We are all reeling in shock over the outcome of the US election last week — it still feels surreal. But things in the United States are evolving very rapidly, from massive protests in cities across the country to a wave of hate crimes and vandalism from sore winners emboldened by a party platform of hatred. Instead of organising to push a president to live up to her potential, we are facing the prospect of organising to defend our lives from the government that a minority of the country voted into office.
‘Her Loss‘ (Lindy West for the New York Times)
The United States almost broke a profound barrier last Tuesday, and when it didn’t, that didn’t just crush Secretary Clinton’s dreams. It also shaped the way the nation will be talking about and interacting with women well into the future.
Whatever your personal opinion of the Clintons, as politicians or as human beings, that dynamic is real. We, as a culture, do not take women seriously on a profound level. We do not believe women. We do not trust women. We do not like women.
‘Don’t just grieve for immigrants—fight for immigrants‘ (Aura Bogado for The Nation)
Immigrants will be on the front line of the erosion of civil liberties in January, and some are at especially high risk — those listed in the DACA database, as well as other databases in cities around the country, including ‘Sanctuary Cities,’ which Donald Trump has put squarely in his sights.
Most explained that they were calling out of some kind of desire to not be alone, and all explained a very tangible sense of fear. Young people with deferred-action states, who’ve enjoyed a reprieve from deportation under President Obama’s executive order, are worried: They’re in a database now. A database that Trump, who has promised to end the program as a first action, can easily use to come after people when he assumes the presidency in January.
‘Autocracy: Rules for survival‘ (Masha Gessen for the New York Review of Books)
Take it from someone with a painful firsthand experience of living in autocracies: A Trump presidency represents a serious threat, and a well-coordinated one that could overtake the United States before it fully understands what has happened.
Trump is anything but a regular politician and this has been anything but a regular election. Trump will be only the fourth candidate in history and the second in more than a century to win the presidency after losing the popular vote. He is also probably the first candidate in history to win the presidency despite having been shown repeatedly by the national media to be a chronic liar, sexual predator, serial tax-avoider, and race-baiter who has attracted the likes of the Ku Klux Klan. Most important, Trump is the first candidate in memory who ran not for president but for autocrat—and won.
‘Here’s what I’m telling my brown son about Donald Trump’s America‘ (Mira Jacob for Buzzfeed)
What do you tell a child growing up in a country that has just decisively indicated that it hates people who look like him, who come from backgrounds like his?
Sometimes I wish I could ask America when, exactly, it made its mind up about us. The myth, of course, is that it hasn’t, that there is still a chance to mollify those who dictate the terms of our experience here, and then be allowed to chase success unfettered by their paranoia. To live, as it’s more commonly known, the American dream.
‘We who choose to stay and fight‘ (Sara Benincasa)
The American landscape is already in a rapid state of change, with a great deal of work ahead. Write your playbook now.
You know, some folks will say that liberals and progressives were too smug and that we underestimated him. But I don’t think that’s quite the whole story. The real story is that we recognized him for exactly who he was, and shall forever be. We overestimated the goodness and decency of a lot of Americans. We believed in them and as it turns out they did not deserve our belief and good faith. They are not good and they most certainly are not decent.
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Photo: Sebastien Wiertz/Creative Commons