Immediately after the election, Junot Díaz didn’t know what to say. He couldn’t find the right words to comfort his students, his family, or Q – a woman who wrote to him seeking advice. “I offered some consoling words, but the truth was I didn’t know what to say,” he wrote. “To you, to my godchildren, who all year had been having nightmares that their parents would be deported, to myself.”
In an essay for The New Yorker, Díaz candidly writes about the feelings of pessimism that swept up his world. The publication tapped 16 writers to reflect on the end of an era and – as Junot tried to answer – what comes next.
Titled “Radical Hope,” Díaz says that in the face of Donald Trump’s victory, we must assess all we have lost and allow ourselves time to mourn in order to push forward. He goes on to explain that because colonial, capitalist, and patriarchal powers never quit, our communities have to be resilient.
“And we know that by fighting, against all odds, we who had nothing, not even our real names, transformed the universe,” he wrote. “Our ancestors did this with very little, and we who have more must do the same. This is the joyous destiny of our people – to bury the arc of the moral universe so deep in justice that it will never be undone.”
Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton blindsided many. And while it’s easy to despair, Junot argues that we have to fight back with radical hope. This piece is the pick-me-up we need as we continue to process the results of the election. Read Junot’s piece here. And then check out letters by Toni Morrison, Larry Wilmore, and more here.