On November 9, the morning after the recent U.S. presidential election, my husband Rob posted a comment on his Facebook page out of the overflow of his grief: “Don’t think I slept at all last night. Feeling sick. Absolutely terrified for so many friends and neighbors.”
In the responses that followed, a theme became clear. Several people wanted to know why he was terrified. Assuming this question was issued in good faith and genuine curiosity, we’ve begun to consider what kinds of actions we can take to build bridges of compassion between well-intentioned white people in our lives and people who don’t even need to ask why terror might be a legitimate reaction to current events because they’re living it.
One of the first things we did was reach out to people we care about who are fearful of the changes the next four years might bring because of the color of the skin, their physical capability, their sexuality or gender, and we asked if they’d be willing to share their stories. It was a big ask that a couple of people embraced, and in the next couple of days, you’ll hear from them leading into our December issue on the theme of “The Darkest Night.”
We also want to extend an ongoing invitation to readers who wish to share their own stories in answer to the question: why are you afraid after this election? For more information on submitting, please contact us, but most of all, take care of yourselves and the people in your neighborhood.