I had planned a wholesome post tonight about the presence of families in YA literature, but like often, I wait until the last minute to work on it. I figured I could knock it out while I watched election results. However, as the returns came out, I found that I couldn’t write a light-hearted post about families and Thanksgiving and love because my heart kept sinking in despair.
It is 11pm in California as I write this and as of right now America does not know who our next president will be. But what we do know is that many of us tonight are terrified for our lives. We are terrified of our country taking a gigantic step backward and all the progress we have made in this country to be open to people of all backgrounds, disabilities and LGBT-ness, will be gone because of one power hungry, egotistical man. I am near tears because I think about my students, many who are immigrants themselves or children of immigrants and who are fearful of what a Trump administration will bring. I am in tears because my sister-in-law asked this evening, “What type of future will I have for my children?”. I am in tears because I think of my Muslim friends who might face all sorts of violence just because of how they worship, and I think of my fellow African-Americans who have been gunned down, and could be gunned down by police. I think of all the people in my life whose very lives are in danger because of this man and I am in despair.
However, I can’t seem to break myself away from social media and am now seeing calls to fight, to stand up for justice, to fight for all the gains we have earned. And I so agree! Tonight, we mourn and then tomorrow we get ready to fight. We continue the work we’re doing to diversity YA & kidlit because education is one of the best ways to create empathy for other people. We also push harder on editors, publishers, book buyers, to publish #ownvoices authors and to market those books like they market white authors. We also take to the streets and do what we can to make sure our rights are not trampled on. We have to gather and work together to show that we will not allow for the destruction of the country that we love. This is our home and we must fight for it.