The night of President Donald Trump’s election, I left The Huffington Post newsroom and walked from Manhattan back to my Brooklyn apartment.
There, I sat and watched the electoral votes continue to pour in for Trump, feeling a heavy, inescapable sense of dread as I tried to imagine what the next four years would be like based on the way he ran his campaign.
My roommate cried for hours. Social media became an unusable space of mass hysteria. I cleaned my kitchen just to have something to do. I wrote about the feeling. I texted my mom.
And now, less than three months later, we are seeing the true ramifications of this moment in American politics. The “Muslim ban.” The wall. The imminent healthcare repeal. An endorsement of torture. Abortion restrictions.
All of it is targeted legislation that disproportionately affects the most vulnerable people in America: minorities.
We knew this could ― and likely would ― happen. That the religious right would be rewarded for their loyalty after President Trump won the election, putting minorities’ rights and protections under attack just as veteran LGBTQ activists warned us.
And now that it actually seems to be happening ― how do we respond?
First, we recognize that that our struggles and fight for liberation as minority Americans are all interconnected ― and our activism and resistance needs to be intersectional as well.
Women, LGBTQ people, people of color, immigrants, refugees, disabled people ― we are all under threat at the hands of this administration and must fight for each other across the lines of identity politics.
This is already happening all over. Minorities are showing up for other minorities and not waiting until their own community is under attack ― and we need to keep the momentum going.
Familiarize yourself with groups, organizations and nonprofits that are engaged in protecting the rights and lives of the most vulnerable Americans. From the ACLU to Lambda Legal to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, it’s crucial that we are intentional and thoughtful about where we’re allocating time, energy and resources as we push back against targeted legislation.
We also need to be visible by continuing to engage in protests. It’s just as important to show up to the airport as it was to participate in the Women’s March.
Our protesting should be creative in order to catch the attention of the media ― and also relentless, we should use social media to organize quickly and effectively ― especially if these Executive Orders continue to roll out at the rate we’ve seen over the last 12 days.
And finally, and perhaps most importantly, we need to look out for each other.
One of the most radical and tangible things we can do right now is going out of our way to take care of one another, and be empathetic to the struggles of our fellow minority American.
Text your friends. Call your family. Send Facebook messages. Go to support groups. Self-care is a radical act, but so is the care of those around you, not just in your community but outside of it.
These are certainly surreal times that we’re living in, and it can be easy to either completely disengage or let yourself spiral from the overwhelming intensity of our political climate.
But be vigilant. Resist. Dissent. And most importantly: Be there, and take care of one another.