As the Youth Organizer at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, I have a few thoughts I want to share after this tumultuous and challenging week.
There is a map popping up on social media that shows young people voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton, but I don’t think this is the only story it tells. As someone who has the privilege to work with young people, I know that many used their votes both to select a presidential candidate and to repudiate the hateful and exclusionary policies that Donald Trump proposed during his run for office. Many first-time voters, including my younger sister, are feeling despair that someone who has threatened the LGBTQ community, Muslims, immigrants, and women— people they care about— has been elected.
To all of you, I want to say this:
- Please take care of yourselves and each other. If you are feeling hopeless, reach out to a loved one or use resources like this:
- Your voice is vital and we need to hear from you. When young people speak out and tell us what’s going on in their community, we can find ways to help. Protect Thy Neighbor has places for you to ask for legal help or just contact us to tell us what’s on your mind.
- Americans United will never stop fighting for equality, fairness, and religious freedom. And through Protect Thy Neighbor, we promise to stand strong against those who would use religion as an excuse to harm others. Please, come fight back with us.
Follow Erin Hagen online at @erinchagen