Facing Ourselves is Not Easy

Posted by Liz Vogel on November 11, 2016


The first days after the election have over-delivered on what I feared most: an open platform for bigotry, hate and violence.
 
White students in schools chanting "Build the wall,'" "White power," and "Heil Hitler."
White students formed a 'wall' to block Latino students from entering school.
Rainbow flags burned.
Confederate flags raised.
Muslim girls and women attacked on the subway, on the street, in stores and in school.
 
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The New York Times compiled photos and videos of incidents on school campuses. You can see additional compilations of tweets and other social media posts documenting these incidents here.
 
'Facing history' is almost always easier than 'facing ourselves.' There is a distance to history that can offer safety. When we're in the thick, in the now, emotions run high and can paralyze us. It can be difficult to find perspective.
 
We are in a critical 'facing ourselves' moment.
 
This is a harsh wake up call for many Americans who cannot fathom that this is who we are as a country. Others, especially people of color, immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ and trans communities, have long felt excluded or in danger. 
 
This is our history. This is our present. But this cannot be the new normal. 
 
How and what we teach our children has never mattered more. 
 
How we come together matters too. This is a time to be Upstanders, not bystanders, in the face of injustice. 
 
Ali Michael's says it plainly: Bigotry is not a democratic value. Ali's poignant blog, What Do We Tell The Children? has become my personal mantra. I have returned to it over and over in the last two days and will keep it close.
 
We have so much work to do. 

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