Lets start with what this is not. I am neither predicting doom from a Trump presidency, nor am I telling you that you have nothing to worry about. That isn't the point. The point is not the relative merits of what happened on November 8.
The point is that if you want to fix it, whatever it is, you can.
I don't have a brilliant grand plan.
But I have a little idea.
Say "thank you."
Say "thank you" to the people who might be feeling marginalized.
Say thank you to Muslims you know. Say thank you to any immigrants you know, or meet. Say "thank you" if you see a gay couple. Say thank you. Introvert? Then leave a note on their windshield.
You have to admit, no matter how pro-Trump you might be, that right now, a lot of people are scared and wondering if America just had a referendum on whether to hate them or not. Again, I am not saying that is what a Trump vote meant. Personally, I disagree. But, I can't deny that a lot of people need to be made to feel welcome, because they don't feel that way right now.
No matter how they got to feeling that way, that's where they are. Even if you think they should not feel that way, you don't get to tell them how to feel.
Well, you do a little. You can tell them to feel that you, personally, want them here.
You hear someone speaking Spanish? Tell them "Gracias por estar aquí". You see someone in a hijab? Tell them "thank you for being here." You see someone wearing a "Black Lives Matter" button, and you think "all lives matter?" So what, if ALL lives matter, then Black ones do too, right? So shake their hand and say "yes, they do."
And so on… Maybe they need to hear that right now. A lot of them are feeling worried.
Forget whether they should or not.
That is how they feel.
Those of us who aren't scared should make damn sure to let them know how we feel. Most of us feel that they belong. Way more of us feel that way than the tiny slice of us who don't. But, that tiny slice gets the press. That tiny slice is the image that the media wants everyone to see.
Drama sells. Random acts of kindness don't. So, we have to outnumber them. We have to overwhelm them. Do it so much that we annoy them for god's sake. Do it so that they feel like America turned into a big dumb dog that wont stop licking their faces.
So, can you try this? Just say thank you. If you're an introvert, then leave a note on their windshield that says "thank you for being part of America." Look up random foreign sounding names in the phone book and email them a postcard that says "Thank you for being in America." Just do something to thank them for being here. Because, without them, we aren't America.
So to all my friends who don't think they're welcome in America right now, you're not just welcome. No, "welcome" isn't enough.
Thank you for being here.
*Note: Please share this. Or steal it. Plagiarize it without credit, if you like. Public domain, with no rights reserved. The point is to spread the word.
Marc Randazza is the national president of the First Amendment Lawyers Association
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