Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Lord, make us instruments of your peace, where there is hatred, let your love increase. Lord, make us instruments of your peace, walls of pride and prejudice shall cease, when we are your instruments of peace.

I've been struggling for a while now with social media and my relationship to it. For so long everything I posted was met with resounding positive feedback because, let's be honest, I had cancer.

Then came the campaign and election. We all experienced it. The internet was a sad place to be. The day after the election, I posted that I feared for the world my unborn son was going to grow up in, and was met with comments that I read as attacks on my character and choices. Looking back, I know they were meant to be helpful, but I was wounded and raw, so helpfulness wasn't high on the list of things I was feeling. Call me a snowflake. Please.

My response was to basically stop posting and distance myself from facebook. I even went back and deleted what I wrote the day after the election, because knowing it was there brought everything right back up to the surface. I thought, "How can I speak my truth in a place that will only respond in a way that causes my blood pressure to rise." It wasn't worth it to me at the time to put myself out there, so I put my head in the sand and quietly went about the business of parenting a newborn.

With each day the headlines got more and more outrageous, and I stayed silent. "Why add to the noise", I thought. Then came Charlottesville.

The day after the election I was told to stay in my lane, and be a "good person". That would be enough to ensure that my son would also be a "good person". Tell that to the father of the terrorist who mowed down Heather Heyer. "We do not know specifically where he learned those beliefs. He did not learn them at home."

Being quiet about what is happening in is precisely what got us to this point. I know that Donald Trump didn't cause the white supremacist rally. These hateful people were always there, lurking in the shadows. Trump just gave them the confidence to step out in the open and declare who they really were and what they stood for, and "we the people" elected him.

In my 16 years of voting, I have voted both democrat and republican. This is so far beyond big vs. small government. This is about our humanity. Are we the kind of people who will sit back and watch this unfold, or will we take a stand to stop white supremacy? Was the holocaust so long ago that we have already forgotten it's lessons? Or is this something we're willing to stomach because it doesn't directly affect us as white people?

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."
- Martin Niemoller