When what you fear is true

“Despite (or because of) privilege, we live in a dangerous world of brutality, force, and threat. We are surrounded by terrorism, war, abuse, exploitation, and death. Evil is rampant, and fear too easily pervades. Despair overtakes us when we realize that our lives are not free of danger.
Yet we are not always the innocent victims.
We sometimes engage in collusion and complicity.
We might easily be called perpetrators”

 -Walter Brueggemann

By Geila Rajaee

There is no sleeping for me tonight. The election results have yet to be declared but the damage is done. Tonight there are black and brown people, LGBTQA people, Muslim and Sikh people, women and girls, who know exactly where they stand in the eyes of our nation.

And it doesn’t just hurt or ache… it’s the might be one of the most destructive conscious thoughts I’ve ever experienced that I know I am not experiencing alone.

The feelings of disgust and horror are too deep of feelings to bear. I cannot stop thinking about what other people were thinking about when they cast their votes… Did they think about the women who shared their stories of sexual assault? Did they think Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, or Tamir Rice and how the blackness of their skin lead to their deaths? Did they think about the rising number of hate crimes against Muslims (or those who look) Muslim?  Did they think about how their choices affected their neighbors, their community, their friends, their enemies?

Answering these questions leaves me feeling emptier inside because I’m pretty sure we don’t want to deal with the answers.

But it’s the answers that matter.

Sometimes, you have to face the brutal truth of who and what you are so you can deal with it.

We are not a “broken” nation. We are a splintered one. One that cannot acknowledge the truth because we are far too cowardly and afraid to see the system we believe so good is founded on some not-so-good (read: horrific) history.  We have to know it, face it head on, and deal with the consequences so we can stop supporting a system that hurts so many.

I want to find space to be hopeful but that is really hard to do when what you feared has come true. And I am not afraid for me… I’m afraid for us, for all of US in these United States.

We are fools. And the bodies of black, brown, queer, gay, Muslim, and women are going to pay for our madness. If, in your privilege, in your whiteness, you forget that…

May God have mercy on us as we know no mercy, no justice.

And please, for those of you who twisted a hateful and cruel person into a good and holy man of God. Read your bible. I’m pretty certain you missed all of the essentials.  Start with Matthew, chapter five:

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

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