I know that many of you are anxious today. We are on the edge of a precipice with the 2020 United States election. After four years of witnessing a president stoke racism and xenophobia while encouraging white supremacists to “stand by,” many of us are feeling terrified of what will happen if he wins and worried about the violence that is likely to erupt if he doesn’t.
However, we have also seen something else in the past four years. We’ve seen many of YOU rising up, peacefully marching in the streets, and at times risking your health and your life to demand justice for Black Lives, to speak up for the rights of immigrants/refugees, and to say “Time’s Up” to perpetrators of sexual violence.
I grew up as Jewish in a majority Christian community – at times I was the only Jewish kid in my elementary school class. Growing up as somewhat of an outsider influenced me to think critically and have the courage to speak out against the majority when I saw injustice. Today, I stand on the shoulders of a long tradition of ancestors who not only fought for justice, but who survived and flourished in spite of extraordinary and systematic acts of violence. They did so not out of fear but because of a radical vision of hope and optimism for the next generation’s future.
It’s so easy to despair right now. These are scary and uncertain times (and I haven’t even mentioned the pandemic!). But today I want to share with you a radical vision for the future, one of hope. Americans are voting in record numbers. We don’t yet know the outcome. But we have already witnessed the power of coming together and saying a loud and collective, “Time’s Up.”
Thank you to so many of you and the artists that Pivot Arts works with for giving me optimism for our future.