November 16, 2016
STATEMENT FROM THE OREGON PEACE INSTITUTE
After one of the most intentionally divisive election campaigns in United States political history, we begin the work necessary to ensure the explicit and covert appeals to alterity – xenophobia, white nationalism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and all other markers of identity where there is social inequity – are definitively repudiated and neutralized.
On the macro level, there are tremendous concerns about Trump’s access to the nuclear codes, his disdain for the Iran Nuclear Deal, his temperament coupled with the “Authorization for the Use of Military Force” (AUMF), his denial of climate change, etc. These are very real fears and challenges which may, to some extent, be abstract and not immediately personal but require constant vigilant and sustained action to prevent our worst imaginings coming true.
Closer to home, many people in our communities have fears that do not affect people of certain privileged identities. Will immigrant families be torn apart? Will Muslims be oppressed and persecuted? Will already existing racism become more acceptable and institutional through emboldened white nationalism? Will we turn back the watch on women’s roles in our society and punish them for choices over their own bodies? The LGBT community fears the GOP control to make discrimination institutional again. These fears are real, immediate and traumatizing.
Now is the time we must begin to develop genuine community partnerships and collaborations to effectively counter the results of the divisive ideas heightened in the past eighteen months; to recognize our areas of privilege and intentionally engage in solidarity with those who might be adversely impacted. We must create avenues of sustained and sustainable actions with imaginative strategy and systemic awareness. We must also find ways to positively engage with those who would disagree and seek to rationalize policies and ideas which negatively impact marginalized groups and foment hate; to simply make them the subject of ad hominem insults and dismiss their concerns have proven to be counter-productive.
We at OPI stand guard against injustice and in clear solidarity with all who seek peace.
The Board of Directors of the Oregon Peace Institute