This is what I know:
There is an enormous segment of the American public who I do not understand. That's on me. If we are to unite and move forward, I need to understand them better. Find commonality. We all do.
An enormous segment of the American public voted for an indecent human being yesterday. That's on them, and it always will be. No matter what level of success he may have going forward, his lack of decency will never be in doubt. I may not understand the underlying reasons for the support of his voters, but there is no question about the character of the man who they have elected. He has made his indecency and failure of character abundantly clear.
An enormous segment of the American public also voted for Hillary Clinton yesterday. The overall vote was nearly even. Please remember this if you share my beliefs. It will be easy to feel alone today. Easy to feel like you live in a country populated by people who you can't possibly understand. Remember that fully half of America stands with you in your beliefs.
I am the saddest for my two children, who had so much hope for today. They were both so happy and so hopeful less than 24 hours ago when we all stood in line to cast our vote. It seemed like such a perfect day. A historic day of light and joy. In less than an hour, they will awake, and I will have to tell them this news. It is the first time as a parent that I do not know what to say to my children.
I have students who fear our President-elect because of the color of the skin and the way they worship. They have expressed these fears to me. Today will be hard on them. They are afraid of the future leader of their country, and their fear is not unfounded. It is the result of what he and his supporters have said. I must make them feel safer than ever today and all the todays going forward.
I saw this fear last night in Brooklyn as we watched the election results at The Bell House. I saw disappointment and sadness in the faces of so many, but amongst the people of color, the Muslims and the Jews, and the gay and lesbian folks standing with me, there was also real fear. This fear is not unwarranted or unjustified. It is the result of specific things said by our President-elect and his supporters. Be sure to stand by these people today. Help them to feel a little safer.
America has stood for 240 years. It will continue to stand. We have suffered through indecent, inept, incompetent, crooked leaders before. While I acknowledge that this time is different than any time before, America will continue to stand.
Let this day serve as a clarion call for those who believe that this nation is a land for all people. Remember this moment when it comes time to elect our next leader. We cannot be complacent. We cannot rely on the hard work of others. We cannot sit on the sidelines and think that our vote is enough. We must all pull hard on the rope so that all Americans feel safe and happy and free in this land.