Today our nation woke to a nightmare that we knew was possible, but that we had denied in favor of more hopeful dreams.
Pundits will spend the coming weeks, months, and years deconstructing Donald Trump’s election to the Presidency of the United States. We will have plenty of time to engage in that analysis and conversation. But today, in this moment, I want to focus on two contradictory truths.
First, our nation responded to a national referendum on race and democracy by embracing fear and hatred, in the name of false change.
Second, local communities around the country have already chosen a different way forward–embracing a vision of shared prosperity. We are demanding a truly inclusive democracy; we are demanding racial justice.
The implications of yesterday’s election will be felt for years to come. The work ahead calls for more vigilance, more organizing, more love. The effects on our communities–people of color, immigrants and refugees, Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities, LGBTQI communities, women, people with disabilities, journalists–is not theoretical; it is immediate and real. We’ve all, already, received countless email and phone calls from our communities, expressing fear and confusion.
In times of great challenge, I frequently turn to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words on the interdependence of love and power:
Now, power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose. It is the strength required to bring about social, political, and economic change. [We need to realize] that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.
I invite you to embrace both our power and our love; we have the power to build the communities we deserve, and we will do this for–and with–the families and friends that we love.
CSI catalyzes community, government, and other institutions to dismantle structural racial inequity, and create equitable outcomes for all.
Our mission is needed now more than ever, and we won’t back off. We will continue to support grassroots movements on the ground, from the movement for Black Lives to Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities, to people working with undocumented immigrants and refugees. We will continue to work with local and regional government to center racial equity in real and actionable ways. For a list of community-based organizations to support over the coming weeks, months, and years, please visit our website, Facebook, and Twitter.
We are grateful to be collaborating with Race Forward this week, gathering with over 2000 racial justice activists in Atlanta at Facing Race–the largest racial justice conference in the country. To engage with the conference if you are not able to attend, please follow #FacingRace on social media, and via livestream.
We cannot do this without you; we need your love, your power, and your support.
President, Center for Social Inclusion