I wish I could say yesterday’s insurrection was shocking. I’m angry because it wasn’t. For four years we have lived under an administration that has continuously and unabashedly uplifted racism, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, and xenophobia. For four years we felt the loss, pain, and fear of violent hate crimes against minority communities rising year over year. We watched the sedition of our nation’s leader, foreign influence, and media echo chambers stoke these fires. Fully aware that these issues were not new, but symptomatic of the honest history of our nation, we knew they would be malignant to democracy if left unchecked.
We marched, protested, donated, volunteered, and organized. We educated ourselves and those around us. In the face of a global pandemic, we took to the streets to call for racial justice. LGBTQ people ran for and won elected offices in record numbers. Congress is set to have the most diverse makeup in history, and the new administration is the most pro-LGBTQ administration ever elected. These victories of progress are not the work of one year, or of the last four, but are the generations-long culmination of collective action by marginalized people whose belief in the unmet promise of liberty and justice for all people lead them and us to action.
The limits of the experiment of American democracy have been tested. We are holding on but are not done. Those who seek to oppress minority communities will not disappear on January 20. As we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and recover from moral, health, and economic crises we have just endured, the true work to build a nation where all people are treated equally can truly begin. I believe that we will find the connection to our nation’s promise as we overcome its past, that as a country, community, and individuals, we will find ourselves resilient as Together We Rise.
Fernando Zweifach López
San Diego Pride