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Love Trumps Hate in Bend, Oregon

Today has been a great day. Today, I had the pleasure of being a part of a peaceful and loving resistance in the face of what has been one of the most trying weeks in recent memory for many Americans. The day after it was announced that Donald Trump would be our next president-elect was a rough one. I, like many other people, spent the day glued to my computer trying to make sense of what it would mean for our country and our loved ones who have been the target of hate fueled rhetoric over the course of this election. The piece that I posted in response to the election results was riddled with disappointment and  anger. Underneath all of that anger, however, was the belief that even though it seems that hatred and bigotry had prevailed once again, the most effective tool at our disposal to counteract that hate, would be love. Today I saw that love on the faces of nearly three hundred people.

Despite some negative blowback in response to the organization of the “Love Trumps Hate” rally, there was  surprisingly very little in the way of counter protest. Something I was happily surprised by considering the threats that were thrown around on the event’s Facebook page. The biggest opposition response to the rally was a small showing of about eight or nine people, all white and ninety nine percent male, who respectfully kept their distance, a few drive-by Trumpers, and one man in a large pickup that decided to douse the crowd with a large black cloud of diesel exhaust before speeding off. An act that only garnered more cheering and louder chanting of “Build bridges, Not walls!” and “Love Trumps Hate!” My heart swelled.

 

This is what we need to be focusing on as a country. A love movement. A movement that emboldens the marginalized and the tread upon. A movement that shows solidarity and compassion to those that are living in fear of a Trump nation.

Tonight I will sleep more soundly than I have in some time. Knowing that there is a movement of love and respect growing larger and stronger in this country that only shows signs of gaining momentum. Thank you, Bend, Oregon, for reminding me that it is possible to speak openly about what scares us and what we all know needs to change. Thank you to everyone who came out today to stand together in the face of bigotry and the threat of persecution for our differences. Thank you for your collective voice. Thank you for remembering that love will indeed trump hate.

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