My answer would have been that the only thing that I have ever seen unite a community is hatred. Working at a group home a couple of weeks before it opened. Getting it ready for people to come home from the institution, I walked from the subway to the house. They had fought against the home, the neighbours did. They fought hard. And they hated us. Those who worked there. And those who had been locked away in shame and fear would come home to hate and unwelcome. Hate pulled a community together.
It would be my first lesson in the depth of hate that exists for difference but not the last.
Coming out and marching in the first gay pride march in Toronto. People threw stones at us. People grabbed garbage off the street at tossed it into our faces. They called out names. Their faces showed us their hearts and their hearts were twisted and angry. My own heart struggled to find pride but it couldn’t it just beat in fear, deep, deep fear. Of the crowd, of the new photographers. Would I be hurt? Would I have a job to go back to. Strangers came together, on the street, united in their hatred of us.
I could go on.
About fat … and the permission it gives people to be hateful.
About disability … and the permission it gives people to wish me dead.
I keep hearing that Trump won because it was ‘the small guy’ against ‘the elites in government.’ No it wasn’t. It was those who hated this group, united with those that hated that group, united with those that hated all groups. It was, from the outset, a movement based on hate. That’s been clear all the way through.
A coalition of ‘the different’ will never defeat a coalition united by hatred.
Love does not defeat hate.
But love can power resistance. Love can turn hearts. Love can cause deep reflection.
Love does have power.
Inclusive as a concept builds and rebuilds and rebuilds.
Because of these things I think that tomorrow might just be OK. I may not have been surprised at the level of hatred expressed in the election of a man who’s primary skill is bluster, but he just might be surprised and the strength of the resistance that’s coming.
Because it is coming.