This will not be a hopeful post. I have very little hope in my heart today.
Others have written beautifully hopeful and inspiring posts today. Others have spoken about the honor that we have as teachers. About the power that we have to shape how our children see our world. The power we have to change the way future voters vote. Others have written about what we can say to our students. Others have written powerful messages filled with hope looking forward to how we can do better.
I encourage you to read those other posts. You will find hope there.
But if you are looking for a hopeful and inspiring message, please do not read these words here because they will not be filled with hope. This writing is for me. This writing is to put down the things that are too heavy for me to carry around today. This writing will have very little hope because today I have lost quite a bit of the hope that I normally carry around with me.
I know that I will find it again. I know that I will find it in the children that I teach, in the child that I am lucky enough to raise, in the family that I am a part of, in the people who surround me, in the goodness that surrounds me.
But not today.
Today I woke up in a country that I am now afraid to be a part of. Today I woke up and lost the last shred of hope that I was holding on to when my wife and I went to sleep last night both crying tears until we couldn’t hold our eyes open anymore. Today I woke up in a world that I am afraid of.
Today I do not want to be reassured. Today I do not want to hear that we will be okay. Today I do not want to be rushed out of my sadness and past my discomfort. I believe that pushing away the reality of the discomfort of recognizing the hate that exists in this world is a large part of the problem that got us here in the first place. We are so quick to reassure, to say that the world isn’t that bad, to scream so loudly about how love is going to win.
But it didn’t win.
It didn’t win last night.
A hate that has always been there. A hate that those of us who have ever felt marganalized have tried to tell you all about. A hate that so many of us have been told does not exist. A hate we have been told has been shrinking. A hate that we spoke of only to be reassured about how much better things have gotten. A hate that perhaps has been kept hidden away, but a hate that I fear is now going to come rushing out into the open. A hate that will target people like me, people like my family, people like all of those in this country who know what it is like to feel like an other.
And this hate is about to be legally sanctified. In ways I believe we cannot even imagine quite yet.
And maybe this is some kind of price that we are paying for the progress we have made these past few years. All this forward movement, perhaps it was too much for those who hate us. Perhaps all these rights we were gaining, the closer we were coming to equality, it made people desperate to find a way to stop it.
But in some ways, that makes all of this so much harder to accept. Because for the past few years, I have felt safe. I have felt like we were going to be okay. I have felt like it was okay to raise a child in this world because no longer would she live in a world where being a part of a family with two moms was going to be seen as any different than any other family. And now all of that seems lost. And I understand people will tell me that it isn’t lost. That the kind of progress we have made is not just going to go away. That we are safe. That we are lucky.
But today I will have a very hard time believing that. Today I do not feel safe. Today I do not feel protected. Today I am scared. I am scared for me. I am scared for my wife. I am scared for my daughter. I am scared for all of the other people who I share a country with who woke up today feeling the kind of uncertainty that makes it difficult to even function.
And the people who want to tell me that everything is going to be okay, they are the same people who tried to tell me that Trump would never be elected. And yet here we are.
Today we see what this country is really made of. And I will not lay down and accept that. Eventually, this will motivate me to gear back up and fight like hell to make this country better somehow.
But I will be honest. Today. Today I just want to withdraw. To hide away with my wife and my daughter. To give up for just a little bit because this load is just too hard to carry. So for today that is what I will do. And soon, we will pick back up the fight. But please understand that today, for some of us, we have no fight left in us. It will come back. So will the hope. But for just a moment, there are some of us who just need to sit here in our disappointment, in our hopelessness and in our grief.
So that is where you will find me today.