Dear RG community,
It’s hard to know what to say in a moment like this. We may be shaken, angry, numb, sad, activated, scared, and more. It may be hard to know what to do. We don’t have all the answers.
We only have what is alive in our hearts right now. We want to share our personal reflections with you in hopes that our stories resonate with threads of your own:
From Jessie Spector, Executive Director: As a white person with class privilege, Donald Trump came from my people. He is wealthy and he is white; white people voted him into office because he fed them lies and false promises, tapping into years of mounting economic anxiety and organizing millions of white people into thinking it is in their best interest to be racist and xenophobic. Today I am reckoning with the reality of the depth and the breadth of these lies and how much they’ve swept the nation. I am crying remembering that Trump’s people are my people, and my responsibility to organize toward an alternative option.
From Iimay Ho, Associate Director: I woke up this morning with a pit of anxiety in my stomach and a tension headache from lack of sleep. When I searched for solace through meditation, my heart immediately cracked open and the sadness and tears poured out. I cried through my entire 45 minute sit. I felt a deep sense of not being safe, of having my existence as a queer woman of color violently invalidated and erased. I felt fear and sadness for my parents, who are immigrants living in a state that voted for Trump, for members of my Chinese and Asian American community who will experience an increase in racism and xenophobia as a result of his election, for my Black and Muslim brothers and sisters who will bear the brunt of this backlash and who are fearful for their lives. I felt a contraction around my own access to money, an instinct to protect and hoard it for my own survival. Most of all, I felt the heartbreak of knowing that members of my own extended family, and indeed many wealthy Asian Americans, voted for Trump. That they have internalized the racist rhetoric and classism underpinning his campaign, internalized the logic that they have to protect their wealth from the criminal “other”. I am heartbroken, and I am resolved more than ever to fight against the systems that would assimilate wealthy people of color into these deeply damaging, self-destructive world views.
Trump’s administration, defined by xenophobia, Islamophobia, misogyny, racism, classism, and false promises of the “American Dream,” will impact the lives of billions of people across the nation and the globe. These issues are systemic; this oppression needs to be excavated regardless of who is in the White House.
Seeds of Trump’s ascension have been being sown for a long time. It is not just this moment or this man. The Right has had a decades-long strategy to organize their base of middle class and wealthy white people, and have succeeded in gutting the working class and then feeding them the lie that a billionaire like Donald Trump has their best interest in mind. This long-term strategy included sustained and rigorous donor organizing. Now more than ever, we, donor organizers on the Left, need to deepen our understanding of what it takes to fund our movements robustly and for the long haul.
As the global financial markets go haywire reacting to the American political scene, we may be internalizing the message that hoarding our resources or only taking care of “our own” is the only way we will stay safe. Hoarding is a result of the myth that wealth = safety. But we know that true safety can’t be found through competing with each other in an endless drive for individual wealth accumulation. True safety is found through our relationships with people, through the strength of the collective, through building resilient communities where everyone has enough to survive and thrive.
In this time when we might feel the need to close off and tighten our fists around the resources we have access to, our ask is that we open up instead: stretch our giving, deepen our commitments, and lean into true solidarity with the communities that will bear the brunt of Trump’s legacy.
As you’re doing this, remember that RG is a political home for you: a place to ground and learn, take action and reflect and take action again. In the short and long term, community is what will keep us resilient.
Stay tuned for information about a webinar next week for the RG community in the face of this new political reality.
Some say that if those between the ages of 18-25 determined the outcome of the election, Trump would have only won 5 states. This is a time for us as Resource Generation to be even louder, clearer, and stronger as a base of young people with wealth fighting like hell for a world in which land, wealth, and power are collectively controlled. It is the only way we will survive.
Jessie and Iimay