My friend, Cesar Soto, one of CSUN’s finest graduates and now a teacher-scholar the University of Notre Dame, wrote a wonderful message on Facebook yesterday, one that moved me so much that I asked him if I could reprint it here. He has kindly agreed. Thank you, Cesar, for this:
After sleeping poorly on election night, I went to my job, which involves working with students. I met each one individually, and we shared our mutual shock, weariness, and sadness. And then we got to work. Each student’s project eerily resonated with the dark moment we are living through. Somehow, the election results added greater significance to the content of each student’s essays. Most of the projects dealt with crossing physical and metaphorical borders, while also revealing a sustained commitment to helping underrepresented students. A cosmic convergence of the personal and the political — set against the election results and the divisive, hateful rhetoric that has set the tone since the start of campaign season and that is spreading like a contagion post-election.
Then it hit me. We have to love hard. If you come from a community targeted by that diseased rhetoric, love yourself in spite of it (and epically). Love others that look like you and those from other target communities. And love lavishly, insanely, as if your love barometer broke because of how much love overflows from your heart. And always save a place at the table for our allies, give them a warm embrace. Love them unabashedly, too. Like it or not, we will need them, and they us, in the coming four years. Love is a resource the government cannot regulate or take.
And cry it all out. It hurts. Your fears are legitimate. This is a tragic time. But turn to others and let them love you, hold you, tell you that you will be ok. ‘Cause you will.
Nah, they can never take this ability to care for one another, to love like fools. Be a spy for the love revolution, a subversive love agent against state-supported discourses of hate, a love shield for the vulnerable, an enabler of transfusions of love and care.
Love madly. I have need of your love and care too.
— Cesar Soto