On Friday I mourned.
On Saturday I marched!
With my two sons by my side, in a crazy snowstorm.
The boys & I talked about the election a lot that day. Why we were marching. Why we *needed* to march.
We watched the news together Saturday evening and saw the new press secretary insist this inauguration was the largest in history (easily disproven) and watched the new president lie & awkwardly, unsuccessfully try to manipulate members of the CIA in front of their memorial wall. With nary a glance at it. Instinctively I feel like President Obama would have looked at it, referenced it, and felt the full gravity of it. Bygones.
After the news my oldest said, “mom, turn it off! And don’t get on Facebook anymore! I don’t want to see you cry.” But I didn’t, then. I kept reading. Facebook, Twitter, CNN (because they all up in his bizness now!) and I saw the magnificent march, the largest protest in U.S. History! And I knew it had fallen on deaf ears. He doesn’t care WHY we marched. He only cares that we got a bigger turnout.
And I saw the ridicule. The jokes, from lawmakers even, about how ridiculous it was, how useless.
So then I wrote this note below, posted it on Facebook and then deleted the app from my phone. Poof!
* * *
My friends – I’ve heard a variation of this several times today:
“Whiny libtards protesting because they didn’t win. We didn’t react like this when Obama won.”
The Women’s March was to remind the new president that women’s rights, and minority rights, are all human rights. There should be no distinction by gender or skin color, or other distinguishing factor. Fundamental human rights for all humans. This was not a protest of hate but a show of solidarity and strength, to remind those who may harm our rights that we are here and won’t be silent.
By the way, some of you did protest when Obama was elected – with fake lynchings, don’t you recall? And still to this day call the Obamas monkeys because of their skin color. Oh? You don’t like being lumped in and generalized with your neo-nazi, white supremacist brothers? Well neither do I like being lumped in with far-left violent protesters. I’m just a 41 year old single full-time working mom with two sons and I want the same rights and autonomy with my body, and the same pay rate, as the white males I work with everyday. Why is that so hard?
Give the new president a chance, you say? How many? I heard more lies and hate spill from his very mouth today, his first full day in office. He has said nothing to unite; only further encourage the divide. At what point is it enough?
Christians, Jesus lovers, is this the president that you wanted? He couldn’t be more unlike Jesus if he tried. Constitutionalists, if you allow him to disregard multiple amendments then how can you continue to argue that the 2nd should be followed without exception? Why are you holding on to this incredible double-standard, allowing a multitude of sins, conflicts of interests, & ethical dilemmas, from him that would never, ever normally be forgiven?
I will not encourage hate or disrespectful rants about him (though it’s his favorite mode of communication, I will go high) but neither will I sit quietly while our rights are flagrantly dismantled in front of us. As U.S. citizens, and patriots, it’s our charter to hold our government accountable. My children’s futures are at stake and what kind of mother would I be if I didn’t advocate for them?
Call me every derogatory name in the book if you like, but I’m just like you – I have a belief system I refuse to deny. I’m genuinely terrified for our country in a way I haven’t been since 9/11 – except this time we unbelievably did it to ourselves.
My son asked me tonight to stop reading the comments on Facebook and to turn off the news. He doesn’t like to see me upset. We’ve had a lot of frank conversations lately and, honestly, the kid recognizes right from wrong before I even have to say a word. Thank goodness for his love & compassion.
So for everyone here I respect & love, I wanted to just put my thoughts on this out there – because I do prefer civility over name-calling, and I don’t like being ridiculed for standing up for fundamental human rights as if that’s somehow a bad thing.
* * *
This week has progressed into even more of a nightmare. I can’t even articulate it, it would take too long, too many pages – but it’s even worse than I think we imagined it would be. The thin-skinned narcissism is even more apparent. This dictatorial style is right on point. Executive orders right & left reversing hard fought, much needed legislation. Gag orders. Media shutout & vilified. I have logged onto Facebook (via a browser) once or twice a day but it’s overwhelming.
I am bereft. Scared. In shock & disbelief. I have felt paralyzed. What do I do? There’s no point in shouting it on Facebook. Everyone has become either numb or desensitized. We cannot be silent though. Our silence normalizes the actions of a mentally unhinged tyrant.
Today I wrote my representatives. My senators and congressmen. All middle-aged or old white men, of course, because I live in Idaho. (God forbid we have a woman helping make decisions on female reproductive rights!)
At least I did something. I contributed. It probably won’t help but I was as articulate as I could be, as patriotic as I could be, and appealed to their sense of duty & pride in our American culture, the tenets our country was founded on and the humanitarian and compassionate societal mores we have nurtured since we claimed our independence.
Then I googled the best countries for Americans to easily move to – Canada, Mexico, the UAE, Sweden, and an island that is part of Norway call Svalbard, in case you were wondering.
Heavenly creator, please unshackle our new president’s angel on his shoulder. Encourage just & right actions in our new leadership. Guide their decisions with our population as a whole in mind. Please help us to heal this rift and do better by all our people, all Americans, but also the global community who rely on America for strength and a steady heart. We can’t turn our backs on refugees. We can’t turn our backs on social justice, humanitarian causes, and compassion. Help our new president to learn humility, faith, how to employ the power of good. Amen.
Good night, dear friends. We shall slog through this horror movie together and, hopefully, come out even stronger and more fierce on the other side.
Love & light,