I really don’t know what to say. It almost feels wrong to sit here and attempt to write another thing about what’s going on, and especially to write something that won’t be entirely new or particularly useful. However, I believe words are powerful.
In a lot of ways, words are what got us to this point. Words created (and I mean created–when certain words, even unsupported and biased ones, are used to describe reality over and over again, eventually reality starts to reflect them) the climate that encouraged so many people to vote for an under-qualified, racist, homophobic, sexist, xenophobic (and here words don’t begin to cover it) demagogue rather than a woman. Words did so much to create and maintain the systemic racism and sexism (and other -isms) that this country was founded on, continues to uphold, and (perhaps until this election) did its best to hide from itself and the world. Words encouraged so many people to view recent progress against those systemic problems (i.e. anything expanding human rights to groups other than straight cis white men) as a threat to their hold on power, and that voting for said demagogue would be the best response to this threat.
I want to believe words can be powerful enough to fix this. I wish the outpouring of disappointment, despair, outrage, energy, hope, and love that I’ve seen online and heard outside it could be enough to change things. I certainly hope every piece of pertinent information regarding sources for support and organizations to donate to will be enough to change something. I certainly hope that this mode of communication that I’ve devoted much of my studying, my time, and my life to (and plan on pursuing as a career/platform/artistic outlet for perhaps the rest of my life) can be a legitimate force for the change necessary to create the kind of world I want to live in.
However, I also have to acknowledge that words have limits. As the election proved, speaking out about issues and challenging figureheads of oppression through language isn’t always enough to change minds and prevent tragedy. I have to acknowledge that we need more. More words of support, love, and inspiration, surely, but more action–protesting, donating, and educating ourselves and others on what the issues are and what our (increasingly radical) options for solving those issues are–and more people committed to carrying it out.
I hope we can move beyond this initial mess of emotion and words and find ourselves in a place where we are united and ready to fight.