Inauguration Day should be a day of pride in our democracy, a day when the presidential torch is passed peacefully and democratically from one administration to another. However, this year Inauguration Day will be like nothing that we as a nation have previously experienced.
Trump will be our president despite having lost the popular vote by 2.9 million votes. He will be our president despite stoking hatred and fear, sexually abusing and insulting women, declaring that women should be punished for having abortions, cheating workers and small business people, making money off bankruptcy, demonizing Muslims, insulting Mexicans, non-white and non-Christian ethnic groups, calling for the punishment of criminals’ innocent family members, lying and conniving at every turn, denying scientific truth, and on and on. To quote Chris Hedges, “This Christmas I mourn the long, slow death of our democracy that led to the political ascendancy of Donald Trump.”
The seven-day period of Jewish mourning following the death of a loved one is called shiva. Sitting on a low chair for that period is called sitting shiva. Therefore, on Friday, Jan. 20, all who mourn the passing of our democracy and the national elevation of hatred and cruelty are invited to mourn from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., coinciding with the tragedy of Trump’s inauguration, at Route 25A at the intersection of Bennetts and North Country Roads in Setauket. The location is one-third mile east of Nicolls Road at the corner of the CVS and Bank of America shopping center.
Wear black, bring a chair if you want to sit shiva and carry a sign indicating why you are mourning, such as mourning the death of democracy, sitting shiva for the death of decency, a Trump presidency is the death of women’s rights, etc. The occasion will be solemn and silent, so there will be no chanting.
If you cannot sit shiva in Setauket, you can organize your own event closer to home. I need help creating a Sitting Shiva Facebook page where we can add press coverage, photos, notices and other information.
Email me at email@example.com if you plan to attend, have any questions or would like to share your photos, and visit www.truthdig.com/staff/chris_hedges#bio for more information about why President Trump means the death of our democracy.
—Ruth A. Cohen