Things are bad. Things have been bad for much longer than I’ve been alive, although I’ve only been aware of them for the past twenty years or so. You see where I grew up, the status quo was to be raised the way most of us were here in the US of A. With a kind of forward-looking blind patriotism. We ignore the atrocities of the past, and wave our flags and thank god and country for our freedom.
I am not implying that I don’t feel lucky to be raised in a place where I have the freedom to express myself, and more or less move freely in society.
The trouble is, that this does not apply to everyone.
We are a nation that committed genocide on the indigenous of our declared homeland.
We are a nation that was built on the free labor of millions of African slaves, a debt that has never been repaid (look up 40 acres and a mule).
We are a nation that has a vast expanse of fertile land that we exploit growing commodities that are not geared for human consumption, dumping countless chemical pesticides, digging pipelines, building unnecessary structures. The list could go on for much much longer. All of this while so many go hungry, homeless and desolate. All of this while we deprive those seeking a better life of basic human necessities and lock them in cages.
We wonder in awe how so many could have stood by during slavery, the holocaust, yet what are we doing now? We have been rendered disconnected and helpless. We are connected through memes and photos of our children, but we are not connecting in real time.
What if we could see each other in person? Imagine how energized you would feel if you saw your sentiments reflected everywhere you looked. So I have a challenge — we’ve all seen the signs — Hate has no home here, black lives matter, etc. Those are great, but it’s kind of like signing a petition without writing a personalization. What if we all took 10 minutes to make our own sign, and challenge one or two or ten friends to do the same. Whatever feels right to us on whatever our own personal platform is. Our house, our car, our bike, our backpack.
Maybe if we get over the discomfort, or the tackiness or whatever is stopping us, and commit to sharing, we can start to reveal where we all are, start to connect, and turn this world around.
Because we have to. Fascism thrives in silence. And our silence is deafening.