I wrote this two years ago and, unfortunately, it is still way too true—so in the light of today’s awfulness, I’m revisiting it and putting it here for posterity.
NOTES: I used the original spelling of 43’s name to avoid trolls but also because I refuse to let that surname die. Also, this is unedited except for the addition of bold italics for emphasis and the rewriting of the last sentence, which I edited to reflect my current description of my identity.
Call This My Manifesto (January 22, 2017)
“Crybabies,” they call us. “Sore losers,” they say. “Drumpf is your president whether you like it or not. Respect the President that was elected by the people.”
I have respect for the office itself, for the Presidency, for democracy—but not for a man that has done nothing to earn my respect and much to lose it. As far as I’m concerned, it was the Electoral College who elected Drumpf—not the people. The majority of the votes cast by this country went against him and his xenophobic, misogynistic, narcissistic, and divisive rhetoric. Like me, literal millions of Americans cast their vote against him and the hatred he’s given a voice to. And we could argue about how the Electoral College should be abolished after it proved itself to be obsolete in December by electing the same unqualified demagogue it was created to protect the country against… but that’s not what this is about. Many of us have accepted that result and are looking for what to do next.
Let the record show that I accept, but do not acquiesce. I do not condone. I do not consent. I resist.
“That’s divisive and childish,” they say. “That’s stupid. It’s not going to solve anything.”
We are not the ones dividing —we are UNITING against fascism and Islamophobia and misogyny and racism. The millions of people who came together across the world yesterday are the proof of that. But it cannot and will not end there; solidarity is the vehicle and unity is the journey, but they are not the end goal. We must keep resisting. We must keep our eyes and ears open, and look out for each other. We must fact-check anything we’re told and shout the results from the rooftops. We MUST.
Today, and for as long as he remains in power, enacting dangerous policies and trying to gaslight this country, we must resist. We must use our energy to fight for the future we want: one that does not disregard or devalue the lives of people who are Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Latinx, black, indigenous, Asian, African, mixed, immigrant, refugee, female, LGBTQIA+, neurodivergent, disabled, mentally ill, chronically ill… in short, anyone who is not a rich, straight, cisgender white male —and is thus endangered by his policies.
My entire life, I have wondered what kind of person I would’ve been if my neighbors were picked up for a concentration or internment camp. Would I have fought? Would I have hidden them? Would I have averted my eyes in the name of self-preservation? Would I have turned them in to put myself and my family in a better, safer position? It’s easy to theorize about it when you feel safe, be sure that you’re a good person and you’ll do what’s right —but it’s what you do in times of crisis that matters.
I’m getting the chance to find out what kind of person I am, now. And I choose to be my neighbor’s keeper.
I resist for myself, yes —but also for those who have been systematically oppressed and disenfranchised. I resist for every person who has ever been sexually assaulted, who has lived through relationship abuse… and who has to watch someone who sounds and acts like their abuser become the leader of this country. I’m making a conscious choice to fight for what is RIGHT, to fight for my neighbor, to fight for the world I want my future children to inherit, to use my privilege to amplify the voice of marginalized people. Radical self-care and radical compassion are my weapons of choice. Disagree with my politics all you want, but please don’t question my intelligence, maturity, or integrity. I may come across as young or idealistic and maybe I am a bit of both—but I’m also a grown woman and I know who I am.
I am a queer and mentally ill Puerto Rican Jewish woman and a survivor of sexual assault and relationship violence who is married to an immigrant—and thus my place is in the resistance.