where some muslim women have left their hijab’s at home in order to feel some sense of safety outside the walls of their safe space.
A climate where my chocolate brothers and sisters have to revaluate if the progress that has been made is all for naught and if a day will ever come where they can look forward and not over their shoulders.
A place where videos are released of Trump supporters being attacked because of a bumper sticker that graces the back of their cars because the anger is real. The hurt runs deep.
We have watched words spoken at rallies divide us and spark raging wildfires. Those words at times have been lit into torches, with people running them into their cities and communities, burning down hope.
See, I don’t care your party affiliation. I don’t even care who you voted for.
But I do care about a lot of things…and people.
To my chocolate friends…I’m with you. I don’t stand in front of or behind you. I stand beside you with my hand in yours. We will continue to fight together and love bigger.
To my Muslim, refugee and Mexican friends, you’re loved. I’m sorry the majority of you have been broad brushed as the enemy and looked to be feared than to be engaged. I hope one day this feels like home to you.
To the LBGT community, I’m sorry you’re looked at as less than, as broken. Know there are a host of us out there that love you for who you are and your sexuality is part of you.
As I was just watching social media yesterday, reading the hurt, the pain, the rage, the happiness and the rejoicing, I realized the hope that I have can be fulfilled when we start discussing issues and not ignoring them. When we choose to love the other person enough just to hear them out. When we don’t minimize the problems of this group because we think they are wrong or that our problems are bigger.
Our kids are watching this shit. They are watching how we react to all of this. For goodness sakes, be second to that just for a moment.
And when you come face-to-face with the option to sit and let things pass by or stand and face confrontation…stand.
Anti-Nazi theologian and German pastor Martin Niemöller penned this after he was put into a concentration camp in the 1930s.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Let’s not let this election cycle be the thing that divides us. We are bigger together. Stronger united. Stand with your brother…especially the one that doesn’t look like you.
And after you do that, keep standing.