show me ya ballot: the devil you know

It’s been a long, hard day and I’m grateful to have had the container of a Health Equity + Social Justice Workshop to process my outrage, grief, fear and — most surprising to me — an arising MISTRUST!

And I respect my feelings and my mental/spiritual well-being enough to be honest and vocal about the fact that I cannot welcome hope, acceptance, or understanding right now.

I’ve conjured calm, and only calm, in this moment. But it is not peace. Nor am I rushing to get through to the other side of these emotions.

My safety and freedom and that of those I love, who live in the crosshairs of existing with “target group” identities (people of color, immigrants, non-Christian, disabled, gender non-conforming, LGBTQ+, working class, among other marginalized intersections), has been compromised!

That we’ve always been vulnerable is not new. And that, by far, is the scariest: As much as we hope, rally, advocate, model, and assume positions that impact change, we remain vulnerable and targeted. The confederate flags come out in my native #LoveLansing community and around the country in a display that feels too close to reconstructionist era pogroms.

So, yeah, I wanna see er-body’s receipts — those who voted for hate and those who still operate under apathy and deception that their vote doesn’t count. ‘Cause right now, I’m finding it difficult to imagine consciously fostering or continuing relationships with anyone who would act so recklessly to conspire with hate and white supremacy.

Like the Negro Motorist Green Book did for the Jim Crow/Civil Rights generations, I wanna know the local and national businesses that are celebrating this misbegotten “victory” so that I can ensure my resources never reach their coffers.

In Buddhist practice we say congratulations
because now is the time we have been practicing for. 

No more just practicing the dance.
We must now dance.
And this is not a dress rehearsal.

~ Zenju

Read more responses from Buddhist teachers on Lion’s Roar.