When I found out that my blog would be coming out the day after the Election, I was a bit apprehensive. How could I give you what you need to hear without knowing what outcome we will be faced with? In 2016, it felt so dark and overwhelming. I was sad and disappointed. It was as if someone blew out the candle that was lit with the light of hope and change. I’ve been glued to the news lately. My heart hurts seeing videos reminiscent of the Civil Rights Movement. Hate is all around us. The other day, I read a FB comment that said, “Why can’t people just respect each other?” It’s so much deeper than that. Racism has been given new life in the last 4 years. It was a simmering pot while President Obama was in office but it has completely bubbled over and is spilling over our nation at this point. Racism has always existed but we have people in power who have emboldened racists and sadly call them “patriots.” We are, in fact, facing two global pandemics: COVID-19 and Racism. Saying “Black Lives Matter” is controversial. Peaceful protestors have been labeled rioters. The total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States as of November 3rd were 9.38M and lives lost were 231,000.  Those are devastating numbers. And we are in a fight for our Democracy— nothing about 2020 has been normal.

Nevertheless, I feel love shining through somehow. There is a resilience that remains unwavering. Early voting lines were long and I felt inspired when I casted my ballot. I still don’t know exactly what to write, so I will share my Instagram posts from the day after the Election in 2016:

Solange, Common & Alicia Keys for today’s soundtrack after much prayer and worship. God gives us choices. Thankful that I can look my daughter in the eyes today knowing that I chose love and will continue to choose it. We have to be the examples for our children. They deserve hope and creativity and a world where their dreams and goals and joy matter. They deserve equal opportunity in a space that allows them to freely move about like the beautiful souls each one of them are. It’s up to us. Today is here. What will we do?

“So now, our responsibility as citizens is to keep doing our part to build that better, stronger, fairer America we seek, and I know you will. I am so grateful to stand with all of you.” – Hillary Clinton

We have to do our part. Learn and teach our children about America’s full history, so the motivation to move forward and be better is there. Get involved in your community. Talk to your neighbors. Travel. Learn about different cultures. See the value in all people. Don’t just allow backward thinking to repeat itself generation after generation. Let’s do & be better for our children. That takes action and commitment. It takes having uncomfortable conversations and truly listening. The only way to truly unite, create change and be stronger together is by connecting with one another and realizing that we have more in common than not. Seeing the humanity in each other. We all deserve an equal opportunity to live our dreams and accomplish our goals. Hope

I pray that we have awaken this morning to a candle lit and burning strong and full of the light that will guide us forward. I pray that we have a new empathetic energy that permeates and propels us to truly see the brokenness in our country and re-build systems so that they work for all of us— fairly and justly. But no matter what today brings, I pray we continue the fight for a more united America. I pray we continue to exercise our voices and use our power in creative, productive ways. I pray we understand that if we want better, we have to stand up and speak up and hold those elected accountable so that we can actually be better. We all have to participate in real life and show up for each other every single day.

In 2020, when so much just feels wrong, I hope we get this right.

Xo,

Tiffany Reneé

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