Hope on the Road Ahead

Last week, the world turned upside down as Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States. It may well prove to be one of the most consequential weeks of our lives. For now, however, we need to focus on the road right in front of us.

Trump’s shocking victory was difficult enough to absorb. But the shock was exacerbated by a surge in hate crimes and other incidents that confirmed the worst fears raised by the vicious campaign. In the first 60 hours after Donald Trump’s victory speech, the Southern Poverty Law Center counted more than 200 episodes of “election-related harassment and intimidation,” including ugly threats and violent assaults, ranging from “anti-black to anti-woman to anti-LGBT incidents.” Other groups have been under attack, too. On top of the hate crimes, on top of the swastikas appearing on campus walls and city streets, on top of the frightening names proposed for senior government positions, there is the continuing talk of mass deportations, spreading fear through millions of American households.

Trump’s election calls for both a short-term and a longer-term response. In the days and weeks ahead, we need to attend to the victims of these hate incidents, prevent further attacks and intimidation, and join in solidarity with the communities now living in fear. Many of these groups have suffered attacks like these for centuries—hatred, racist bigotry, and sexist violence are not new—but the frequency and scale of the attacks since November 8 are alarming. We need to act now. At the Open Society Foundations, we will be supporting community organizations across the United States ready to aid the victims of hate and prevent these incidents from happening in the first place.

All of us should take a strong stand against this outpouring of ugly sentiment. But there is much more the Obama administration specifically can do to advance the values of open society before leaving office. Prohibitions on the use of torture, accountability for the use of armed drones, and restraints on the deployment of cyber weapons all must be strengthened in the final days of this administration.

Finally, we must confidently voice our collective commitment to human rights, equality, the rule of law, and an inclusive society, even before Inauguration Day. Given the terrifying rhetoric of the campaign, it would be folly simply to wait and see what steps the new administration takes. The writing has been on the wall all year, and history is full of examples when hesitation at such moments proved prologue to tragedy. A fitting culmination of this short-term program will be the “Women’s March on Washington” in Washington, D.C., on January 21. The whole world will be watching.

In the longer term, at least for the duration of the Trump presidency, the United States needs stronger defenses against the abuse of executive authority. Congress has a role to play here, as do the courts. But there is a crucial role for civil society as well: bipartisan, vigilant, principled, and grounded in the Constitution.

The rest of the world, too, needs a long-term program. The success of Trump’s populist campaign links the United States to a global trend in which truth is trashed, fear is exploited, and democracies are transformed into mafia states. We need to build new and stronger institutions at local, national, and international levels—transparent institutions with integrity, open to the participation of all people. If nothing else, recent events have forged a sudden solidarity among people with very different experiences, a degree of solidarity that I have not seen for more than a decade.

On the global scale, we need to recognize the present crisis as a powerful backlash against decades of progress in forging more open societies. There is no denying that no matter what restrictions are now slapped on the internet, information has become ubiquitous. Our understanding of democratic practice has broadened from voting in periodic elections to peaceful activism in the streets and online. Governments have become more accountable. We should not be surprised that these successes have produced a backlash. But we must admit that, as champions of open society, we are not adequately prepared. Too many are dying, too many are in prison, and far too many live in constant fear. Even while we act to protect those under attack and hold the line on our rights and liberties, we need to listen, to reflect, and to regroup.

The struggles for human dignity, for human rights and the rule of law, for open society—these struggles are unending. There is no promised land; there is only the road we walk, and the prize we seek is a better, safer, wider road. We must stay together on this road, in good weather and bad. The violence must end. The struggle for justice will resume. Hope will return.

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I have never seen the chaos in USA until Trump ran for office and got the job. We need peace in our country. We need to remove him.

The chaos and violence in our country is being committed by liberal Democrats and you think removing Mr.Trump is the answer over you people accepting responsibility for yourselves and your actions? How does this equate to the topic on the foregoing article of peaceful redirection of your efforts for hope on the road ahead?

Then all we need to do is remove those who instigated it and made it come to pass. That would be anarchists like you. I certainly don't remember seeing the far right out there burning cars after Obama's victories...

I am sick at the blithe erosion of democracy we are witnessing.The Republicans have been an authoritarian party in the making for a long time--what with its emphasis on vote suppression and refusal to act on Obama's policies or nominees. There is nothing comparable on the Democratic side. The only thing that stands between the end of a genuine democracy and Trump is the hope that there are a few principled Republicans. How does one persuade them to stand up?

