10 November 2016

rhymes with fight

they're still there, these words. scribbled in chalk in the middle of a january night on the concrete support beams of a bleak suburban underpass. ten months later, who knew they'd still be there? that they wouldn't have been scrubbed off or painted over? or that sidewalk chalk could even last this long?

initially, I left them there because I thought, well, you never know. you never know who might need to read them. as it turns out, it was me. I needed them. I needed them yesterday and I needed them today and I will need them for the next four years and I will probably need them everyday until the end of times, I think.

there's a lot of hate in this country right now, we are swimming in darkness here. not that it's anything new-- this hate is decades, centuries old. but we reached sickening new heights with it tuesday night when half of america chose to elect who they did. which means we've got a world of work to do, folks. and it's gonna take a crap load of light.

a little more sidewalk chalk couldn't hurt either.


  1. I need to get some. I need to write this words everywhere.

    Thanks for visiting my little part of this world today. I'm glad to see you still coming back to here everyday. I'm enjoying writing every day too, even in tough times like these.

    I miss you. Sending light to you and yours (and to the whole big wide world). <3

  2. i love you. i miss you. i wish i was there to hug you. because i needed these words right now.

  3. my heart has never been so heavy. I keep waiting to wake up from this bad dream. I'm going to save these words to look at each time I remember I'm awake.

  4. I love these words. They are so true. I ask you though to consider if it is possible that the majority of the half of the country that voted for Trump feels exactly the same way... not the losers that the media highlights, the extreme right wing... but the regular people, like me. I feel this way. I feel hated. I feel prejudged. I feel like you (the collective liberal leaning "you") think I am a bad person. I just wish that everyone would stop hating and labeling and start listening. We are more alike than different. I know it. Keep writing Andea. You are so talented. Don't let this election dim you.

    1. bonnie, thank you so much for taking the time to comment here (as opposed to over on facebook). thank you so much for your genuine honesty. I know it's not easy but I cannot tell you just how much it means to me.

      you bring up a good point-- the regular people who voted for trump. one thing to remember is that it was just barely the electoral majority. clinton won the popular vote. so what we have is a country greatly, profoundly divided right down the middle. with this will come an enormous amount of difficult (but important) conversation. like the one we're having right here, right now. and I'm thankful for that. I really am.

      I can absolutely see where the regular people who voted for trump feel judged, I really can. thank you for pointing that out. there's a lot of name-calling happening right now and we all need to do better. I want to be crystal clear here and say I don't think every person who voted for trump is bad. I don't think every person who voted for trump is a racist. and for the record, I didn't agree 100 percent with hillary's platform. but so many of us just could not get behind the hatefulness we saw in trump. he may never have come right out and said, I'm a racist" but his actions told such a different story. in so many instances, he condoned, even encouraged hateful behavior at his rallies. this horrified so many of us, scared the shit out of so many of us. for me, I am wholly 100 percent committed to racial reconciliation and deeply passionate about social justice, have been since I was a teenager. in my eyes, it is the absolute highest priority. we are nothing if we don't fight to create a country where we are all (really and truly) equal, where racial violence is not tolerated, where we treat each other with infinite kindness.

      here's the thing: I'm pretty sure you feel the same way. I know you have your reasons for voting for trump, that's the beauty of living in this country. honestly, I think a lot of people probably voted for trump for reasons completely unrelated to race or social justice. but I think that's a luxury you and I have. because, we're white. because his more hateful rhetoric does not (will not) directly affect us like it will for people of color, muslims, immigrants and LGBT. trump feels like a president for white america, not for all america. again, absolutely not saying this is why *you* voted for him. but this is why so many people (including myself) are so disheartened today, so angry. just like you feel judged and betrayed by us, we feel the same from you. it was certainly not an easy election, it was hard on every last one of us, I really believe that. I also believe they will be studying this election for years to come. we'll always remember it and so will our children, and probably not for the best reasons. though maybe we can change that. together I think we can change that.

      I want you to know that I absolutely don't think you're a bad person-- quite the opposite, in fact. you're one of the good ones, bonnie. we may not agree on everything but that's okay. I love that you commented here, that you were so honest, that you made yourself vulnerable in this way. it says loads about the kind of person you are.

      full disclosure: I did not write this post for a cavalcade of high fives and amens. (although support is always appreciated). :) I wrote it because I needed to say it. because I needed people to hear me just like you need to be heard. I wrote it because I hoped maybe there'd be at least one conversation like this. thank you so much for the encouragement. again, it means the world to me. all my love to you, old friend. xoxox

    2. Casual observer here...

      I too agree that there are a lot of "normal people" who voted for Trump. And I too agree it may not be fair to denounce all Trump voters as racists.

      It also strikes me, though, that this is the perfect opportunity for the non-racist Trump supporters to excise that label from their association - by speaking out against it, right now, as it is happening. There are a LOOOOOT of instances of Trump supporters whooping it up on Facebook and Twitter, stories of people being called "Nigger" or "Towelhead" or "Wetback", people finding trash and such in their lawns...a lot of, well, racist activity.

      And if this is not what you're about, if that's not what you voted for, this is the perfect time to prove it. speak out when you see that happening - not here, but to the racists themselves. Report it when you see it on line, be the person that emails the thing to the principal about "I noticed a student said something on Facebook". Intervene when you see the frightened woman in a hijab trying to get away from the guy in the pickup truck. Join the community watch group that's mobilizing to keep the KKK out of your neighborhood.

      I don't think that all of Trump's supporters are racists either. The only thing that has me baffled is why so many non-racists are staying silent in the presence OF racists, though. Hearing more of them speak out against racism will help.

    3. kim, yes, yes and yes. so much yes. it's the only way we'll survive this presidency, I think. if trump voters very diligently hold trump responsible for the mess he's made. if trump voters are just as quick to call out volatile racist acts (big and small) as we are. the thing is, it has to come from them. they have to take responsibility. there's an excellent piece circulating online that sums up what I've been thinking (and definitely echoes what you posted here):


      I'm not all the way there in the thinking but I'm trying. and thank you so much-- I so appreciate your thoughts, the time you took to share them here. because really, what else can we do? how else can we move forward?

  5. I am struggling to get there, I'll be honest. Working on it. But always happy to see you've written something that I can add to the pile of things I'm collecting to see a path that is... better.