I want to write about the Women’s March, and the reactions to it, and the general wtf-ness of American politics, but this piece by George Lakoff is so good, and clear, and helpful, that I’m simply going to link to it and hope you guys read it.
Apparently, the allotted time for shock, sadness, mourning, anger and fear has expired and my Facebook timeline is starting to fill with “likes” and “shares” of assorted Trump-supporting asshats who are eager to explain to all us elitists why Hillary lost and why we should get over it.
Well, the strangest thing happened while I was debating whether to unfriend or just block the gloaters. I got Over It.
I don’t mean I’m not still deeply pissed off, worried, and aghast at what America has done. But I’m not wasting another single minute of my time reading about what percentage of what demographic in what state went for Hillary or Trump and why. The freaking Ku Klux Klan spread fliers around neighborhoods near me on election night. The KKK. In Birmingham, Alabama. In 2016. The most evil hate groups feel emboldened by the election of this unqualified, narcissistic, sexually deviant braggart. This is not the way I thought my country would be at this point in my life. I thought the battle for basic human rights for all people would be over. I thought constitutional rights won at the Supreme Court level would stay won. When I was twelve years old, I saw a man walk on the moon, sent there and brought home again by brilliant men and women using slide rules. I thought by the time my children were grown, we would, at the very least, have figured out how to get clean drinking water to children all over the world, but we can’t even do it for America.
I just read a headline on Twitter, and it grabbed my attention. I haven’t even read the article, because the headline alone was inspiration enough. It said, “Welcome to the Fight.”
If I offend you with what I am about to say, and you feel you can’t talk to me, that would make me sad. But this needs to be said: please do not quote Franklin Graham or Mike Huckabee or James Dobson or other privileged, politically connected and influential white Christian men to me. They are hypocrites. Yes, exactly the kind Jesus cautioned us not to be. They are “seen by men.” They hold influence and power, and they have their reward. I don’t want to hear from them about Jesus’ plan for this country. They excused horrible speech and actions so that their tribe could win the election. Now they want to tell us that this was God’s will? Nope. I’m not listening to that rubbish.
What I am doing is joining the fight. I will stand with all whose freedoms are threatened by Donald Trump and the GOP. I will stand with women, the disabled, people of color, people of ALL religions, athiests, agnostics, LGBTQIA people, indigenous people, undocumented people, children, artists, prisoners, the homeless, care-givers, teachers and all who are marginalized and treated as “lesser than” by the patriarchy.
To those of you who were just elected to office here in Hoover, Alabama, your actions in the first council meeting made me wary, but I will stand with you. I will have your back while you do the right thing. I will go through fire with you to recognize and serve those who are most in need in our city. I will push you toward transparency, because I understand transparency is hard.
I will call out bs and anything that smells like bs. And I will shout the word of your successes from the hilltops.
I am joining the fight that I expect to last the rest of my life. It is the fight to do whatever I can to bring peace, create greater equality, ease suffering, and leave a livable world for the next generations.
Bigotry, authoritarianism, oppression, patriarchy, you’re on notice. I. Am. Over. It. I am putting on the full armor of a pissed off woman warrior. There may be more tears in the future, in fact, it is very likely. But not today.
One of my favorite quotes is: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined. ~ Henry David Thoreau
I have recently learned that it is a misquote. The entire quotation comes from Thoreau’s Walden, and is: “I learned this, at least, from my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours… In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.”
That is MUCH more deep. And does not fit on a coffee mug. Continue reading “The direction of my dreams”
I am not the only person in my city, my state, my country – far from it – who feels the urgent need to DO and SAY things about what is happening to democracy in America. I must have five books piled on my sofa, and five more on my iPad, that explain, from one perspective or another, how and why the United States got into the current state of extreme inequality and ideological polarization.
It is not hard to see the problem. I do what most say not to do and read the comments after political articles, particularly those in my local newspaper. Under anonymous screen names, people do not hold back their anger, fear and bias. They seem both glibly unaware of the seriousness of the divide, the threat to democracy, and yet deeply fearful in a “gut” instinct way that what we hold dear and how we always expected things to go is slipping away. The lashing, labeling, knee-jerk prejudice is disheartening.
Our elected leaders do and say things that leave me dumbstruck and sick.
What to do? Write? Volunteer? Donate? Lead? Follow? I am almost frozen into inactivity with the urgency to do something about the world, against the enormity of our slide – or free fall – into something that does not resemble a nation “of the people.”
I am one person, but one person can do something. Today, I read and learn; write and plan; collect information and analyze it; donate to one worthwhile cause. It is enough for today.