“Breathe, Grieve, and Organize”
Hello friends and colleagues,
This has been a shocking 48 hours and we’re sure many of you are reeling in similar ways to us at HCG. As you perhaps know, HCG sends out a newsletter every odd month of the year and we were about to send out the November issue when the election results rolled in and we decided to take the next few weeks to listen, gather and retool the newsletter. In the interim, however, it seems important to reach out. Of course, we are as shocked as surely many of you are. Not shocked, per se, in the power of what Van Jones described as a Whitelash toward a Black president and toward a demographically changing nation – but shocked, at least for some of us, because “the polls” indicated a different result. Navigating this shock is first and foremost about the process of grounding and settling into the body. Breathe. Settling into the truth and power of our bodies is a radical act in and of itself, and a critical element of healing. For those who have experienced trauma, and particularly for those whose trauma corresponds to the many targets of vitriol proffered by Donald Trump, this in itself can be a heavy lift. Nonetheless, as we ground into our bodies in whatever way we can, our capacities for resilience and care become more available. We are in for a challenging four years and it is imperative that we intentionally work to take care of ourselves.
In this moment it is also essential to grieve - allowing our emotions an outlet and connecting with those we love because we need to know on a visceral level that we are not alone. Our group is stunned, saddened, and outraged by these results. Moments of overwhelm accompanied by waves of tears have not been unusual. The fact that a racist, misogynist, nativist, boorish individual who wore those colors proudly is going to be president is hard to fathom. It is a time for mourning, certainly. But, let us do this work together, in community. The pain is real, and “together we are stronger”.
And finally, organize! Before charging in, listen and learn. The next steps we take have to be different than the ones that brought us here, and so our plan, when we are able, is to find and engage in dialogue with the people within the communities in which we live and work. In so doing, we will embody the values we want to see in the world, and we will listen and empathize – all of which ultimately lead us to action that is more collaborative, collective and progressive. Let’s support each other in moving from deep anger to deep curiosity today about the White, working-class folks who have elected this man. In many ways, they have also been far removed from the mythical "American Dream", and yet they have fallen prey to the idea that the root of their disenfranchisement is poor, working class People of Color, or immigrants, or anyone who may fall outside of their normative frame rather than the neo-liberal, corporatocracy of which Donald Trump is a lifetime member. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was attempting to bridge this gap with the poor people’s campaign to build coalitions and a strong movement among all working class folk. We as a society have not continued his work and instead the radical right has recast that activism as a leftist, elitist movement. Additionally, what about the educated and wealthy who voted for Donald Trump? Or, the White women who voted for a racist, misogynist man? We need to question and listen with them as well, first because we need to understand them, but also because we need to hold them accountable and responsible for their actions.
We at HCG are committed to understanding all of this more deeply and then organizing / educating more effectively. When stuck, we will channel true leaders like bell hooks, James Baldwin, Harvey Milk, Cesar Chavez, Winona LaDuke and Grace Lee Boggs and remember that love trumps hate. And ultimately, we will fight creatively for the world we want our children and theirs and theirs and theirs to live in. Please join us, and so many others, in speaking out and taking action. Even as we send this out to you there are protests all over the country. This does not have to be who we are as a nation. In peace and solidarity – The HCG Team
"Optimism and hope are different.
Optimism tends to be based on the notion that there’s enough
evidence to allow us to think things are going to be better….
Whereas hope looks at the evidence and says it doesn’t look good at all,
but we’re going to go beyond the evidence to create new possibilities."
- Cornel West
The Hackman Consulting Group