Repost: My Fear and the (New) American Way

[January 29, 2020: While watching the sham of an Impeachment Trial today, I was reminded of this post which I originally wrote in 2016, shortly after the election. Sadly, I realized that we are now living in my nightmare scenario.]

I’ve been told that a good way to help with anxiety is to identify in detail the thing you are most concerned will happen. This is the Worst-Case Scenario approach, and the theory is that sometimes specifically identifying what we fear can help us realize that our anxiety may be unfounded. So I challenged myself to name the thing that I am most afraid of regarding a Trump Presidency.

Continue reading “Repost: My Fear and the (New) American Way”

Our Defeats Will Steel Our Resolve

Obstacles do not block the path. They are the path.

I just realized something:

All of the “defeats” that we have been subjected to over the last two years, that have left us so deflated and demoralized, are not defeats at all. They are signposts along the way to our better future. They are there to energize us, and more than that, to test our resolve:

Do we really believe in our cause? Or is it just so many empty words?

Are we whiners who expect that everything will go our way, and when it does not we throw up our hands in defeat? Or are we willing to get our hands dirty and do the hard work necessary to create the future that we believe in?

Do we wallow in defeat and demoralization while everything wastes away at the hands of a small group of people who will walk all over our rights and our dignity and take it away from us? Or do we fight back?

Do we really believe in the promise of our country? That all of us are created equal. That hard work will be rewarded fairly. That we can leave a better world for our children. That ours is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Because right now — at this moment — we are engaged in the great test of our generation: can the promise of this country endure?

We have been sitting here pining for someone to step up, waiting for someone to emerge and show us the way. We have been desperate for a leader so we can follow them to the promised land. But we don’t need a leader to follow: we already know the way. We can join hands and walk there together.

There is a great task ahead of us. And we will take increased devotion to our cause from the defeats we have suffered. But we will not be demoralized. We will not be defeated. We will not let others steal our hope. We will not watch our country crumble. We will steel ourselves for the fight ahead. And we will succeed.

Our future is one month away. Let’s go.

Bring On the Fireworks: Dissent on the 4th of July

I read somewhere that they are expecting 4th of July celebrations across the country to be somewhat low-key this year because people aren’t feeling very patriotic.

But surely being concerned for the health of our democracy and feeling patriotic aren’t incompatible, are they? No. In fact, I’d say they are one and the same. Continue reading “Bring On the Fireworks: Dissent on the 4th of July”

We Have Become a Nation with Zero Tolerance

Would you make a thousand-mile, perilous journey in the hope of saving yourself or your children? I don’t know if I would have the courage. But I have a story in my own family history that comes close to the kind of desperation felt by the immigrant families pouring across our southern border. Continue reading “We Have Become a Nation with Zero Tolerance”

Injustice

It’s time we stop thinking of Black Lives Matter as a “black person’s issue.” We need to stop thinking of #MeToo as a “women’s issue.” LGBTQ rights aren’t just important for gay people or people who have a gay family member. Islamophobia doesn’t just hurt Muslims; anti-Semitism doesn’t just effect Jewish people.

All people, of every race, ethnicity and religion, of every sexual orientation and gender identification MUST fight to ensure justice for everyone. We must all be allies in one another’s causes, because it’s going to take all of us standing together shoulder to shoulder doing the hard work necessary to create a society that is fair and just for every one of us.

NFL Players and the Flag: Two Years On

If there was ever any question that the wheels of justice turn slowly, the continuing controversy over NFL players, the national anthem, and racial injustice has provided the answer. It’s at once hard and not so hard to believe that we are still having this conversation almost two years after Colin Kaepernick first decided to take a knee during the national anthem before a 2016 pre-season game in response to the disproportionate numbers of black people being killed by police.

People of color are still being shot just for the crime of being black. And they’re being arrested for the crime of sitting in a Starbucks while black, and they are having the police called on them for the offenses of napping in their dormitory lounge while black, and moving into their apartment while black.

And still we continue to object to the very idea of players exercising their right to protest racial injustice. Continue reading “NFL Players and the Flag: Two Years On”