Malcolm X once said “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”
Leading up to this year’s election social media and media outlets had our country so divided that most of us second-guessed our coworkers and even our friends and family members.
I’ll be the first to admit, I unfriended a few folks on Facebook due to their comments regarding the candidate they preferred or their explanation for current national events that I was furious about.
And the news encouraged it.
Subliminally, I received the message “What?! She actually liked that post? She is racist!”
She doesn’t really like you. She probably wishes you’d go back to Africa and not be a part of America.”
My response, “What the H-E-double-hockey sticks?! Who does she think she is!”
What, him too?!
Oh! A family member, too?!
…not sitting by him at Thanksgiving!
I was lost in a fury. I couldn’t believe I never realized how obvious it was that some of these people were so different than me? How could I be associated with them? Didn’t they want the same opportunities I did for everyone, for our children? Didn’t they think it was obvious which of the candidates were the best as our president, governor, etc?
Well if they didn’t respect me, I won’t respect them!
I was done!
I tend to be overly sensitive and thin skinned at times. I’ve learned that those moments don’t truly define who I am as a person. I just need a reminder of what my heart really feels.
That’s what this year’s election day did for me.
I got up at 6 am and headed to my polling place. Believe it or not, it was worth being up that early on my day off.
I had the most wonderful experience! Myself along with three other ladies were there to put in that last bit of our energy in this election to see it through.
M, an Asian American woman who had more energy in her hand then I did in my whole body. L is a white middle class retired nurse. S, is a white millennial stay at home mom. And then there was me: an African American single mom who’s day job includes educating the youth and keep both my daughters active and busy.
In those early wee hours of the morning we formed a sisterhood. We were instantly connected. We were genuinely and equally concerned about the future of North Carolina. We all wanted it to become the great state it has all the makings of becoming. We just happened to believe different candidates could get the job done.
That cold but sunny morning, we took care of one another. We shared blankets, chairs, told voters who to go to for specific party and candidate information. We recycled each other’s materials. We were one. It was a beautiful reflection of this country. Diversity. Respect.
It was one of the most amazing moments of my life. It was so moving and life altering to me because never did I think four women from very different walks in life could have such a commonality that formed and instant and fierce bond. All we wanted was peace and the ability to live our lives to the fullest.
We titled ourselves ” The Cutest Poll Workers of America.” And no one could tell us different.
Moral of the story…women are some the most dynamic yet collective strong beings on this earth. Sisterhood isn’t based on blood, or even life experiences. It’s based on the fact that deep down inside we know we need one another and it’s up to us to make things happen.
While I haven’t refriended (wow, did I really just say that?!) anyone on Facebook I have stopped judging folks on their choices of representation of politicians. I don’t care if you are Democrat, Republican, black, white, Asian, purple, six-toed, or even a fan of polka music. You are my sister and I got your back!
Can you imagine the possibilities if the women of North Carolina reaffirmed the meaning of sisterhood? If we all got together in one big group hug and said we have to take care of this. There’d be no stopping us. Elected officials would stop debating our healthcare choices. We’d be able to pay our bills and take off time from work to care for ourselves and our families. Our children would have every possibility of a bright and successful education. Gun violence would immediately decline and would eventually become isolated events.
Acknowledging that all women need to support one another is the easy part. No it’s time for action to do just that. What can we do to make this happen? I’m going to start by greeting every woman I see with a smile and a genuinely kind word. I’ll even give you a good hug if you need it. I’m going to invite my sisters to become a part of something big, Women AdvaNCe. Because when women get together, the world advances.
Our hearts are always in the right place even if our heads are thinking otherwise. We know we need one another. We know the beautiful energy we create when we come together.
“Any time women come together with a collective intention, it’s a powerful thing. Whether it’s sitting down making a quilt, in a kitchen preparing a meal, in a club reading the same book, or around the table playing cards, or planning a birthday party, when women come together with a collective intention, magic happens.”
Let’s do this, sisters.