To those hostile people who have said that those of us who don’t like the way things are here in the US can hop on a plane and leave:
You sure would love it if it was that easy, wouldn’t you! If those of us who are standing up and speaking loudly and articulately for the country we live in to continue a forward thinking, progressive, and globally conscious direction would simply go away. If women would stop railing for rights to equal pay, full rights to their own bodies, and an insistence upon global stewardship because we believe it is fully our responsibility to do the right thing, taking into account what is right for ALL humans and indeed, the whole planet.
You would love it if the people who believe that whites are NOT superior to all other races would go away and stop pointing out that, though through no direct fault of your own, you have been conditioned to believe that you are superior, and that the country would be better if all the people of color would go back into their rightful places or leave altogether. You would much prefer it if we would stop bringing up words like entitlement and white privilege, and if we simply went away, leaving even the poorest of white people to believe that they were at least better than the “inferior” races.
You would especially love it if we who advocate for full freedom for the LGBTQ people to live as they see fit would just disappear, so that your religious beliefs about what is morally right would be once more triumphant. You would still find your world filled with abusers, cheaters, sexual deviants, and rapists, of course. But at least you wouldn’t have to watch the horrors of loving same-sex couples live in peace and create lives together. Or the ways that those who don’t conform to gender “norms” define themselves according to their own sense of self.
If those annoying people who were insisting upon environmental responsibility would just go away, then you could just rape and pillage the land with *finally* no oversight, so that you could have the cheapest gasoline for your cars, even if it meant that legal treaties with Native peoples would be violated. Perhaps you could bring back the ideas of colonialism that have destroyed so many indigenous cultures all over the world – that these people are savages that must be brought into the “right” way of doing things. You could then commit acts of military and police terrorism against those people with full justification for your actions – and without anyone criticizing you or trying to stop you.
If all the “liberals” and “progressives” would just go away, you could get back to the business of… what exactly? Destroying the planet without anyone stopping you? Controlling all the people according to the beliefs of the day? Bringing back religious domination of the government? Pretending that there is no one else on the planet, no one but your country, and no one but those who are like you? Closing your borders and your economy to anyone outside your own people? Condemning and punishing anyone who dissents or has different ideas about what is right? All while watching TV and eating hot dogs?
You know what that sounds like to me? North Korea.
Fascism. From Wikipedia: “Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete, and they regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties. Such a state is led by a strong leader—such as a dictator and a martial government composed of the members of the governing fascist party—to forge national unity and maintain a stable and orderly society. Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature, and views political violence, war, and imperialism as means that can achieve national rejuvenation.”
And so, having been given the rights of citizenship of this country, we not only will not leave, we will stand up for what is truly right in the name of maintaining this country as a democracy, and in allowing for greater freedom for those who are yet to come. Those who came before us gave their energy and lives to paving the way for us to live in a stable democracy based on equality and justice, and we benefit from those rights in ways we can’t even imagine. It is our duty to do the same for those who will one day reflect on how WE created the way of life they would inherit.
Equality and justice for ALL people.
For all women and men.
For the poor.
For the elderly.
For the sick.
For those of all ethnic backgrounds.
For those of all religions, and of no religion.
For those in every expression of sexuality and gender.
For clean and safe air, water, and food for all.
For the lands, waters, and skies of our planet.
Old habits die hard, and mostly we hate change. It’s an inconvenience in our effortless going-about-the-day-as-usual. But old habits must die, hard or not. As a woman whose ancestors died as witches – who were believed to have too much power – and as Native People – who were believed to be savages, and whose way of life was destroyed in horrific ways, I will NOT sit quietly and allow it. As a woman who was given a solid education, and who through that was given the capacity to think critically and fearlessly express herself, I will NOT simply move aside and watch “alternative facts” and propaganda and the dissolution of all possibility of a well-rounded and empowering education for our future citizens be flushed down the toilet in the name of creating compliant sheep. I will not fear the “otherness” in people who do not look like me, or believe like me, or speak like me – I will stay open and listen and seek to understand what is really true, and trust that, and stand by it.
Want to know what is best of all for the future – but perhaps worst of all for you? The Women’s Marches all over the world have left absolute certainty in this message: we will NOT sit idly by and allow everything this country has become to be destroyed. Not now, not ever. And THIS is the very life blood of what this country was created upon. WE are the PEOPLE, and we are speaking very loudly, and very clearly – and we will continue to speak and act in the name of what is right. Not right for the few, but what is right for the many.
It’s increasingly obvious that you don’t like that. Rampant expressions of “Get over it” and “Sore loser” and “Get a life” have certainly expressed that. Get over the potential demise of actual democracy? Sore loser because millions of people will suffer needlessly due to bigotry and ignorance? Get a life because we will not go quietly into the shadows? “Get over it?” Never. Get used to it. “Sore loser?” Nope, not even a little – we will NOT lose this battle because we will never stop. “Get a life?” I can only laugh at that one – it’s the very richness of our lives that we are standing up for here, and anything less would be no life at all.
So, indeed, as long as I am able, I will happily hop on a plane to leave whenever I choose to, because I live in a free country that has negotiated stable relationships with other wonderful countries in the world. And I will return here, too, in service of continuing to liberate and evolve and grow. For when that ceases, we will merely rot in our own stagnation.