There’s no silver lining to the very dark cloud that now hangs over our democracy. But there is a way forward. In the days since the election a handful of civil society groups, progressive voices, racial justice leaders and activists has stepped forward to mobilize the resistance to Trump and his enablers. Their statements in the wake of the election voice a unified commitment to resist the authoritarianism impulses of a Trump administration and defend the most vulnerable in our society against the violent effects of his bigotry.

Already, the new administration is taking shape with the kind of leadership that promises to correct the destruction of the past administration.

Don't forget to keep your shirt collar open so we can all see the swastika on your neck. Another chump for trump... there will be no 'swamp draining' sonny boy... just more of the worst... no jobs for you, no consumer protection, no environmental protection, and the thing you'll hate the most... we aren't going anywhere. All the folks you don't like... look around... still here, and more all the time. Tee hee. Chump.

well said! Lets hope so!
Remember we are all free to leave the USA for fairer lands,maybe one with open boarders!

We must overcome hatred and violence.

Together we can change the world

Respect human dignity! Support human rights!

Add my voice

We must continue to support those who are speaking out in any and all ways that we can.

I support all your efforts to stand firm against the Trump values (cannot call the values) agenda.. We must do it now, not wait until he begins.

Life is shorter and must be enjoyed.That is why we are in search of equality between human society.Hateness is an evil state of mind which and we must avoidbit.Theb only thing to become is to join Martin Luther proposal and become his disciple saying I really dream the world will change one day

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Pastor Martin Niemöller

Thanks for your efforts towards a more just and open society,

No matter where we are today we all living under a fear and the feeling that we felt we don't belong to the world, we have been raised a fear which we are living till today. However, choosing trump will made it more extreme and hopeless of this world, in our eyes there is no justice and no peace other then we stand together to seek it. I stand for peace, justice, human right to my nation as yours and as one we can develop better less fear living to our love ones and rest of the world.

I look forward to receiving concrete suggestions for action from you. thanks.

Please let me know what I can do.
Thank ypu

Trump must have a balance between his campaign rhetoric and real management of a multi racial society. He should properly interrogate the 'make America Great Again' slogan. Will it involve abusing rights of others? Mad capitalism of the industrial revolution? Exploiting African raw materials mercilessly?

Please make me aware of any volunteer activities in VA or the DC metro area. Be advised that, while I am willing to donate, I am no longer giving money to advocacy organizations that do not also provide clear opportunities for other actions which can make use of members' skills.

Sanctuary cities will be under siege if Congress decides to withhold federal dollars in punishment. I live in the District of Columbia, a sanctuary city that will suffer acutely since Congress controls our budget. Is OSF willing to help support sanctuary cities that will suffer persecution? Loans, lines of credit, underwriting city bond programs are all program-related investments that OSF could extend to cities under financial persecution. Grants would be great too, but PRIs from OSF and other like-minded foundations would go a long way to help our cities weather the siege.

It is time to keep fighting like we have never fought before!

Please Share Everywhere!

As concerned as I am about the racial and social backlash, I am very much alarmed by the environmental decisions and actions that can be made which threaten all of us--and the planet itself--even in a short number of years.

Please count me in. Resistance is essential.

We have to fight tyranny of any kind. Human dignity is the only essence that we leave and die for it. Noting is more beyond that. Dictators tell us human rights are alienable. It is time to stand together and say, Human Rights are inalienable, because we deserve it only as we all are human being.

Let us keep fighting tyrannies by posting their bad deeds on every possibe media platforms.

As abrham lincoln once says, if slavery is not wrong, noting is wrong.

Ilmportant message now lets develop our strategy and programs to win

I'm with you.

When we loss Martin, Kennedy, Malcolm, Marshall, Heschel, Chisholm, etc. we lost the battle. From the classroom to the boardroom Asians, Blacks, Hispanics and Indigenous people have been battling microaggressions often without empathy or justice. This time we have the wisdom of the Baby Boomers and the mass of Millennials to say and commit to Never Again!

Rule of law, education, critical thinking and compassion must be the four pillars of our work.

I have founded an organization called "We The Peoples Political Action Committee" We the people have begun a petition on change.org to repeal the 12th amendment. Dispite our Lack of support and organization We The People will not be deterred and will remain dedicated to the empowerment of the politically, economically and socially disenfranchised. We the people are committed to human rights.The world will know of our existence in the days to come.I stand beside you in solidarity.

Thanks OSI for taking a stand and leading the way!

In solidarity!

This is an outrages lie the open society has sown fear anger and reverse bigotry you have put fear into the hearts of Americans that voted against Trump it's shameful that you would use your billions of dollars to brain wash young idealistic people to now be fearful so that you can control them when Obama won people who voted for Romney did not devolve into the fear and despair your organization promotes .

