The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), has been working for peace worldwide since 1915. We condemn any violence and hate toward any human being and the Earth. I am president of the Humboldt branch of WILPF and send this letter written by the branch.
We are concerned about the turbulence the presidential election has brought to our community, locally and nationally ("Let's Talk About It," Nov. 17). Many of us are experiencing uncertainty about our future. People are feeling fear, anger, angst, isolation and polarization.
How do we respond and find our voice and actions that might help ourselves, our community, and our country to find peace, understanding and acceptance of all the people living here? How can we work to protect and maintain programs and institutions?
As a first step, we encourage people to acknowledge that we are living in challenging times. Secondly, it is time to step up and engage. Reach out and know your neighbors, your school, your communities, your local government and our many wonderful local organizations working to support people. Let your voices be heard!
We would also like to encourage our community to engage in conversation with all people and to show our humanity before politics. We all need to build a secure and safe place to live with all people, no matter who we are or who we voted for.
History has shown that people need to be active participants in their daily lives and be the change that unites us all. WILPF Humboldt is feeling it, seeing it, hearing it, and working to understand through actions in a group and upcoming community projects. We invite you to join us in taking action that supports peace and harmony and reflects kindness and humanity. To learn more about WILPF or get involved, check out www.wilpfhumboldt.wordpress.com or www.wilpfus.org. Peace is a verb!
Sue Hilton, Arcata
I was on an extended road trip from late September until Nov. 11 through many Western states. As a Hillary supporter, I was deeply saddened by the election of Donald Trump, but I was not as shocked as I would have been, I think, had I been in Humboldt County during that time. Because on my travels, although I met some Hillary supporters, I met and spoke to more folks who would not vote for her, even if they were not going to vote for Trump.
The desperate situation in our country is much more complex than I'd realized and, now that the election is over, many people are writing thoughtfully about what it all means. There are portions of our society who have felt disenfranchised for a long time and many who are just disgusted with government.
My job now is to make my corner of the world a more empathetic and understanding place where I can listen to those I don't agree with and try to have honest and open communication. That entails not railing against all Trump voters as racists and misogynists. Granted, some of those types of people feel like they "won," but this election was about way more than that. And the majority of people who voted for Trump, I believe, do not fall into those categories.
I did come away from this election with a huge concern about the false "news" on Facebook and the Internet. I honestly don't know how a democracy will work when communication can be distorted in so many ways, and my hope is that there can be some renewed understanding for the importance of honest communication and civility. I will do what I can in this regard because I truly believe the future of our country depends on it.
Barbara Brimlow, McKinleyville