keeping it real, just this once

Dear friends of the unreal — I was preparing an inspiring post talking about 4 wonderful artists when the US elections happened. The final tally is in process, but it seems probable that Mr. Trump will become the presidential incumbent.

One of the reasons I love magical realism is that this kind of writing allows for the impossible to be said and thought. In this sense all magical realism is political, in that it reveals unconceived realities that hide under the mundane. Or, as my own recent story indicates, magical realism can be fiercely utopian and idealistic. That’s one of its powers.

So for those of us who are are fiercely utopian in our wishes for an America which offers equal rights and opportunities to all its citizens, as well as as the means — fiscal, political, medical, psychological, spiritual, erotic, and philosophical — to avail themselves of them…. Well, for us, this election result is a shock. What can we do, what can we — in the words of Tennessee Williams — say?

I think each writer will have to say and contribute something unique to the collective project of moving us forward. That contribution will be voiced differently and will take a different shape for each person.

But I’d like to share what I wrote in the Jewish online community of which I am a part.

Like so many of you, I am horrified and surprised by the POTUS vote. And fearful. But I think that we American Jews must stand with other minority folks in the US including and especially people of color (regardless of religious affiliation), indigenous people, queer and trans people, as well as folks who identify as physically challenged, and we must reach out in particular to Muslim Americans and to all who have been specifically targeted by the incumbent. I believe that we have a unique and important responsibility as people who have suffered genocide and near extermination to use our learning, our intelligence, and our religion to act for good in the one country other than Israel where we have found a secure place. I am sorry that we have arrived at this particular historical moment, but we have, and we will need to work in the service of the many others who are even more threatened than we are.

It’s not much, but it’s a start.

Wishing you a utopian dream, despite everything.

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