An Open Letter to Humanity

Dearest Humanity:

      For some of us, the last few days have been arduous, frightening, and isolating.

      For some of us, the election's outcome did little in regard to our feelings of social safety.

      For some of us, we witnessed a great victory achieved by the American political system - electing the most "unpolitical candidate" in U.S. history. 

   However you find yourself aligned, there are imperative concerns, issues, and dialogues, we as a country must discuss with one another. Since July of 2015, Donald Trump has captivated the globe with his usage of horrendous rhetoric on an international stage. He has found pleasure in continuing to degrade, ostracize, scapegoat, and demonize entire demographics of peoples. Understandably, he has propelled whole communities toward fear, uncertainty, and dismay in regard to what the future holds for our social structures in the U.S. 

   Across the country, citizens have been expressing their constitutional right to voice their opinions and reactions to the outcome of our election machine. While some may agree or disagree with the populations protesting, it is inherently problematic to respond with violence on either front. Malice in word, action, or practice is not the answer now, nor ever, to express one's concerns. Respect those protesting, respect their anguish and fear, and stand with those whose reality is fearful now, rather than question the validity of their worries. Speak with your neighbors, ask them what is on their mind, understand their reality, and offer to support them however they need. 

 

   From myself specifically, I would like to extend dialogues to each of you, dear readers. 

 

    To Muslim Individuals: I am not only heartbroken, I am so very sorry. The America we have awoken in, is not the one I hope to see continue. Women - who have taken off their hijabs, who have been taunted for wearing them - and men who who have experienced any form of racial/ethnic profiling in regard to Middle Eastern attributes, please acknowledge the strength and unmeasurable importance that you hold. This country is just as much yours, as it is anyone else's. You are supported, venerated, and not alone in this time of tribulation. #IstandwithYou

    To Queer Individuals: We are a strong people. The daunting possibilities before us: withdrawal of national marriage equality, and other policies which threaten our status as humans, will not silence us. We must continue to spearhead initiatives which demand our voices be heard, and safeguard the most vulnerable among us.  This country is just as much yours, as it is anyone else's. You are supported, venerated, and not alone in this time of tribulation. #IstandwithYou

    To Trans*, Non-Conforming, and Non-Binary Individuals: Early reports on election night, suggested a terror which I myself was worried about for this community. My dearest friends, please wake up everyday and speak a referendum of serenity and solidarity with your soul. You matter, your validation to your essence will always trump hate, and this world will see brighter days. We just need to all be here to see it, and continue marching with one another till we get there. This country is just as much yours, as it is anyone else's. You are supported, venerated, and not alone in this time of tribulation. #IstandwithYou

    To Individuals of Color: The conversations and movements against racial divide, oppression, and systematic racism do not end now. This country has the duty to listen, stand with, and collaborate with you. Only through cross dialogue, and continued campaigns of justice, love, and peace, can white privilege, and problematic epidemics of racial discrimination be exposed, allowing progressive healing to begin.  This country is just as much yours, as it is anyone else's.You are supported, venerated, and not alone in this time of tribulation. #IstandwithYou

    To Native Individuals: I can not begin to express my regret for the way my ancestor's have treated your cultures, communities, and history. Continuing to ignore your voices, disregard your presence, and actively silence your way of life has been an unhealed wound of American history since its conception. I pray for your people, for this nation, for us to summit common ground and finally begin to heal and venerate your ancestries. Please know, many are fighting by your side and that your communities are sacred to the beauty and potential of our world. This country is just as much yours, as it is anyone else's. You are supported, venerated, and not alone in this time of tribulation. #IstandwithYou

    To Women: Genitalia does not define the essence of person, and it never will. Many of us, will one day be president. That ceiling may be still clinging on, but it can not hold us for long. We must use this experience of feeling silenced, worried for our safety, and the notion that we are objects, to push for a stronger foundation of female leaders, influences, and creators. Our time has never ended, and it does not now. We must join hands, and stand firm against the systems which seems to suppress us. This country is just as much yours, as it is anyone else's. You are supported, venerated, and not alone in this time of tribulation. #IstandwithYou

    To Children: Please know this, the fairy godmother will always save the day. The good prince, princess, and ambiguous animals along the way, always defeat the evil forces. The ending is always happy, because we have not reached the end until it is so. Many of us adults, refuse to let you be raised in a culture of pain, divide, and danger. This country is just as much yours, as it is anyone else's. You are supported, venerated, and not alone in this time of tribulation. #IstandwithYou

