As a community and a nation, we have been thrust into a deep abyss of dark turbulence, heading straight into the unknown at an unparalleled rate. Regardless of how you voted or what you believe in, there is no doubt that emotions are running high. To be honest, we are in a brief period of mourning: for all of the progress that has been made which we know will be trampled upon, for the general uncertainly which we must now embrace, and for any peace of mind we once had.
People feel hollow. Heartbroken. Afraid. Baffled. And all of these feelings are valid in their own right. And above all, we strive for a way to understand the hatred that has thrust its way out of the shadows throughout our country. Attempting to grasp where all of this hate manifests from is not only difficult, but emotionally taxing. How is it that one of the foremost progressive nations in the world has been crippled with such blind hatred, throwing itself back in time a few centuries?
How is it that people are so angry? Angry enough to validate the claims of a sexual assailant because he “speaks his mind?”
The main concern of those who have been advertising and enforcing this wave of hate speech is having their views on injustices done unto them heard by the masses. And when their claims are thought of through that perspective, it’s almost possible to understand where their fears are coming from. The majority of his supporters come from the middle of the country and rural areas, where jobs are hard to come by simply because there are no jobs due to outsourcing. Education is underfunded and significantly under par, therefore providing a base for generational poverty and negative forces, such as crime, addiction, and abuse.
The loudness of their voice comes from the fact that they are angry that their thoughts are not being heard on a national level. For the past eight years, we have had a very levelheaded leader who was very peaceful and composed when discussing pressing issues. The juxtaposition between that and Trump’s ostentatious volume and lack of a filter is what fuels their fire. He speaks his mind, and he does so at a level that is almost impossible to ignore.
While a lot of what has been spread recently is against certain groups, the overarching theme is one of anger due to unfair circumstances that are changing the status quo for those who have always been on top. Change is terrifying: it’s a major component and common fear of the human race. And this fear of change is transcendent of any political divide.
As artists, no matter what medium, we are compelled to empathize and strive to understand and respect the feelings and opinions of others. We as a community aim to connect to the human condition on a multitude of levels, providing a way for others to see the world through our own perspective. A cornerstone of creating art is breaking something open, unlocking emotions that people didn’t think that they had access to until they were forced to feel in a specific way.
Some of the best art is born out of the darkest hour. Great art is art that makes you feel something deep in your body. It is enough to make your bones ache with sadness, make you cry because there’s so much feeling that has boiled up within you that must burst out in a means of chaotic hysterics. Art exists as the truest expression of human emotion. It is a way to communicate what we feel with others, therefore inviting them to share in the most human of processes: feeling.
Art is one of the most difficult components of humanity. People cannot simply exist without it, but it is constantly disregarded and disrespected. And a lot of that comes from the fact that art has the ability to change the world. Emotions are powerful, and are unlocked and encouraged by art. Art is beauty, art is love, art is amazing. And despite what shit may be thrown at art, it will always prevail simply because it is necessary.
There will always be light at the end of even the darkest tunnel, it’s just a matter of having the endurance of stumbling through the darkness long enough to find it.
Now is the time that we must band together to invite people to feel. The importance of our unification cannot be underestimated: art is art, love is love. And in a way, the two forces are synonymous. Love is stronger than hate, and always will be. We must feel so that our hearts can heal, so that we can understand, so that we can move on and improve upon what is mandatory to be improved and changed.
So go out. Create art. Cover a canvas in the colors and figures of your anger. Make music that communicates what your words cannot. Create theater that invites audiences to enhance their emotions in a truly inclusive and community setting. Write poetry, dance until your heart feels full once more. Sculpt until your fingernails are caked with various substances. Put all of your feelings out there to be taken, turned around, and ingested.
Don’t be afraid to cry. Don’t be afraid to feel. What you feel is valid, what you think is important. We must take it upon ourselves to create a platform which invites everyone to experience something that will unlock things within themselves that they forgot were stowed away.
Artists are important. Love is important. Love will overcome, and will trump their hate.