In my senior year of high school I discovered the term anagnorisis. In ancient Greek literature, anagnorisis signifies a critical discovery; the protagonist sees things as they are, free of fantastical considerations. I hope that those in America, especially the left, have seen America as it truly is: a nation whose modus operandi is marginalization, whose lifeblood is murder, and whose raison d’être is racism.
Truth is stranger than fiction, and dystopia is corrosive to the soul: Donald Trump is the President-Elect of the United States, and I mourn.
I am writing this piece with a fear that I have not felt in years. I fear for my own life, as an undocumented immigrant, and I fear for my undocumented friends and family. I am incensed by the idea that pragmatic optimism requires that things be really bad for Black folk, undocumented folk, queer folk, and trans folk before they maybe get better. I will let wonkier minds investigate what motivated this stunning upset. Nevertheless, I cannot help but believe that what we are truly stunned by is the extent to which the prion that is the liberal echo-chamber has burrowed into our political consciousness. We could have not been shocked, but we are; we must look into that.
In writing this, I must also admit that I am awash in inadequacy. I do not feel like I belong in this country, I do not feel like I am safe in this country, and I do not believe that my work will be worth a damn. Nevertheless, despite the seeming improbability, I must push on.
I do not have the words that will relieve us of the burden that we feel or will be the light in that dark tunnel, but what keeps me going is this: now is the time to believe that your work matters. More important, now is the time to do that work.
We cannot hope to change the world unless we resolve to contend with it. And contend we must.
Be strong and of good courage.
Image Credit: Suzi Altman, Zumapress.com