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Gulf Residents Arrested
Telling Obama: More Drilling
Equals More Floods

Dear Friends,
I too was surprise that Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. I understand how upset some of you are. However, I do understand the reaction some are indulging in, the name calling, the fear and hatred, the blaming of the President Elect for present problems, the extraordinary effort and money being put in to overcome the election results and all the energy to protest the President Elect now and in January, the President.

Where were you and all this energy the last eight years when we have seen the number of countries being bombed by the United States increase from four to seven; when the present administration was building three new nuclear bomb plants and a new small but deadly nuclear weapon; when public lands and water rights were being given out to fossil fuel companies; when the gap between the rich and poor widen; when poverty in African-American community got worst; when the president administration was approving record sales of arms, including cluster bombs and sophisticated planes to terrorist states like Saudi Arabia; when the assassination list drawn up at the White House once a week became the norm? This list can go on but your silence was overwhelming and heard by many of the oppressed here and around the world.

This is not true for many of you but for some, particularly those now screaming out of fear of Trump it is sadly true. Even on the local level Democrats ignoring the poor, failing to provide clean water to our children, investing property tax in white areas and ignoring minority neighborhoods has been met by silence. Yes, you have met, discussed, talked about some of this issue but where is the action or protest that you are now showing in fear of what might be with President Trump?

I do not mean to scold or shame any of you. However, I do not get all the anger and hate some of you have shown since the election. My understanding of nonviolence is that it is built on love, not hate, even love of enemies.

Some years ago, at the beginning of the Obama presidency I was at the School of Americas Watch (SOAWatch) event at Fort Benning in Georgia. One of the workshops was conducted by Colombian Union workers who had been deeply suppressed by the US backed government of the time. Someone attending the Workshop ask the workers if they had more hope of better treatment now that President Obama was in office. An organizer said he saw no major difference major between Republicans or Democrats administration in the USA in terms of what they did to oppressed people. He said the Republicans are more overt and loud about all the harm they are doing and the Democrats more indirect and quiet. But the results were the same. In the USA the old Jim Crow of overt racism and the new Jim Crow of mass incarceration are equally evil and destructive.

So I say to all friends struggling against injustice and for peace the last eight years in silence or by action, let us work together. Recently by a bipartisan majority, “The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act” was passed by the Senate and House working together. President elect Trump has talked about taking resources for war and diverting them to infrastructure and about dropping out of the new Pacific trade agreement that was a fast tracked and done in secret. Yes we must protest war and injustice and stay awake and alert. However, let us not personalize it as was done by some on the right to the left. Our values, our consistent life ethic for some, must continue. Hate and fear cannot overcome hate and fear. Only by faith, even when we despair, only by hope, even in dark times, and only by love, even of our enemies we can, in word and action, overcome.

Fear not Trump friends, together, left and right, Republican and Democrat, conservative or liberal, we can overcome. We are the ones we are looking for.

In Justice and Peace,

Bob Graf


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