Actress Jennifer Lawrence made her position clear months ago, as far as the 2016 election was concerned. During an interview promoting the latest “Hunger Games” film, Lawrence and two of her costars commented on the rise of Trump:
Lawrence: “If Donald Trump becomes president, that will be the end of the world."
Liam Hemsworth: “I’ll back you up on that."
Josh Hutcherson: “This can't be real. It has to be a publicity stunt.”
When JLaw's worst fears were realized last Tuesday, however, she didn't post tearful videos like Hemsworth's “on-again” girlfriend Miley Cyrus. She didn't join the crowds protesting in the streets like Hutcherson:
Instead, Lawrence penned a letter to America for Vice.com. She began by addressing the role that she believed sexism had played in the election:
“Is this the stark reality? It doesn't matter how hard you work or how qualified you are, at the end of the day, if you're not a man? Is that what we just learned? This country was founded on immigration and today the only people that feel safe, that their rights are recognized and respected are white men.”
But then she encouraged everyone to find a constructive way to deal with the disappointment:
“I want to be positive; I want to support our democracy, but what can we take away from this? It's a genuine question that we all need to ask ourselves. We shouldn't blame anyone, we shouldn't riot in the streets. We should think strongly and clearly about what to do next because we cannot change the past.”
Lawrence pointed out that taking care of the environment and stopping racism shouldn't just be the government's job — they should be everyone's job:
“If you're worried about the health of our planet, find out everything you can about how to protect it. If you're worried about racial violence love your neighbor more than you've ever tried to before—no matter what they believe or who they voted for. If you're afraid of a wall putting us all into another recession then organize and stand against it.”
She encouraged women to teach their daughters that the incredible is still possible:
“If you're a woman and you're worried that no matter how hard you work or how much you learn, there will always be a glass ceiling, then I don't really know what to say. I don't know what I would tell my daughter if I were you. Except to have hope. To work for the future.”
But mostly, Lawrence encouraged everyone to turn their anger and fear into hope and action:
"We're all allowed to be sad that the present isn't what we thought it was. But we mustn't be defeated. We will keep educating ourselves and working twice as hard as the man next to us because we know now that it is not fair. It is not fair in the workplace, so you make it impossible to fail. And like Hillary, it might not work.
But like Hillary, you can still be an inspiration and get important things done. Do not let this defeat you—let this enrage you! Let it motivate you! Let this be the fire you didn't have before. If you are an immigrant, if you are a person of color, if you are LGBTQ+, if you are a woman..."
Lawrence's admonitions — echoed by other liberals who woke up Wednesday morning saying, “we just became activists” — could all be summed up in her final words: “Don't be afraid, be loud!”
By accepting that half the country feels differently than herself and decrying the violent reactions that so many have resorted to, Lawrence identified what truly makes America great: The fact that we have the freedom to voice differing opinions — and work for the causes we're passionate about — in the first place.