It seems appropriate to interrupt our normal programming in light of today's events. I, like most people I know, am shocked beyond words. But a few have begun to find words. A friend posted this powerful message on Facebook:
This is a time for anger, not despair. Such abject self destruction can only be countered with committed creation. I don't know where America goes from here - a fetid bandage has been ripped off to reveal huge gaping wounds and about the best I can say is, well, at least now we can see them. But in this country or my own, tomorrow is when my activism starts, not ends.
And she's right. Our grief must not get in the way of us continuing to act in ways that stop suffering, promote equality and protect justice.
Below, Caterina Georgia from ForPurpose gives some practical advice on what you can do and how you can channel your energy:
Yes that actually did happen. Donald Trump just became President-elect of the United States (US). Yes, that is the same Donald Trump who was star of the reality show The Apprentice.
Meanwhile the internet has exploded with comments like ‘I can’t even deal right now’, ‘This surely can’t be happening’, ‘What have you done America?’ and ‘I feel sick’.
Over the coming weeks and months, as there has been over the last 18 months, there will be much analysis about why Americans voted for Donald Trump to be their President (it’s still weird writing that).
There will be further analysis of who voted for Trump and there will be an examination of what went wrong inside the Clinton campaign. This will be added to the analysis looking at why Brexit happened earlier this year and the examination of why One Nation was returned to the Australian Parliament.
The thing is, right now we feel pretty disempowered because we can’t control what's happening in the US.
But we can do something here.
Right now we have a government who is proposing that people seeking asylum who come to Australia by boat be banned from Australia forever. We also have people who have been found to be genuine refugees on Manus Island and Nauru being detained indefinitely.
Right now we have a government that is cutting funding to essential community services for people who are experiencing disadvantage. This includes services that support people experiencing homelessness, services delivering legal advice to people escaping domestic violence and many, many more. This is on top of the more than a billion dollars that has already been ripped out of the community sector since 2014, going almost unnoticed.
I could go on, but I won’t.
The point is that while we don’t have a fake tan wearing, reality television star with the world’s worst comb over as our elected leader, we do have some serious social challenges and some serious injustices that need to be rectified.
So once the rage is over and we decide instead to turn our televisions off because we can’t bear to face the reality of what is happening in the US.
Once we are done with venting on social media and we move on to filling our facebook feeds with ‘lighter content’ like cats playing with things.
Let’s do something. Let’s make a plan to make sure that hate doesn’t foster and fear doesn’t prosper here in Australia. Let’s stop and think about how we can contribute to a community that values hope and acceptance and not fear and hate.
That's where I'll be channelling my energy and that's the community that I want my family growing up in.
So for some inspiration, here is some stuff that you can do right now:
You can join calls to block the proposed changes to asylum seeker laws here: http://campaign.commongrace.org.au/action/emailing-nick-xenophon-team/
You can find out about the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and how you can support them here: https://www.asrc.org.au/
You can join facebook group Mums for Refugees here: https://www.facebook.com/mums4refugees/
You can support calls to stop the Government from cutting domestic violence services including legal funding here: http://www.fairagenda.org/family_violence_services