I wish I could say that I am shocked by the racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, and white supremacy in this country that led, in part, to the election of Donald Trump, but I am not. Having done diversity work for 30+ years, I am not shocked by the fact that racism has always existed, that our nation was founded on racist principles, that our systems are rife with racism. It went underground, perhaps, in some well-educated and polite portions of our society, but it's always still been there. If you're a white person and you are shocked, you haven't been paying attention to your friends who are people of color, or perhaps you don't have any friends who are people of color, who are gay, who are trans, who are Muslim, who are disabled. There's no time to rue that fact; let's change it.
In my Hard Conversations: Intro to Racism course, I show the clip that is featured above. In it, Marshall Rosenberg talks about "nonviolent communication," a type of communication our nation needs now more than ever. Watch and listen.
Here are the questions we must now ask ourselves:
What are the unmet needs that have just been expressed via our democratic process? The core unmet needs, not the superficial ones.
What are the unmet needs of those opposed to having Donald Trump serve as our nation's President?
In what way can we find commonality among those two seemingly conflicting unmet needs in order to move forward together?
And in all interactions: How can I be in full presence to what is alive in this other person?
Obviously, the ways in which we are communicating at present are not working. We have become a nation of screamers across a wide divide, and our screams are getting distorted and all meaning is lost.