Today Will Be Difficult

Believe me, you will have feelings of anger, sadness, and despair. You may think the mountain we are about to climb towards racial, social, economic, and environmental justice is too high and may want to turn back. I know the anxiety facing my own heart when I think of the difficulties we face due to the next four years, but I’m asking you from the pit of my heart: do not give up.

This is a bump in the road. A rather large one, yes, but nothing more or less. I still go into fits of rage when I think of how our country could take one step forward and two large steps backwards with this election, but I know if we all hold true to our beliefs and what we know this country truly stands for one where we treat each other equally, with compassion and love, we will eventually gain those faltered steps back and march forward towards the progress we know our country is destined for.

There is no easy path to this success. It requires us, for lack of a better word, to get off our asses and get to work. Maintaining an eye on legislation being voted on in your local community, state legislature, and in Washington is essential. Stay educated, contact your elected officials, not by letter or email, but by phone, because believe it or not they fear those phone calls more than anything. I’ve learned this from person experience. We have more power in this government than we give ourselves. 

99 of you have decided to take a stand a ignore the inauguration with dozens of elected officials who feel that same fire within to keep fighting. That’s just the beginning.

Download the app Countable to learn about bills going through Congress. This app will keep you informed about what is the chaos of Congress, and don’t be afraid to call your congressperson or senator to let them know how you feel about it.

Stay organized. Join a group nearby you working within the Indivisible Organization, a grassroots organization with groups formed by people like you who want to enact change.

Absolutely want to resist Trump and don’t know where to start? Read this beautifully created manual by activists like Deray and myself to know what to do.

You are not alone in this dark time. And while they may be dark now, I know we can rid the skies of the clouds blocking out the garish sun and once again make this country one where we can all feel safe and understood. We are a compassionate and empathetic society underneath all the garbage currently floating around in this country. I think it’s about time we all picked up a broom and got to work to clean it up. What do you say?

– RA

Thank You, President Obama

You showed class and dignity at a time when Washington was at its most divisive and pettiest. You understood the importance of being proactive rather than being reactive.

You never responded to any of the awful things thrown at you because they simply weren’t worth your time. When they went low, you went high.

You believed in “We the People” as one nation instead of a nation of sections, states, or party members, and always reached out to learn others’ frustrations and how to reach a common ground.

When tragedy struck, you were there to console us like a father weeping for the loss of his son, because we were all your children and we knew you looked out for us. Whether it be Newtown, Aurora, Fort Hood, Orlando, or San Bernadino, you embraced each of us with the comfort and reminder of love that each of us needed.

When you knew something was wrong, you fought against it with hope, perseverance, and compassion. Sometimes you succeeded in change, and sometimes you did not, and that’s okay, because we know we have so much more work to do. 

No, you were not a perfect president, but there will never be a perfect president. Instead, though, you reminded prior generations, and let an entirely new generation know, that there can be someone in the Oval Office who knows what they’re doing, will treat you as their equal, and never forget to remind you that the limits of human possibility are boundless.

We took your intelligence for granted and we will miss having someone who not only identified with disenfranchised Americans when related to your upbringing, but fought for compassion and empathy in this nation. There is an entire generation of Americans who have never seen America with a president who is white, and the power behind that is immeasurable.

Where many of us today see a red or a blue America, you, sir, see one United States of America, and we’ll get to that point with you one day. And when we do get there, I think we’ll finally understand and realize that we couldn’t have gotten there without you, President Barack Obama.

Thank you.

– RA