Monday, December 5, 2016

What Do We Do Now?

I'm embarrassed that my last post--first thing in the morning on the day after the election--was about food sensitivity testing. That's not at all what I was thinking about at that time. I had written the post the weekend prior and scheduled it to run on Wednesday without connecting the dots about what day Wednesday was. 

I am feeling too many things. I don't even know how to process them all in this space. I've had o step away for a very long time to deal with my grief privately.

Sometimes bullet points help me when I'm feeling blocked:
  • I am ashamed that I had my head in the sand about what was coming. I live within an "echo chamber," in which I get my news from very like-minded people. I was blindsided.
  • Racism and xenophobia and misogyny and homophobia and ableism are even more pervasive in the U.S. than I thought. I knew it was bad, but I didn't think it was half-the-population bad.
  • After the fact, I now understand why some people voted for Trump. When your own basic needs are not being met, it's really hard to have empathy for others or to prioritize the needs of others above your own (even though the needs of others are ultimately connected to your own needs). 
  • But I also want to be clear that a vote for Trump was a vote that sanctioned and emboldened racism and xenophobia and misogyny and homophobia in this country. 
  • None of this is "politics as usual." It's not time to keep quiet about whom we voted for because of what etiquette says. This is not an example of republicans v. democrats or conservatives v. liberals. This is more evidence that our country is a "domination" society as opposed to a "partnership" society. People are legitimately scared and vulnerable in our country right now. 
So how do we move forward? What do we do? 

This is where I thank my lucky stars that I am a Montessorian and that my life's work is to help as many children and families as possible have access to Montessori schools. The Montessori method is literally designed as "education for peace" in so many ways. Montessori disrupts the conventional model that perpetuates the "dominator/dominated" relationship between adults and children. When children grow up in a "command and control" environment, they are likely to become dominators themselves as soon as they have a modicum of power. 

I am also so thankful that Montessori For All is intentionally committed to building racially, culturally, and socioeconomically diverse schools. We need our children to learn how to navigate and appreciate lines of difference and to become leaders in a multicultural world. 

But my life's work is the long-game. What do I do right now? I think I need to do more to be an ally to the people in Austin who are the most vulnerable. Acts of violence and white supremacist sentiments are anecdotally on the rise. I need to attend local meetings with social justice groups and continue the anti-racist, anti-bias work that we have going on at our school right now.

Even as I prepare to post this message, I'm feeling like it's so incomplete. But I can't not say anything. And I can't go on posting about the trivialities of my life if I haven't said at least something--no matter how incomplete my thoughts are.

Sending well wishes your way,


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andee said...

I had guessed your previous post was scheduled. I made a marriage counseling appoint for the morning after the election not realizing what was about to happen. I could barely function; it wasn't the most productive counseling. I am not in an insulated situation (my whole family voted for Trump) but I still thought his win was unfathomable.

Kate said...

Thanks for posting, Sara. I'm right there with you. Embarrassed by my naivete and actively looking for the next opportunity to engage with our community. All while raising E to value collaboration and to hold peace sacred.

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for posting this. I read many blogs that I realize have varying levels of frivolity but what's going on is a sea change. So few "non political" blogs have addressed the election and it feels mind bending, like the writer and I cannot be living in the same country if she can blog about her Friday Favs and continue on as if things are exactly as they have been. Or if she can I don't want to know her.

Nora said...

Your school is doing valuable work. I hope that you will also keep your eyes and heart open for the very poorest children in your community, who most likely do not attend your school. These children, not most of the kids who attend your school, will be most affected by Trump's new Ed secretary.

Catfish said...

I think it's important to note that there's a false narrative that Trump voters were not having "basic needs met." They actually largely had higher incomes than their neighbors and we're less likely to have been negatively impacted by globalization. To your larger point, education was the key factor.

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