Thank you for bringing focus to some areas I feel do not receive enough attention; anti-violence and looking at the strengths in how we can shape our future given the road we are on now.

Hearty agreement with the steps yo propose. Thank you for your continued good works.

We need to speak up to keep our cherished freedoms and protect the vulnerable in society. Don't let hate win

Say no to racism, xenophobobia, anti-LGBT and anti-women hate speech.. who is going to be next???

Let's not go back to the 1930s - The danger is real.
Not only in the US but also in Europe.

Silence is not an option

Thank you Chris for your thoughtful perspective. See you at the March on Washington January 21st.

One of the most insidious acts of Ronald Reagan was to framer he words "liberal" and "liberalism" with socialism. In paraphrasing Edward Bulwer-Lytton's words! Helene Pawlitzki penned the phrase "Words are mightier than the sword". Those words have and continue to stab the heart of those who founded the US. In their times, conservatives were known as those who supported authoritarian rule v.v. a monarchy. It seems the weaponizing of liberal has been used to effect placement of a tryannical authoritarian. Oh, if only we had started a counter revolution to the bastardization of but a single word. If only the liberalism of our Founders had been the subject of of classrooms to billboards to radio across the lands. Can the foundation spread that word?

Thank you Open Societies Foundation. How can I help from Texas.

great article

This is the world of SATAN.

I'm one of those people who wasn't surprised. I'm saddened. I'm scared for my family -- and all peoples, really. I'm not, alas, surprised. What's happening at Sacred Stone Camp & Standing Rock as I write -- and has been happening for some time now -- is a horror yet historically predictable if you look to the record, including violations of treaty rights and the reason for Wall Street's naming. Who was that first 'wall' built to secure versus guard against? May all peoples be safe, brave, and woke as we enter into more active wars on this land and all lands/waters/regions. Peace, Darshan

• Also bears repeating:
Make no mistake... re-labeling doesn't change the product... and the product is anti-black, anti-jew, anti-muslim, anti-powerful woman, anti-LGBT, anti-science, anti-intellectual, and pure KKK. Alt-right my arse. I think we should call it alt-hate. for it sure as shite ain't alternative to love. Call it out, record it, denounce it, deny it! Laugh it as well, for nothing shrinks the 'manly man' b.s. of these ugly cowardly men as being laughed at. Imagine being so insecure in yourself that you build your whole world view around denigrating others because you think you can get away with stepping on the necks of groups you and your krazy klan klowns have decided are 'lesser'. We are reluctantly invigorated, but invigorated we are. Just the other day, some guy on a streetcar was grumbling about too many immigrants, and I called him out "Hey... we don't do that here"... and the rest of the folks called him out too. He shrank, mumbled and shuffled along. We will now fight every instance of crap bigotry. Yes We Can. And Yes We Will.
Bears repeating:
This Edmund Burke line says it best: "At certain dangerous times, moderation will be stigmatized as the virtue of cowards, and compromise as the prudence of traitors". ( Could have been saying this in 2016.!)
Eisenhower said, as a challenge to conservatives of every generation: “Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.”
E.J. Dionne Jr. said "While republicans may win some elections, they will not govern effectively on the basis of an ideology rooted in the struggles of half a century ago. They will not ultimately succeed if they celebrate only the America that once was, not the vibrant nation that is being born. They will not prosper for the long-term if they continue to yearn for a past they will never be able to call back to life."

I'm not a fan of anyone or anything of substance except for George Soros. I thank him so much for his wisdom, generosity, and courage.
George should be a king. Nothing less would be appropriate for this master.
That said, I am astonished and repulsed by the fake and imagery stories people write or say against Mr. Soros and I wonder how and why those despicable stories find themselves everywhere?
Are there invisible dark forces out there in action? Where do these dark forces come from and why do they end up controlling huge mass of the population or is it just mass hysteria?
Mr. Soros - I know myself to be more "conscious" than most people and will remain an admirer of you sir and thankful for all your work and wisdom you've brought to this dark world. I hope you find out soon enough how to reverse the tides of hatred and unconsciousness with the people of this earth.
Thank you again immensely.

Wow, you are all a bunch of lost and misinformed liberals who need to get a clue on how the world works. Obamba has hurt our country economically and oir safety not to menton has pushed race relations back 50 years. Also most of the recent hate crimes or actions have been commited by those on the left to try and push their adgenda. Move on and get over it, get out of your safe zones, stope feeling teiggered and lets get this great nation back on track.

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