Thoughts on this historic day...


On November 8th, 2016, my 36th birthday, the world as I know it turned upside down. I'm numb. I'm sad. I feel blue today. So blue. 

When I considered the possibility that Donald Trump could be our next President, I felt scared. And angry. Enraged. Now that possibility has turned into reality and my feelings have not changed.

I never thought I'd face a day where I'd feel deep in my core that I'm ashamed to be American. Today I feel ashamed. 

I'm ashamed that our country is filled with hate and fear.

I'm ashamed we elected a leader who is a bully, a liar, a misogynist, a racist, a narcissist, and  a reality tv star to boot.

I'm ashamed of our new first lady.

I'm ashamed that our new president is the laughing stock of the entire world.

I'm ashamed that the new face of America undermines everything America is supposed to represent.

Just 2 days ago I stood on the boat to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I thought to myself, wow! Here are symbols of a supposed "new world." Of "hope." Of "freedom." Symbols that represent millions of people who immigrated to this country to create a better life for themselves and their families. New York City was built upon their backs. America was built upon their backs. 

Where would we be without Albert Einstein, Elie Wiesel, Carl Yung, Chaplin, Disney...?

What will we miss when we say "go away"? Who will shut down instead of contribute when we say "we don't want you here"? Who will be beaten? Who will die?

As a Jewish woman, this election has rattled me. I realize how much I've taken for granted. I didn't live through pogroms or through the Holocaust. I've been so blessed in my life. I've been given everything. I am free.

What will be taken from me? From my family? What basic human rights are no longer our own?

We've already announced it's ok to belittle. We've already announced it's ok to rape. It's ok to shame. It's ok to lie, to cheat, to steal. That there is merit in cruelty. Integrity doesn't matter. Intelligence and empathy don't matter. Listening does not matter. Nothing matters.

In this moment I can only hold onto the understanding that the human spirit is resilient. That love can and does persevere. It's bond is stronger than hate. It's what connects us ALL. I'm lucky to be an artist and call artists my friends. We create beauty from the chaos. We get people to see. We have a duty to uphold. To ourselves, to our families, to this country, to each other. 

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
— Thomas A. Edison

Let's get to work, friends.

Melissa CenterComment