What now? (A Post-Election Note from Equality Florida's Nadine Smith)
"Quis hic locus?, quae regio?, quae mundi plaga?"
We awoke this morning in an America that has given in to its worst instincts: fear of difference, racist scapegoating and a cruel hatred of women.
This was a clash of tribes, one that believes they've "put things right again" and the other that sees the promise of America shattered to smithereens.
And so we find ourselves in this strange world where swagger and smears are the currency. How do we navigate when overnight the world has become even more dangerous?
The loss is not simply of a preferred candidate. It is as Shakespeare wrote: "like another fall of man", a deep and burning betrayal executed literally by our neighbors.
The awful familiarity of that last sentence has oddly given me some hope this morning. It reminded me of walking around my city in 2008 after the anti-gay marriage ban was placed in Florida's constitution. I looked at my neighbors' houses realizing 6 out of 10 of my fellow Floridians had thrown me to the wolves. They had ratified something mean, hateful, dangerous and dehumanizing.
But that loss became a turning point. It focused us and we began to sift through the rubble to build a resistance that led us to victories, first in a handful of state ballot measures and then steadily through the courts. In some ways, the attack on our families was evidence of our progress, of how close we had come to that tipping point.
There remain millions more voters who did not support Trump. And millions more still who did not vote at all. As community organizers we have nourished civil rights movements on fewer crumbs than that.
And there were, as there always are, hopeful victories among the devastating defeats yesterday.
In North Carolina, Governor McCrory, who staked his political career on the nation's most notorious anti-lgbt law, appears to be the only Republican in the South to lose a statewide election. His defeat is a clear repudiation of his bigoted targeting of transgender people.
Here in Florida, we elected EQFL staff member, Carlos Guillermo Smith as the first LGBT Latino state legislature, and Democrats broke a Republican supermajority in the state house of representatives. Democrats also picked up a seat in the state senate where a record four Republican senators have pledged to join them in pushing for a statewide ban on anti-lgbt discrimination. Together they are now just two co-sponsors shy of a majority. Overall, 50 of Equality Florida Action Pac's 68 endorsed candidates won (results below).
The struggle continues and we must seek each other in the rubble today. As LGBT activists we have traveled hostile and dangerous terrain before and we have learned to find our friends in unexpected places.
The hard math of this election is not the final equation. They may slow us down but they will never turn us back.
Equality Florida Action PAC Endorsed Candidates: