So, who are we and why are we doing this?
The duo behind this site and everything attached to it is a married couple that currently lives in British Columbia, Canada. He (Chris) is a United States-born citizen that has been living in Canada as a permanent resident awaiting citizenship for close to three years. She (Amanda) is a Canadian-born citizen that has lived in British Columbia for the entirety of her life. We are deeply in love with each other and each love both our native and adoptive countries.
On November 9, 2016, in the early hours of the morning, we crawled into bed after a long evening of watching the United States presidential election coverage with our family near Seattle, Washington. Our brains were a mess. We were exhausted, confused and too far gone to make sense of anything that we had just witnessed. We both lay in the still darkness of the room for a very long time, our already-asleep almost two year old whispering hushed sleep sounds at the end of our bed in her travel crib. We awoke early and each felt an equally large weight in our stomachs and our souls.
As we made the long drive back across the Canadian border to our home, we raged, sometimes loudly and angrily, sometimes quietly and still. The slow drip of news we were seeing across Twitter and Facebook that was trickling in mere hours after Donald J. Trump accepted Hillary Clinton's concession was already enough to inspire dread, panic and shock. We both watched and listened as politicians, news organizations and acquaintances fell into line behind the idea of giving the benefit of the doubt to a man who for sixteen straight months had preached nothing but division, hate and fear.
We struggled for a few days trying to come up with some way that we could make our voices heard and show our support for the millions upon millions of people that were going to be affected immediately by the destructive policies of this new administration, but everything we arrived at felt like it didn't go far enough or wouldn't be heard by anyone beyond our own meager batch of friends in our quaint little echo chamber.
While watching this past Sunday's episode of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, we were struck by a particular string of words in his final segment:
"It is going to be too easy for things to start feeling normal, especially if you are someone who is not directly impacted by his actions. So keep reminding yourself: This is not normal."
And there it was: "This is not normal."
That simple, to-the-point message set off a bomb in both of us and the ideas began flowing. We can't promise you that all of our ideas will come to fruition, but we are going to try and work through all of them. For now, what we can promise is that we are going to do our very best to get this message everywhere that we possibly can. We are going to do our very best to raise awareness of the destructive policies, abhorrent actions and vile language and abuse that are spreading quickly and point you in the right direction to find the right tools to fight back, the right places to support and the right avenues to travel should you need help or guidance yourself.
We have a list of organizations that we are pushing all of our support towards and will be creating a host of merchandise that can be purchased to show your support of our movement and your support of these incredible organizations. Our first item up for sale is our THIS IS NOT NORMAL sticker. We encourage you to buy these in bulk and stick them anywhere that you or someone around you might need a reminder to not start letting things feel normal or wherever you see things occurring that only work to divide or demean people.
We are going to try and keep a blog running on here with our thoughts, important links and stories from people across the internet. For now, check in to our Twitter and Facebook and give us a follow. Also, be sure to use the tag: #ThisIsNotNormal to spread awareness and keep everyone wide awake.