Lena Dunham helps us find a little bit of hope in the post-election madness
So, so many of us need a pick-me-up this week.
Donald Trump's election to the presidency feels like a direct attack on women, people of color, the queer community, Muslims — hell, anyone who isn't white, straight and male. And it feels that way because of the way Trump has personally attacked all of those groups throughout his campaign. Now he's been elected, and it feels like most of the country just validated his attacks. That's a shitty feeling.
Let Lena Dunham's words be a little bit of hope amid all the fear. In her most recent Lenny Letter, she describes how heartbroken she was on election night, then calls on us to fix what we just broke.
"Wednesday was a day of mourning. Thursday, too. Hell, I’m giving us till Sunday," Dunham wrote. "But then we fight. Now, more than ever, our power is in numbers and in our refusal to accept the idea that our leaders intrinsically know what’s best for us, better than the people we meet every day. In the last few days I have watched a little girl cry, wondering if her mother would be deported. I have listened to a black man ask how to explain this to his sons. 'You tell them, over and over again, not to be a bully or a bigot, to respect women, to be kind, that’s how you get ahead. And now a bully is the president. How do you explain that?' I see two teenage girls, one Latina, one white, in belly shirts holding hands as they pretend to go the wrong way on an escalator. They’re laughing and smiling and I wonder if they know that together they’re a tiny revolution."
And she reminded us that the future looks a whole lot brighter than this.
"Millennials overwhelmingly voted against Trump," Dunham wrote. "Our generation says no, as do first-time voters, to what this man and his presidency represent. We reject, wholesale, his brand — any brand — of hatred and bigotry. We are the generation with the strongest and most vast understanding of identity politics yet. We recognize intersections and contradictions and want to make room for them in people and in government. Our hearts are open, but our resolve is strong. We want to create a different kind of America than has ever existed. America will not be great until it fulfills its promise of liberty and justice for all."
She ends her letter, "So no, the work isn’t done. It is only beginning. We will stun ourselves with what we are capable of. We will laugh with surprise like kids who finally threw a punch back at the schoolyard bully. We will watch our friends in awe as they step forward and demand more, as they recognize and wield their politicized identities. We will not be governed by fear. We will show our children a different way. We will go home like shooting stars."
And those are some words of hope we all need right now.
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