Many of my minority friends woke up grieving this morning. Grieving at the choices of Americans, the implications this new leader could have on this country, and the fear of discrimination and hate. Rather than proudly displaying a button or sticker plastered with "I'm with her", I'm advocating for a different kind of message - a message filled with sober hope, if there is such a thing.
I sat around my living room last night with some of my international student and minority friends talking about the election, our country, and some of the policies one candidate in particular threatened to enact. I listened as students shared about how privileged I am to be from America, the land of seemingly endless opportunity and possibility. I left feeling a strange combination of thankfulness and grief.
As they were leaving one student asked who I voted for, with what looked like both curiosity and a twinge of fear in his eyes. I hesitated, not wanting to reveal my position, but in light of the conversations I've been having the past few days, I thought it important to voice to him who I did not vote for.
One American student reminded our group last night that one of the things that makes America great is her diversity. There are not many other countries in the world with so many different people groups represented - all under one banner, one name, one nation. I realize there is so much that needs to be done in terms of reconciling relationships between minorities and majorities in this country, but compared to the rest of the world, the progress we've made is truly revolutionary. Let us continue moving forward, rather than letting fear take hold and cause us to lose ground.
I'm honestly in a bit of disbelief of the history that was made last night. As I watched the election results roll in, I was tempted to become discouraged, but hope started rising up in me. I am discouraged that someone who lacks so many of the values our nation was founded on was elected as the President of the United States of America. Yet, I am hopeful to see the people of God rise up like never before. Perhaps this will be the Church's finest hour.
Regardless of who you voted for, I urge you to step in and support your minority friends today, especially if you are a white American. And to all of my minority friends - I'm with you. I will continue contending for progress and unity and freedom, all of which were values our founding fathers carried so deeply.
As I was praying this morning, I pulled out my copy of the Declaration of Independence and read over the famous words: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
I hope my children will grow up in a country that promises these things to all - majorities and minorities included. Let us pray with greater fervency that freedom would ring true and be available to all who call this place home. And let us come together, celebrate diversity, and refuse to let fear lead the way.
And who knows, perhaps God will gain more glory and honor through this election than we ever thought possible on the other side. The good news is that He always wins.