In the aftermath of what many perceive to be a divisive election, it is understandable that there may be feelings of fear, anxiety and shock. I’ve been speaking to my American friends and the fear they experience is real and palpable. But here’s the thing; all is not lost. The sky is not falling (even though it seems that way) and we still have the most powerful of weapons – our voice and our will. Yes, our voice matters, just as our stories do. And our will to fight injustice, our will to love our neighbours, our will to stand against discrimination hatred and the suffering of others can change the world.
Here’s something we need to remember, bullies and bigots have existed since the beginning of time. In every era and every culture, there’s been an individual or individuals who specialise in fear-mongering and pandered to the worst of human instincts. Think Hitler, the KKK and some of the world’s most unsavoury groups and individuals. They reigned, they incited violence and a culture of hate, and yet the world remained. Sure, the world looked different after we used our voice and will and fought against those with a platform and the space to spew hateful rhetoric and agendas, but it stood. And it will stand again as we the people will do our part to ensure that the views of a minority do not have to become the way of life of the majority.
You have a voice, use it. Use it to speak up for the Muslim friend who is bullied and harassed for her hijab or her religious convictions. Use it to speak up for the black family across the street who work hard, take care of their children, has lived in the US for generations and is now having their house graffitied with the words ‘go back to Africa’. Use it in defence of that gay friend or any member of the LGBTQ community who is heckled and harassed just for being in the skin they are in. Use it in defence of all the ‘others’ and the vulnerable.
Remember, the agenda of the minority will only become the will and way of the majority if we let it. Stay strong, stay in love, promote peace and shun exclusivity. And love all. We are all part of Creation. We may look different, hold different beliefs, but we love, we hurt, we care for others, and we all bleed red. Remember that. We all have a right to belong, no matter what the small, yet powerful minority say.
Carlana Charles is the visionary and editor-in-chief of FemmePowered. She is a womanist, writer, speaker, story midwife and facilitator of meaningful and engaging conversations. When she is not working in or on FemmePowered, she can be found resting, baking, reading or scribbling furiously in her journal whilst sipping wine or coffee, sometimes both at the same time. She is currently working on her first book and hopes to release it in September 2018.