It's fitting to use this song from "Hamilton" for the title of this blogpost for a number of reasons:
First, it's been two weeks since it feels like the world has been turned upside down. In two weeks we've gone from a certain smug confidence in the basic democratic principles of the United States to a place where many of us are fearful for our selves, our loved ones, our futures, and the most vulnerable in our population.
Second, the irony in making an explicit call back to the musical that our president elect has so forcefully criticized for being mean and unfair amuses me. And there has been precious little to be amused by of late. (Except for the "JoBama" memes.)
Third, because of a line in the song sung by Hercules Mulligan: "When you knock me down, I get the f*ck back up again."
That's what I'm hoping to take forward in my own life.
It has taken me two weeks to come to the point where I am forced to accept that a president-elect who is patently unqualified, ego-driven, infantile, incompetent, and untrustworthy (to name a few) will be the POTUS. It is not the reality I ever wanted to live in. I've spent the past two weeks in a haze of anger and fear and denial, but too much is happening and too quickly for me to stay in that state.
This is my personal manifesto.
- I will speak openly in private life, public life, and social media against injustice, intolerance, and hatred
- I will actively confront injustice, intolerance, and hatred when and where I see it, working to be an ally in society
- I will support - with my money and my time - organizations that promote social justice, tolerance, civil liberties, and civil rights
- I will continue to write stories that include diversity as a given
- I will take care with my words and strive to be respectful to my fellow human beings by using the forms of address/pronouns they prefer
- I will listen to marginalized voices and do what I can to amplify them
- I will continue to support and vote for candidates at local and federal levels who promote the causes of social justice, tolerance, civil liberties, and civil rights
I will not be silenced. Not in my life. Not in my work. I have a kind of privilege that comes from having grown children, silver hair, and a degree of financial stability: I am no longer consumed with what others think of me anymore.
If what I can do is continue to write stories of individuals finding their power to act against injustice, that's what I will do. I'd like to think that Ro and the crew of Halcyone would approve.