There is much weeping and anguish over the current state of America right now. Contrary to some perspectives, it’s not about the loss of political power. That happens. That’s normal and to be expected. Let the Republicans take a turn for awhile. Many will disagree, grumble, and wait for “change in Washington”, but we’ll all survive the ups-and-downs of the political fray, and eventually return to our regularly-scheduled-programming.
But this weeping? It is born from fear for personal safety, sanity, and mere existence. These tears aren’t about who votes for or against abortion, the Supreme Court, or Obamacare. They are about the sorrow for the setback of the American Dream—the hope that we are equal under the law, indivisible, with liberty justice for all. The harsh reality for those of us who weep is that the nation’s leader is a man who spoke aggressively against these very ideals, who blatantly denies the impact of his negative behavior, and whose behavior descends far lower than what we would ever allow of our children.
Consider this sampling of events that has already occurred, mere days after the election:
- In Dewitt, Michigan, middle school students formed a wall to keep out minority students.
- An effigy of a black man was hung from the balcony a coffee shop in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
- Swasticas, racial slurs, and confederate flags are being used to taunt and threaten students of color on college campuses across the nation.
- Read of over 200 other such incidents here.
Some are saying that this is normal, that it’s not connected to the election. To that, I respond, “Why the hell is it ok for this to be normal?”
The pain is running deep these days, folks. As one deeply committed to healing racial wounds in our country, I feel the weight of it especially heavy on my shoulders. My husband and I hear from friends and colleagues across the country who feel the same thing. When I hear relief expressed over the election results, I find myself wanting to respond, “Frankly, I’m deeply saddened by them because my volunteer work is in racial reconciliation. This has been a ruuuuuuuffffff week for so many, and there’s a lot of pain out there in the wake of what this has revealed about America.”
For those of us who are mourning with those who mourn, who feel it our call as a follower of Christ to love mercy, act justly, and live humbly, I offer a prayer today.