Newall: In Trump's America, time to get moving - into action
We had our days to mourn. Now we have to get moving. And not to Canada. We have a lot of work on our hands over the next four years. To protect those with the most to lose in the Time of Trump: immigrants, Muslims, minorities, women, the LGBT community, anyone who cares about the economy, the future of democracy, or enjoys living on Planet Earth, since Donald Trump has appointed a climate-change denier to head up his EPA transition team.
We had our days to mourn. Now we have to get moving. And not to Canada.
We have a lot of work on our hands over the next four years. To protect those with the most to lose in the Time of Trump: immigrants, Muslims, minorities, women, the LGBT community, anyone who cares about the economy, the future of democracy, or enjoys living on Planet Earth, since Donald Trump has appointed a climate-change denier to head up his EPA transition team.
Half our country, angry or not, abandoned or not, got conned.
Or worse, gave in to dark impulses.
But that's only half. Judging by the popular vote, there's more of us.
Like many, I've been walking around in a daze.
Trump's visit to the White House was especially disgusting. President Obama greeting and shaking hands with the man who began his political career by racially profiling him - by claiming he was a Kenyan usurper to the presidency. What a sad degradation.
But this is the man we have put in the White House. I don't need to better understand Trump voters. I know their concerns and struggles. I grew up with them. I am friends with them. I love some of them. I've heard them. Now they have to hear from us.
If you voted for Trump, you have empowered a dangerous demagogue. You have sanctioned a dark vision for America. The Ku Klux Klan is with you. Its members are literally parading in celebration.
Hate is emboldened.
Only days in and look at the sweep of racist incidents committed in Trump's name:
In South Philly, Nazi graffiti ("Sieg Heil 2016") and swastikas next to the word Trump.
At a Bucks County high school, swastikas and antigay slurs scrawled on bathroom walls, a note placed in a Mexican student's backpack telling her to "Go back to Mexico."
At Penn last week, racist hate messages targeted the school's African American freshmen in what the university called a cyber attack. At Villanova, a female student reportedly was attacked by young men shouting "Trump! Trump!"
And across the country, many, many similar reports.
Trump says nothing.
Instead he whines about those protesting him. "Pretty unfair," he tweets.
During the election, we were content to say there is no convincing them. That our vote would be enough of a stand.
It was good enough, we told ourselves, that we were people who did not embrace a vision of America fueled by fear.
We need to make our support of the marginalized and oppressed not just private facets of our personalities but outward expressions of who we are.
This election showed that.
We need to convince those who can be convinced. And we need to vote those who cannot out of office.
We need to get to work.
Planned Parenthood will require plenty of volunteers to combat the assault on women's rights that is sure to come. In an encouraging sign, the organization was flooded with hundreds of volunteer applications in 48 hours last week, said Katie Otto, a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman. Volunteers can work as patient escorts, or help with phone-banking and fund-raising or other outreach efforts.
The William Way LGBT Center also has plenty of volunteer opportunities, said the center's executive director, Chris Bartlett. People are needed to staff the center, and help with community events and senior programs. Volunteer orientations are held the first Wednesday of every month, with the next one scheduled for Dec. 7.
Now, more than ever, Philly immigrant service organizations like Juntos, which fights for the rights of the Latino-immigrant community, and the Nationalities Service Center, which helps refugees build their futures, need help.
Nick Marzano, the president of Young Involved Philadelphia, told me that since Tuesday, interest in his group's annual seminar on running for public office ("Born to Run" at the Painted Bride, Nov. 14) has gone through the roof.
People, he said, have been telling him "that they felt they were asleep at the wheel, that they were taking things for granted, that they feel guilty and responsible and want to be involved."
We all need to be.
The people who voted for Trump own this presidency - the racism, the misogyny, and xenophobia it endorses and uplifts. But we can own this chapter in history.
If we start now.