Wednesday, November 09, 2016

The Coalition of The Different

I've been afraid of this morning for a long time. I always believed that Trump would win. I said this at work a few days ago and was challenged, "Every poll says that Clinton will win, how can you say that?" I was asked. But before I could answer we were called back to the task at hand.

My answer would have been that the only thing that I have ever seen unite a community is hatred. Working at a group home a couple of weeks before it opened. Getting it ready for people to come home from the institution, I walked from the subway to the house. They had fought against the home, the neighbours did. They fought hard. And they hated us. Those who worked there. And those who had been locked away in shame and fear would come home to hate and unwelcome. Hate pulled a community together.

It would be my first lesson in the depth of hate that exists for difference but not the last.

Coming out and marching in the first gay pride march in Toronto. People threw stones at us. People grabbed garbage off the street at tossed it into our faces. They called out names. Their faces showed us their hearts and their hearts were twisted and angry. My own heart struggled to find pride but it couldn't it just beat in fear, deep, deep fear. Of the crowd, of the new photographers. Would I be hurt? Would I have a job to go back to. Strangers came together, on the street, united in their hatred of us.

I could go on.

About fat ... and the permission it gives people to be hateful.

About disability ... and the permission it gives people to wish me dead.

I keep hearing that Trump won because it was 'the small guy' against 'the elites in government.' No it wasn't. It was those who hated this group, united with those that hated that group, united with those that hated all groups. It was, from the outset, a movement based on hate. That's been clear all the way through.

A coalition of 'the different' will never defeat a coalition united by hatred.


Love does not defeat hate.

But love can power resistance. Love can turn hearts. Love can cause deep reflection.

Love does have power.

Inclusivity as a concept builds and rebuilds and rebuilds.

Because of these things I think that tomorrow might just be OK. I may not have been surprised at the level of hatred expressed in the election of a man who's primary skill is bluster, but he just might be surprised and the strength of the resistance that's coming.

Because it is coming.


Unknown said...

thanks for giving me courage this morning, Dave. You are living this battle against hatred and fear...and many of us who have thought we were exempt/immune are now finding that we are not...that our perceived 'safety' is illusory and that while America has always done things that I did not agree with, until today I never worried that America might do something TO me or to someone I love.
be well, Dave and Joe.

Unknown said...

Wise words as ever Dave... chilling but reverberate with authenticity..

We hope you and yours are well? Well the world has changed since our last Ezine – we have Donald Trump as US President – let us hope the walls and bans he promised to put in place do not come true! The UK faces the appalling message and impact of the Brexit vote. The wider world continues to grapple with powerful forces of hatred and exclusion. Despite all of this we continue to shout out for and applaud amazing acts of courageous inclusion and welcome wherever we travel.

The challenge to inclusive education has never been greater and yet in classrooms and communities we see wonderful practice that would have been impossible not that many years ago.

We have worked with many professionals and parents who are passionate about person centred planning - making this real and creating more inclusive mainstream schools and settings. We are about to publish a very practical book on person centred planning with colleagues in Suffolk: Person Centred Planning Together – pre order today!

We congratulate and wish well the people who continue to work hard to remove the barriers between parents and professionals to allow people to really move on together. You know who you are!

Inclusion is all about team work - teams that plan, problem solve and stay strong together. Stay close!

painting with fire said...

I so hope you are right about the push-back. Am in the states and am so depressed and disgusted right now. Hatred won last night.

Andrea Shettle, MSW said...

I wrote my own personal reaction to the election at my Wordpress blog, entitled "I See You, I welcome You, All Peoples Standing Together":

I also posted the same thing in Facebook, for people who prefer sharing via that medium:

And again in Tumblr:

SammE said...

I hope so Dave. Out and about early this morning with the dogs, the parents waiting for the school bus with their little ones, every dog walker I met, lamented and professed disbelief that this man has been elected. I wasn't as sure as you were that it would happen, but I was very worried. I agree that hatred is his platform, and it scares me that so many feel enough hatred to have voted for him. I do hope that love and caring for one another will win out. I hope there is huge opposition and roadblocks put in his way. I have to hope, because I don't hate. Thanks for posting this Dave.

Ron Arnold said...

Hatred? No. I don't think so. I think it's fear. Most people don't believe they need to be controlled by someone else, but there's a LOT of people who are easily convinced that they oughta be afraid of certain groups and they will enlist the help of government via force and intimidation to get those groups to fall into line. People often don't vote for what they WANT - they vote against what they're afraid of.

That being said, Mrs. Clinton wasn't the choice of many Democrats. (Sanders was - and the DNC worked against him every step of the way.) The young folks I know distrusted her. Longtime Democrats I know didn't like the baggage and the continued cycle of just skirting the line legality of things that family continues (via their Foundation) to engage in. She wasn't a great candidate and couldn't overcome that deficit. In leaked emails her campaign WANTED Trump to be her opposition. They miscalculated the fear they could raise toward him to counteract the malaise people felt toward her.

(An aside - I think Julian Assange and Wikileaks have been heroic throughout the past decade and I hope they continue to do the same thing with Trump's administration that they had with Bush, Obama, and this campaign.

As for me. I voted for Gary Johnson. I was hoping he'd garner at least 5% of the popular vote so a third party could be more prominent in national politics going forward. I'm a fan of freedom. Sadly though - that didn't happen.

Too much fear . . . .

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your words. I needed this today.

mary said...

So very disappointed in how this election turned out and that so many of my fellow citizens came down on the side of hatred and bigotry. We can only hope that the system in place will prevent him from following through with his harmful promises. Such a poor representative for our nation. I am just gobsmacked by these results.

Unknown said...

I think fear is the basis of anger, and of hatred..usually fear that we will not get our share (of money, job, opportunity, love, respect) and fear that we will somehow be categorized as 'different' in a way that is equated with 'less than.'
And we fear the parts of our own selves that frighten us...and we can be irrationally angry at and hateful of anyone who triggers our own dark impulses/urges/desires/fears.
and we fear the randomness of the world....and want the illusory belief that we/our people/place/stuff will be protected and preserved, even at the expense of some one else's very survival in the world.

we have very dark forces within each of our well as great capacity for love and courage and change...

each of us must choose...and act...and not leave it to others to do our part.

Ruti Regan said...

Love came damn close. Someday, we might win.