Something happened last night in America. Something unbelievable and frightening. As I scroll through my Facebook feed this morning, I see the prevailing sentiment is one of utter shock. How could something like this happen? Were we really so wrong about what our fellow Americans are thinking and feeling? This is the part I can’t get my head around. So I want to say something right now.
To every non-white, or non-straight, or non-cisgender, or non-Christian person who woke up feeling that the American people hate them, and who are now afraid of what the future might hold for their safety, their rights, and their ability to continue to live in this country:
I’m with you.
When you see my white face, I want you to know that I do not share the hatred expressed last night. I need you to know that I will be here for you. That I will stand up for your rights. That I stand for diversity, inclusiveness, and for love and respect for all people.
I’m with you.
I do not want you to look at my face and think I am hiding some kind of tacit racism, homophobia, or any other kind of judgmental, backward belief. America may have spoken last night, but it did not speak for me.
I’m with you.
Over the last eight years, I have been so heartened to see the progress we as a society have achieved, to see my friends of different races, faiths, and sexualities marry and build families of all kinds. I am attending a citizenship ceremony later this month for a dear friend from India, and I could not be prouder or more honored to have been asked.
Like so many people, I was hoping last night for an election outcome that would protect your rights and my rights and not set the country’s progress back decades or even centuries. Up to last night, I was with her. I wish I could keep saying “I’m with her,” but the hope for that is gone, and the responsibility is now in our hands.
So I want you to know that if you are an immigrant, or you’re a woman, or you’re a Muslim, or you’re LGBTQ: I’m with you. If you feel like every white person you see has it in for you and you are afraid for your future, I need you to know that I, and millions of others just like me, we’re with you. No matter what. As long as we have fight left, we will fight for you, and your families, and your rights, and your ability to be here.
For the record, I almost never discuss or write about politics, because I was always taught not to do that. But last night, something shifted. This isn’t even about politics anymore. This is personal, and people I know are hurting and afraid.
So I will say it again, and I will keep saying it: I’m with you. I always have been, and will continue to be. I hope that gives you a little bit of comfort today.
#imwithyou is a hashtag that was used by the Trump campaign. But I propose that today, we take it back. Let’s turn it around, and do something positive with it.
To the LGBT community: #imwithyou
To Muslims and people of non-Christian faith: #imwithyou
To women: #imwithyou
To people of color: #imwithyou
To immigrants, legal and illegal: #imwithyou
To anyone who feels scared and marginalized by what happened last night, please know: