The reality is messier and richer

Go up 15th street,
Make a left, and you’ll meet:
The White House.
It’s smaller than you might expect.
Yet, it never fails to demand respect,
With its grand columns and that bright coat of paint.
It’s more than a house, more than a building.
It’s an idea. It’s an icon. It’s a symbol of the hopes and the dreams upon which this country has created itself.
It’s a symbol for the belief that all are created equal;
A symbol of the dream that demands we rise up against injustice and rise above our past mistakes.
It is hope when all seems lost.
It is audacity, no matter the cost.
It is strength in the face of oppression.
And it is a symbol whose strength will never lessen.
I should know.
Every day I pass by, and I think, and I feel…

But, after Friday, how those feelings will change.

Washington, DC: city of juxtapositions.
A transient city, but full of local pride.
It booms with young professionals, developing far off lands,
While under-served Washingtonians are shunted to the side.
It is a city in poverty: impossible to afford a house.
It is a city flush with cash: find a rooftop pool and make a splash.
This city is everything: A District for the diametrically opposed.
It is black, white, and brown filled with cynics and dreamers;
Republicans, Democrats, agnostics, believers.

But, on one issue it is a city undivided. Ninety-six percent did not vote for the man who will tomorrow claim our town.

That’s right: Our town.
Our White House, Our District, Our rules.
Think you can come to this city and kick out our ideals?
We’re a city of passion, and a challenge only fans the fire.
If you thought our passion burned for a president we love,
Wait until you see how it flames the fight against something we hate.
Until you earn our respect, you won’t get it.
You might be enjoying the ride now, but I think you’ll live to regret it—
The way you spout condescension, and puff up with empty words,
The rabble won’t support you long.
And when those who disagree are insulted and threatened,
You better believe we wont lie down to see our rights suspended.
When our brothers are frightened, and our sisters feel betrayed,
We’ll shout louder still,
We’ll protest harder still,
We’ll gather wider still,
We’ll stand stronger still.

This is all just to say,
You think this is going to be an easy show:
It’s not.
The reality is not a pretty picture, kid.
The reality is messier and richer, kid.
We all get lost in the muck and the mud,
And you will too, and then you realize:
Until you earn our respect, you won’t get it.
That White House you live in, it’s only yours on credit.
That White House you live in and that country you work for:
They’re ours.
And don’t think for a moment,
We’ll ever let you forget it.

 

 

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