This is not as much a political post as a personal piece.
Today is a sad and confusing day for me. I sit stunned by the surprising news that Trump won the Presidential election last night. This news has stirred in me both sadness and anger. I am in protective parent mode. As a white father of black sons, I fear the racist influence that may increase in this country, infecting and emboldening others with hateful, hurtful lies.
Initially, I felt repelled from my friends who voted for a racist President. I was torn by the fact that many who voted for Trump love Christ like I do. As a white father of black sons, I am indignant. Yet, I am also aware of the destructive potential of the emotional cocktail brewing in my heart. If I’m not careful, I will lash out with the same attitudes I renounce. Not attacking violently, but verbally. In spite of this internal battle, I refrain from reacting in revenge, knowing that such responses never build up the kingdom God wants to create through me.
I have some requests though. As a father of black sons, I need a few things from you.
What I need from you right now is….
Understanding, not defensiveness.
Empathy, not fact checking.
Compassion, not condemnation.
What I need from you right now is this: That you would mourn with those who mourn. That you would take a moment to imagine how this political news affects those oppressed by prejudice. That you would step inside the mind of a parent who fears the future maltreatment of their children. My wife and I face such fears, now more than ever. We are not alone in this.
Most of all, what I need from you right now is that, regardless of your political views, you don’t give hatred a foothold in your heart. If our new President incites injustice, stand for what is right. If his rhetoric reinforces racism, resist with love. Regardless of the leanings of our new leader, don’t align with attitudes that demean and divide.
I will work hard not to retaliate against racism in the ways I denounce. I will not let my anger disunite me from others. I will work hard to love all people, even those whose votes may cause my family undeserved suffering. In the words of Martin Luther King, “I have decided to stick with love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
-By Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP-C
Please FOLLOW my blog and find me on Facebook and Twitter for future posts and announcements about my UPCOMING book