    To Immigrants: First of all, immigrants build this country from the foundation up (including those communities who were forcibly bought, sold, and transported here to build the cities we now dwell in). This nation is one of collective immigration patterns. With communities came art, technology, collaboration, thriving democracy (well, we are still working on that one). Your strength in defying the taunts, division, and unfair blame, is something you must hold firm. This nation owes you our embrace and welcome, and this country is as much your home, as it is anyone's. You are supported, venerated, and not alone in this time of tribulation. #IstandwithYou

    To the Marginalized: The difficult times in this country, will end one day. Communities left in the dark, pushed down, and buried will be held up, along with everyone. We will be a civilization of love, respect, validation, and pure togetherness. We just need to remember that this is obtainable, and fight till our last breath to make sure our future generations do not lose hope in this dream.     This country is just as much yours, as it is anyone else's. You are supported, venerated, and not alone in this time of tribulation. #IstandwithYou

    To the Global Community: We must be one. We must hold each other. Cry with one another. Laugh with one another. Believe in one another. The notion that there are entire countries, populations, or races which must be removed, must end. We can not leave a legacy of division for the tapestry of time. The universe demands that we join in the pursuit of balanced, equal, and venerating peace, which does not cease, and is not corrupt. We can not do this with one figurehead, but with constant communal dialogue. It is our responsibility, to make sure this globe, continues to chart a course to complete sanctity of all peoples. This world is just as much yours, as it is anyone else's. You are supported, venerated, and not alone in this time of tribulation. #IstandwithYou 

    To Allys: Your support and validation, means the world to many communities. However, you and myself included, must remember when identifying as allies, the problematic slope of "saviorism". Seek out those who you hold dear, and the broader community, but ask each individual how you can support them. This is not a time for any of us to mandate a swiping belief on the needs or desires of one another. We all must unite under the intersection of our idiosyncratic life journeys, and validate each other as sacred and connected. This country is just as much yours, as it is anyone else's. You are supported, venerated, and not alone in this time of tribulation. #IstandwithYou 

    To the Artist Community: My fellow Creatives: artists, writers, builders, thinkers - abroad and here in the states - it is not a time for us to become quiet. We can not afford to sit idle, we must be active now. It is our responsibility to continue building the culture of humanity. We use our pens, our strings, our brushes, our hands, feet, and tears - we must pour our souls into the work we are ordained to perform. The humanity we live in, may be governed by oligarchy and fear, but our resilience as the transcribers of the human legacy, is vital now more than ever. This country, and this world, are just as much yours as they are anyone else's. You are supported, venerated, and not alone in this time of tribulation. #IstandwithYou 

    To Donald Trump: Hello, my name is a.j.k. o'donnell. We have never met before, and I don't know if we ever will. What I do know, is that as a human being, I extend my respect to your individual personhood and right to hold your own essence. The night of the election results, I found myself in a terrifying daze. People like me, my dearest friends, my family - blood and not - and those who I have not had the pleasure to physically know, are fearful of your administration. The values, messages, and notions you have proposed, shake the very foundation of millions of lives. November 9, 2016 - I sat on a concrete porch and I wept. I wept for my country, my communities, and I wept for our global future. I can remember when I was a child, and felt the heavy weight of bullies tearing at my self-worth, heart, and strength. I can imagine, that many Americans are currently experiencing a similar mix of emotions, which they would rather not be feeling. If your administration, including Mr. Pence, your cabinet, and those who regurgitate your hateful rhetoric, continue to demonize and target communities - we will continue speaking. We will not sit silence and allow you to deport us, to harm us and those we love, and we will hold each other up in peaceful, loving solidarity. You can't make America great, if you remove and divide the people in America. #willyoustandwithus

            and finally,

      To Ourselves: Without vigorous self-care, healthy practices, and continual introspection, we can not achieve our true personhood. The necessity to take time over the next few days, gathering yourself and seeking support from exterior or interior sources, is vital for your well-being. This country is just as much yours, as it is anyone else's. You are supported, venerated, and not alone in this time of tribulation. #IstandwithYou

 

Now, more than ever, we must stand together, in peace, wisdom, and loving altruism.

 

 

With the Utmost Unconditional

and Supportive Sincerity, 

 
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It is in times of great darkness, that the healers of generations will step forward, burning with the flames of hope and unity.


a.j.k. o'donnell is an American author, scholar, speaker, and award-winning activist. She is the author of the international sensation Nicoteane and Other Foolish Mistakes. Her second book, This Void Beckons, is releasing in July 2017.

a.j.k. o'donnell