What Do We Do Now?
[Above: This poster, by a Halifax screen printing artist, sums it all up. Spotted in the city's North End the day after the election.]
A lot has been said about Trump's win, and for awhile I decided I wasn't going to chip in. Wise, impassioned stuff—the kind of stuff that makes you nod while you read it—was everywhere, and I didn't know what to add, other than a "YES" in all caps under my brother's Facebook posts.
But as much as this seems like a political post, it really isn't.
fter the results were announced, Boyfriend and I rocked back on the couch in shock. All I can remember thinking was "What Now?". It might sound dramatic, seeing as it's not even my country, but I could feel tears prickling my eyelids.
Then, I remembered another time, a few months back, when I whispered the same phrase, on the same couch, in the same disbelief: When we watched Britain vote to leave the E.U.
For a myriad of reasons I can't pretend to understand, people are choosing to turn their backs on diversity. The white, basically, are becoming whiter.
Chances are I don't have to convince you why diversity matters. Most travellers have a deep love for exploring the details of different cultures, of learning a foreign phrase that perfectly captured a previously unnamable emotion.
ut in case you're not one of them, think of it simply (perhaps reductively) as this: The more richly different voices we allow, the more of a beautiful, powerful chorus we create—and even the best soloist can't compete with that.
ight now, as people choose to build walls, cut trade ties and hurl racial slurs from behind the safety of screens, those like me do not have the luxury to sit back and simply bemoan political happenings.
Being privileged carries benefits (obviously) but it also should carry a responsibility—not to save people, because that's just racism in a different dress, but to donate our more plentiful resources to the cause.
In short, now is the time to do good, because god knows the world today needs more of it.
And, as countries and alliances splinter from each other, we carry another responsibility: To learn, really learn, about the places on the other side of the wall.
See the world. Not just because it's fun or exciting, but because until you feel new, different earth beneath your feet you'll never understand people who walk a different path to yours.
nd that's devastating, both for you and for them.
Give to your favourite charity. Be kind to others, especially those you're being convinced to fear. Push back against these metric tonnes of hate and mistrust by volunteering somewhere so different from home it's indescribable. And always keep that change with you, even when you're back home.
That. That's what we do now.
PS: With all volunteer efforts, it's crucial to make sure you're helping, not "saving." No idea what I mean? Read this.