Everyone wants to know what to do now that the election is over. We do exactly what we have been doing. They go low, we go high. Here’s how to win. Here’s how to fight back without being consumed by hate and wondering which side we’re being pulled to. Here’s how to cause a revolution without violence and without losing to hate.
- Create public spaces where different cultures come together, meet, and grow to understand each other more. I’m a soccer coach so I’m creating a soccer game for refugees, immigrants, and the club I coach for in town to mix up teams and play together. We also have planned a Latin Fest for the whole community to come and interact with dancing, food, and people of another culture.
- Expose myths about the other by including them in the in group. One D.C. man wrote about his experience coming from rural America, explaining in non-excusing terms how it is easy for rural people to demonize racial minorities because they don’t know any minority personally. They see stereotypes played out on tv and hear divisive politicians blaming them for the poor economy, the degradation of culture, and scary violence. And they accept those things as truth because that’s the most they’ve seen. Research actually shows that those who have biases about a group are nervous around people from that group in initial contact. However, after meaningful conversation, that stress decreases. SO. We expose the myths and decrease the stress. We invite LGBT, immigrants, Muslims, and refugees to our non diverse concerts, bars, gyms, events, and churches. We bring them to our table sit them beside us and make conversation with people who usually try to avoid it. We build relationships that wouldn’t otherwise be built. We will ALL see the humanity at stake even if we have to cause a little bit of awkward unease in doing so.
- Welcome refugees and show support. Offer your own brand of help to those communities who are discriminated against and need help. I’m a trainer, so I’m giving away training to refugees and immigrants. If you have something to give, someway to help or show kindness and acceptance, do it. Once you make connections, strengthen those connections with friendship. Playdates, running clubs, book clubs, Thanksgiving dinner, whatever. Get outside your box and go out of your way to welcome outsiders.
- Stand up for others and say something. Be the effective bystander. Rape and bully prevention now focuses on the bystanders who do nothing when others are being victimized. No matter how it may hurt your image or your social safety, stand up when others degrade religions, racial groups, women, LGBT or disabled people. Power in numbers. And remember, we have the numbers! We are the majority.
- Create a safe environment. Minorities are scared to death right now. Many don’t know who to trust or what is going to happen. Really I think we all feel that way, but some have more on the line than others. I love the safety pin movement, wearing a safety pin to show that you will work to keep disadvantaged safe, that you stand with them, and that you are an ally. Find ways to help people feel safe in a time when nothing is certain.
Kindness and goodness is our strength. We wear it like a badge. We demand it of others and create situations that demand it of others and ourselves. We’re on the right side of history and we know it, this gives us the power. They go low. We go high.