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When the first election results came in on Tuesday night – and the unthinkable became possible, then inevitable – I first put my hand over my mouth. I felt the horror in my throat, my face flushed, my breathing shallow. I wanted to rage and cry. My toddler tugged at my shirt and shouted “Evening Edition!” This is his name for our bedtime routine of stories, songs, and prayers to get him to sleep. I didn’t think I had it in me. Still my husband and I turned off CNN and held back our tears. We sat on the red cushion and opened The Little Engine That Could and read. Next it was time to dance — and so somehow, we danced. We danced to “Firework” and “Roar” as he spun around us; I even laughed. Through the pain and fear and anger, I remembered joy. I remembered love. And how love makes us brave. And how love strengthens us to fight. For this is what we must do. When I finally put him down in the crib, I thought of the world he will wake up to — a little brown boy in Donald Trump’s America. A little boy who will face the threat of hate, violence, bullying and bigotry in what is now called the era of “enormous rage.” And I made a vow — I will fight. I will fight for him. For us. For this country. No matter what. This will be a long hard fight against racism and hate and bigotry and oppression. It is a fight for the soul of our country. A fight we can wage with and through love. This is essential. As you sit with your shock and pain, don’t bury the hurt too quickly. Hold your anger, honor it. Our love strengthens us and our pain teaches us how to fight — but only if we refuse to be alone with it. Tomorrow let us go to each other with our grief and our pain and share it over a cup of tea, a piece of chocolate, a song on the playlist. Let’s sit with our co-workers and students — and just listen. Listen like we never have before. Let’s call our parents and grandparents and tell them we love them. Snuggle our babies. Skype with our best friend. Smell the sea. Look for the stars. They are still there. There is beauty and love that surrounds us — on all sides. And it can make us strong. It can make us brave. Brave enough to face the politics of hate. Because the forces of fear, nativism, bigotry, and rage that fueled Donald Trump’s candidacy have won. And it feels like darkness is swallowing our nation whole. Here is the truth: The future is dark. But we can choose to believe that this darkness is not the dark of a tomb, but the dark of the womb. What if our America is a country still waiting to be born — and the story of America is one long labor? What if all the mothers who came before us, who survived genocide and occupation, slavery and Jim Crow, political oppression and sexual assault, are standing behind us now? Then, this election is the Great Contraction before we birth a new future. So what do we do now? Remember the wisdom of the midwife: “Breathe.” Then: “Push.” Because soon it will be time to fight — for those we love. So tonight, I make a sacred vow: I will breathe. I will push. I will fight. I will fight for mothers and grandmothers, women who work, and women who will keep families together during the hard times to come. I will fight for their daughters — girls who will need to believe in the sanctity of their bodies and power of their minds, who will need to fight the misogyny that surrounds them. I will fight for the dignity of all people who will be attacked and hurt during this presidency — Muslim, Sikh, Black, trans, native, and immigrant mothers and fathers who are holding their children in the darkness right now. I vow to fight the racism, homophobia, and xenophobia tearing us apart — and the surveillance, detentions, deportations, and killings that terrorize us. I will pray with you in the sanctuaries and march with you in the streets. Because there should never be walls in the human heart. And yes, I will fight for the people who voted for Donald Trump to be President out of their own feelings of economic and racial anxiety, pain, and loss. Because #RevolutionaryLove takes root in common ground, not closed ranks. I swear this oath as a #Sikh, American and mother. I will fight for my son, my ancestors, my country and for you. “Let America be America again, The land that never has been yet— And yet must be…” — Langston Hughes We can only survive the next four years if YOU who are reading this vow to FIGHT, too. I ask you to reflect on how you want to reach out, reach across, stand up, and show up for those you love — through posts, petitions, power, and protest. Answer this: Who do you love? Who do you vow to fight for in Donald Trump’s America? Then please will you join us to find the light in this dark chapter ahead? Write and share your #VowToFight with #RevolutionaryLove

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1 Shawn Bose = "Let America be America again.Let it be the dream it used to be.Let it be the pioneer on the plainSeeking a home where he himself is free.(America never was America to me.)Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—Let it be that great strong land of loveWhere never kings connive nor tyrants schemeThat any man be crushed by one above.(It never was America to me.)O, let my land be a land where LibertyIs crowned with no false patriotic wreath,But opportunity is real, and life is free,Equality is in the air we breathe.(There’s never been equality for me,Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark? And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.I am the red man driven from the land,I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—And finding only the same old stupid planOf dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.I am the young man, full of strength and hope,Tangled in that ancient endless chainOf profit, power, gain, of grab the land!Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!Of work the men! Of take the pay!Of owning everything for one’s own greed!I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.I am the worker sold to the machine.I am the Negro, servant to you all.I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—Hungry yet today despite the dream.Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!I am the man who never got ahead,The poorest worker bartered through the years.Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dreamIn the Old World while still a serf of kings,Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,That even yet its mighty daring singsIn every brick and stone, in every furrow turnedThat’s made America the land it has become.O, I’m the man who sailed those early seasIn search of what I meant to be my home—For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,And torn from Black Africa’s strand I cameTo build a “homeland of the free.”The free?Who said the free?  Not me?Surely not me?  The millions on relief today?The millions shot down when we strike?The millions who have nothing for our pay?For all the dreams we’ve dreamedAnd all the songs we’ve sungAnd all the hopes we’ve heldAnd all the flags we’ve hung,The millions who have nothing for our pay—Except the dream that’s almost dead today.O, let America be America again—The land that never has been yet—And yet must be—the land where every man is free.The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—Who made America,Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,Must bring back our mighty dream again.Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—The steel of freedom does not stain.From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,We must take back our land again,America!O, yes,I say it plain,America never was America to me,And yet I swear this oath—America will be!Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,We, the people, must redeemThe land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.The mountains and the endless plain—All, all the stretch of these great green states—And make America again!"
2 Sarah Mangum = "Join the #VowToFight movement on Twitter!"