On Building Bridges

To the hot-take authors, politicians, and liberals asking us to build bridges.

Here’s an incomplete list of people more deserving of our empathy right now than white heartland voters, in no particular order:

  • Muslim Americans who watched in horror as the GOP candidate successfully campaigned on a platform of targeting them with state violence.
  • The people of Puerto Rico, who live under US federal rule without representation or voice in the electoral process.
  • Everyone who is unable to vote for the rest of their lives due to a conviction for a nonviolent offense.
  • Native peoples facing further destruction of their homes in the name of oil.
  • The peaceful protestors in North Dakota holding their ground against rubber bullets, riot gear, and attack dogs.
  • The millions of people whose drinking water will be in jeopardy of contamination due to the oil pipeline those protestors are protesting.
  • Black people. Just, all of them, everywhere. But especially black women, who showed up for Hillary more than any other group.
  • All non-white people, who now face hate that has been emboldened by Trump’s win.
  • Everyone whose vote was restricted by voter ID laws and other policies that violate the Voting Rights Act.
  • The 20 million people depending on the ACA for access to medical care.
  • The millions of disabled people whose legal and medical lifelines Trump has promised to remove.
  • Same-sex couples, whose families and marriages will face concerted attack from the federal government in the near future.
  • Transgender people, who only just recently started seeing progress towards equitable treatment and protection by the federal government, and can expect that to roll back.
  • Basically the entire LGBTQ community, no longer safe from discrimination in their jobs, homes, hospitals, or anywhere else.
  • The millions of women relying on Planned Parenthood for reliable and safe access to reproductive healthcare.
  • The civilians living in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, and everywhere else where the US maintains a state of constant dangerous wartime readiness.
  • International allies and trade partners of the US.
  • Teachers doing their best to curb bullying of children, with inadequate resources.
  • Everyone who has immigrated to this country, who will be 1 misplaced document away from sudden deportation or worse.
  • Victims of rape and sexual assault, watching as a predator ascends to the highest office in the land.
  • The next few generations of earthlings, who may be the last, as we quickly make the planet too hot to inhabit.

When you’ve summoned empathy and built bridges with all of the people on this list, let’s start talking about the Trump voters who attacked all these groups this week.