America,What Have You Done?

I am drained. I didn’t sleep Tuesday night and I cried. I am concerned for all of us that are not the hue of he, who was elected into the highest office in The United States of America . White supremacy, hate, violence, bigotry, misogyny, were the winners this week. He will never be my President because he doesn’t represent me or people like me.

I voted at 7 am that morning. I’m never outside that early unless I have an appointment. I knew I had one job for that day; to defeat the orange one and his cronies.

Living in NYC all my life I knew so much about him, from his infamous marriages and divorces, to his call for the Central Park Five to be put to death (when they were exonerated he didn’t apologize),to his failed business and huge ego.

He politically came to fame by attempting to delegitimize the first black president, Barack Obama saying he wasn’t an American citizen and a Muslim. He even questioned  President Obama ‘s education and intelligence expressing doubt on his ability to have been President of the Harvard Law Review. All total blatant,racist lies.

He kept demanding for the President to present his birth certificate, the way fugitive slave catchers asked for the papers of freed black people, in the 19th century. No other President had ever been asked that question. According to history books, this country was formed by people seeking religious freedom. There is no requirement that a person has to be a Christian to be the President, no matter what the Tea Party evangelicals say.

The election is over. How do we deal with the aftermath?

I’ve already read reports of Muslim women having their hijab pulled from their heads, Hispanic children being told by other children in kindergarten that they will be going back to Mexico. A black woman was told that now, she needed to sit at the back of the bus, it was now trump time.  Another  black woman was confronted by young men and they threatened to grab her by the genitalia. I saw a video in a high school where a few paraded around inside their school yelling white power holding Trump signs. All of this and more,in the first 48 hours and the inauguration does not happen until January 20th.

This man has emboldened racist people who lay dormant, nursing the wounds to their fractured souls, because a black man was President. Times have changed. American demographics has changed. They are scared to lose their white privilege.  That’s why the slogan of the campaign meant going back to the times when they had all the power and could treat “the other” any way they wanted to. Non college educated white men and women came out to vote in droves, to get their power back. Let’s never forget, he was endorsed by the KKK and the Neo-Nazi movement.

Everything we didn’t like during the campaign rallies may become our everyday reality. That thought puts knots in my stomach, pain in my chest, body and soul. He has no sense of the average person’s life. He has no human feelings,so Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, Muslims, Mexicans, LGBTQ,  the elderly, the poor, the disabled, the disenfranchised, the ill are all in danger with his policy  proposals. I fall into a few of these categories. It makes me uncomfortable when I know Medicare and other social programs may be in jeopardy. What will I do?

I know I’m not alone not liking this choice. Our entire government is now majority GOP thanks to this election. Since the days of their patron saint Ronald Reagan, they have never cared about the life of others.

Life goes on, but this is wakeup call. All the groups I just mentioned must find a way to come together and start building something new from the grassroots level. I’m not even sure what that is…  I’m willing to be involved, however I can. The socially conscious millennial may have to take the ball and run with it. The rest of us can help.

I always have to rely on my faith to help me during times when nothing else can. We press forward courageously. I am a Bodhisattva of the Earth, my mission is to help each person to become happy. We must have unshakeable faith no matter what happens in our immediate and wider environment.

In our November publication, Living Buddhism, our spiritual mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says. ” The defining characteristic of bodhisattvas is their vow. The vow of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth is to propagate the Lotus Suta. That’s why it is important for us to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with this vow for kosen-rufu (world peace), resolving with all our hearts to help those around us to become genuinely happy”.

The book Introduction to Buddhism says, “Absolute happiness means that living itself is happiness; being alive is a joy, no matter where we are or what our circumstances. It describes a life condition in which happiness wells forth from within. It is called absolute because it is not influenced by external conditions. Attaining Buddhahood means developing absolute happiness. Beyond the troubles of just getting by in life, we often face unexpected problems. Happiness does not depend on whether or not we have problems, but how we perceive and deal with them. To cite an analogy, a person of little strength and experience who encounters a steep mountain path will view it as a daunting obstacle. But a strong, experienced hiker can confidently ascend a steep trail even while carrying a heavy backpack, enjoying the view along the way. In a similar way, one who has firmly established a life condition of absolute happiness can confidently face any difficulty. Problems can even become an impetus to bring forth a powerful life force, enabling one to calmly and confidently overcome any challenge.”

This is a daunting challenge, however, we may bend, but we won’t break. I have to believe we will get through this as hearts and minds change, as truths are exposed. They will be revealed on an international stage. A world wide audience is watching.  We have some difficult times ahead.

2016 will surely go down in history. So many talented and creative people have left this earth. I have to wonder if they somehow knew what was coming.  Brexit happened abroad and now the United States has elected a demagogue.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines that as a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power. The next four years will tell us how this plays out.

In the meantime I encourage you all, no matter your religious beliefs to go to this webpage http://www.worldtribune.org/ and read the SGI-USA’s  online publications and gain hope, if you feel hopeless right now. You may be surprised that many of our humanistic beliefs are some you already have. There’s so much encouragement for everyone. My faith is for everyone who wants to feel confident and are fighters, filled with hope for peace.

I thank the President and First Lady Michelle Obama for the dignity, class and example they have shown. They gave us all so much to aspire to. They faced incredible obstruction and pure hate from day one, but always stood tall, never flinching.

They have been the most personable and fun First couple in my lifetime. Watch them interact with kids. Along with Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr Jill Biden, they have been an awesome quartet. The Obamas have raised two beautiful well adjusted young women, one is headed for Harvard next year.

They allowed the White House to be the people’s house. Many who thought they would never live to see a black president had a dream come true. They were invited to come inside. They met and some even danced and sang  with a President and First Lady. I wish them an incredible life after January 20th.

I think once the keys are turned over, the locks will be changed and things will never be quite the same.