Saturday, November 12, 2016

Engage. Resist. Speak out and organize. Crying time is over.

I don’t cry easily. Before election day, my last good cry came when my beloved brother Bob died in 2006. Unable to sleep the morning following Donald Trump’s election, I logged onto my computer early. I began reading my messages and then began to cry.

I heard from frightened people. Messages came from the LGBTQ community. They feared their lives were threatened, that marriages, entered so lovingly, might be voided by a menacing federal government. A young man who lived in the U.S. since infancy, graduating from college here and pursuing a meaningful career, feared deportation to a land he never knew if Mr. Trump does what he promised his white supporters he’d do to undocumented human beings.

The fears my Muslim brothers and sisters have endured ever since 9/11 have been heightened by the campaign of a man who has stirred hostile nativist emotions that have laid largely dormant for half a century.

Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners wrote about messages he receives. “They are from the people who feel most vulnerable: parents of young black and brown children, Hispanic pastors who are dealing with the terrified undocumented families in their congregations, African-American ministers who fear the emboldened white police officers who no longer fear the scrutiny of a justice department, a president, or anyone else who might hold them accountable. And, of course, many of our Muslim brothers and sisters are wondering whether this can be a country for them anymore.”

Hillary is right. This man deserves a chance to prove he can govern. But the leash must be short given what he has done with his life and said during this campaign.

It took a day to work through the shock and sadness that such large numbers of white Americans had voted their fears and hatred rather than their hopes and dreams. In an article titled “Time for healing and resistance,” Rev. Wallis wrote, “This was a white election. It was a race election. Contrary to all the data and demographics about a changing America, Donald Trump defied the conventional wisdom and believed he could win by mobilizing the white vote and turning out angry white voters in greater numbers than others believed was possible — and finally winning in an overwhelmingly white vote.”

The data attributes Trump’s victory to white voters, not only non-college educated and male, but the “vast majority of white voters of all levels, classes, and genders came out to put Donald Trump in the White House.”

The role of rightwing Christians can’t go unnoticed. They proved Jesus right. We cannot serve two masters. They chose mammon over God, shedding claims to be led by the teachings of Jesus to back a man with no discernible moral compass.

Then there were the Wyoming election results. If there is a remaining voice crying out for justice in the Wyoming legislature it was greatly diminished. Any hope for Medicaid expansion is gone. There will be little impetus behind anti-discrimination legislation or compensation for wrongfully convicted persons. The state budget will reflect even less concern for the elderly and children, the disabled, and low-income families. Sadly, the election tells us there are few Wyoming voters for whom any of that matters.

More than before we must support those who are vulnerable to a care-less, hostile government. Here are some suggestions on how those who care about justice.

Support Wyoming Equality to protect civil liberties of the LGBTQ community. Contribute to the Wyoming Association of Churches, people of faith who walk the walk. Be a part of the Cheyenne chapter of RESULTS to end poverty. Be a part of the Compassionate Cheyenne movement. Join the ACLU, Human Rights Campaign, the Sierra Club, or Sojourners.

Travel to Standing Rock. Support the struggle of Native Peoples.

Attend a church, mosque, temple, or synagogue that features a progressive theology where you can be a part of feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, and welcoming the stranger.

Engage. Resist. Speak out and organize. Crying time is over. People of justice may be fewer but we are neither helpless nor hopeless.

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