I seldom go on Facebook these days, but a couple days ago I popped in to update one of my pages and came across a post by a dear friend of mine, about how some members of the GOP, are more interested in the whiteness of our country, than in defending our democracy. The image that went along with the article was a man wearing a t-shirt that said “Antifa Removal Service”. I made a comment about how I didn’t think those folks understood what they were saying or portraying on their shirts, and there were a couple responses about how they do understand, and that they’re defending their own entitlement. This brief exchange really got me thinking about what’s been unfolding in our country for centuries, in the last four years, and now. For those that don’t know me, I’m a far-sighted big picture thinker, my brain runs down every avenue for years into the future to see the consequences of my actions. I’ve been like this since I was a kid, and it definitely effects the way I view life and the world. I weigh everything, always seeking balance, doing as little harm as possible. While simultaneously staying in the now... tricky, but with daily practice, doable. 😉
So, I’m reading the responses to my comment, and trying to decide if I want to respond, and if so, what do I want to say? My thoughts kept taking me down twisting winding pathways, to a point where I just wanted to blow it off. It was too convoluted, I couldn’t find a concise “Facebook answer”. So I opened up my notes on my phone and just began typing in a stream of consciousness kind of way. This is what came out:
I don’t know David, I suspect these guys have no idea what it would actually be like to live in a fascist regime. So many of us take our rights and freedoms for granted now, even as they’re being eroded away in front of our eyes. These folks will have a rude awakening when they realise it’s not just “those other people over there” losing their freedom. It’s everyone. Anyone who is a true patriot, a true American, should be defending our republic, and our rights and freedoms. Not trying to take them away, or justify how only some people get them, while others don’t. All of us are immigrants, and are incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to live here and make a life for ourselves. We should be celebrating all of the diversity that forged this great nation, because that is what makes us great. We should also be very aware of the profound physical and psychological damage that we have inflicted on the indigenous people of this country as well as all people of color, with particular emphasis on black people, for the role they were forced to play in the building of this country. Without them, we would be nothing. Without their strength, we would be nothing. Without their resilience, we would be nothing. They embody the foundation upon which our nation stands. They should be honoured and respected for all they have given, and still want to give. America is seductive, she pulls you in with all her potential and opportunity. Everyone that comes here, wants to be a part of her, wants to belong. If we embrace that, and welcome the newcomers, as well as those who have been here for hundreds or even thousands of years, we will have lived up to not only our potential, but our promise. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice...
for all. We call ourselves the land of the brave, it’s time we live up to that. People who promote systemic racism, do so out of fear. People who promote division, do so out of fear. People who promote hate, do so out of fear. Fear of what will happen if they lose their perceived power or privilege. Courage and bravery are not the absence of fear. Courage and bravery are actions taken despite the presence of fear. I believe America is the land of the brave, I believe that we all can, and will, decide to be brave. That we will decide that the best way forward is together. That we can live our best lives together, united, as one. We are all the same, no matter what we look like. We are all one people. One.
So I’m calling on all of us to start acting on this idea of oneness. We are not islands. We are individuals, families, communities, cities, states, and countries. All connected. All interdependent. We need to embrace the idea that we need each other, and that we’re all needed. Each of us doing our part. Each of us participating in our own unique and valuable way. Each of us helping others know their value too. This is the way forward. Together. As one. North