I have a dream.
My dream is to wake up in a country not taken over by paranoid lunatics, billionaires and white evangelicals. It’s hard to believe that I lived in the country of my dreams not long ago. I was so comfortable in it that I rarely thought about politics. Tea Party rage, when I encountered it, seemed absurd and needlessly confrontational.
Then Trump happened and I realized that I had underestimated and marginalized the frustration of millions of people. Life has a funny way of putting us in the shoes of those for whom we’ve lacked empathy and now here I am, an angry, indignant snowflake with no soft place to land. What to do?
Frankly, I’m not a resistant protest-y type. I’ve built a comfortable, peaceful life for myself by coloring mostly within the lines, keeping to the high road and avoiding both conflict and politics. Unsure of what to do with the anxiety I was experiencing, I tried to move on, assuming the unpleasant feelings would subside and life would return to normal. With the administration finding news ways to offend every day, however, I couldn’t find my way back to that peaceful go-with-the-flow existence I had once taken for granted. Frustrated, I called a protest-y type friend of mine and asked what I could do.
My protest-y friend suggested I join a “huddle” where I might find some relief from my angst and a healthy outlet for my rage. “Huddles” are an outcome of the Women’s March on Washington. They are organized groups of concerned citizens planning and taking action on a local level.
The President claims that the millions of people showing up with signs at every turn are “professional anarchists, thugs and paid protesters.” This, like many of his statements, is a lie. The people protesting him do it because they are compelled to resist; because integrity, decency and patriotism demand action. They share my dream.
I attended my first huddle event earlier in the week. There was not an anarchist in sight. Most were like me-women who have never been involved with a movement but are old enough to remember a time when blatant racism and sexism were acceptable and supported by the law. We will not willingly step 50 years back in time.
We recognize that we’ve been complacent. Now we are not. We have a list of tasks and actions. We have a list of people who have got to go. We’re in it for the long haul. This is a marathon, not a sprint. We won’t stop until our dream comes true.
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