Why I am an Activist

The following post was originally written for and posted to the infamous Facebook group, The Pantsuit Nation, on December 17, 2016.  Like so many others, I became disappointed in the direction that that group decided to go into, so I am re-posting my message here.

And I’m only getting started.

Image may contain: one or more people, sunglasses and closeup I am a Black woman raised in the Baptist tradition. I am a Creative Artist, a Licensed Cosmetologist, a writer, teacher, and minister. There are things I believe in and things that I don’t. High on the list of beliefs is justice. I believe that in or out of a court of law, justice always eventually prevails.

Remember that I said that.

Throughout the election, I was adamant about voting. I was offended that people in my own community were trying to convince me not to vote. I told them that that was not an option. Too many people in this country with skin like mine have marched, bled, and died defending MY right to do what they were not allowed to do.

A week before election day, I went into the hospital for an unexpected, major surgery. My doctors looked at me crazy when I asked to be sent home in time to vote. This is me practicing what I preach…I can’t tell the world to vote and not do it myself, even though I had a very good reason. In my mind, everybody’s vote was needed in order for justice to prevail. Justice had to prevail. That sexist, racist, lying pig could not be allowed to win the election on MY watch. So I was discharged the Sunday before election day.

Health-wise, I had NO business being out of bed that Tuesday, much less out in the November air. But Jenise, my SisterFriend, knew that I was determined, so we got an Uber to our polling place, she flagged me down a wheelchair and hauled me uphill and around the building. It was a miserable, bumpy, uncomfortable ordeal, but I pressed my way, because it was going to be worth it. That’s what I told myself.

When I signed in–and I’m trying to be delicate, here–all of my bodily functions went crazy without telling me. I remember howling in pain before Jenise wheeled me into the voting booth. I remember my hand trembling when I reached up to push the buttons. I remember making sure that my vote for HRC was lit up before pushing VOTE. I remember praying not to pass out on the way home, because Jenise would not be strong enough to pick me up if I did. I remember falling asleep in a pool of sweat (see picture), feeling very proud of what I’d done.

And I remember exactly how I felt the next day, when I found out the results of the election. I wasn’t devastated, or grieving, or saddened. I was ANGRY. And I have been angry ever since.

How could I have put myself through all of that pain for nothing??? How could 53% of the White women in this country vote against HRC in favor of a man who hates and objectifies women??? How could so many people who claim to worship the same God that I do vote for a man who represents nothing Christ-like??? How could 46% of the country not make ANY effort to vote??? How dare all these people play so fast and loose with MY freedom?!!

I feel like I woke up in Bizarroworld, where everything is upside-down and backwards. Nothing that is supposed to make sense makes sense anymore. My belief in logic, truth, and justice are being challenged every day. I don’t trust anybody but God, because let’s be clear: God did not do this horrible thing….stupid human beings did. And those stupid humans are going to learn a hard lesson at the expense of people like me, who had a whole lot more to lose than they did.

My healthcare can be snatched away by people who just feel like taking it away (I wouldn’t have gotten my surgery or any of my life-saving benefits without the ACA). I worry that Jenise, who is my only family, may not come home from work one day because some hateful person would rather see her dead. I live in fear that America will never be the “sweet land of liberty” that we as a people have been fighting for for so many generations.

I would love for someone to prove me wrong. The imbeciles may be in charge, but is there anybody here who’s willing to walk the walk and fight the fight for people who don’t look like you? Are we really “stronger together”? I see a lot of beautiful, moving words in this group, but talk is cheap. 45 can move people with his talk. Who’s willing to do more than talk? Who’s willing to show America what justice really is?

Forgive me if I come across too angry. I really can’t be anything else right now.

This post received over 8.6K likes/reactions and 1700 comments–which I still read.  And the comments are still coming in.  It helps me through the darker days of my recovery, when my healing is extra slow and painful.  I’ve been humbled by the response and motivated to do more than whine and moan about OUR present situation in this country.

It may take me longer now, but I keep it moving.

I persist.  It’s what I do.

And I won’t give up.

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