Please enjoy my article for the March/April 2018 edition of the Loon Lake Times
- Compassion. Common Sense. Humanity. Love. Equality and Equity. For All.
- The Earth. The Water. Scientific Research. Human Rights, regardless of race, size, shape, identity, disability, affiliation, or sexual orientation.
- Bodily Autonomy. Healthcare and Access. Family Planning, Birth Control, Reproductive Rights. For our Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, Cousins, Friends, Neighbors, Ourselves.
- Legal Protections and Recognitions. In the Workplace, in the Home, in Public, in our Neighborhoods, Schools, and Community Streets. To Keep Us Safe from harassment, assault, rape, abduction, gunning down, and systematic economic discrimination.
- Build Bridges Not Walls. What about the real-life humans, critically contributing to our communities and economies. They immigrated simply trying to survive and perhaps even make a better life. Their aspirations may not be so different from yours or mine. Are we comfortable with relying on them to pick our fruits, clean our offices, slaughter our meats; only to shout “Shut Up, and Get Out”? As we gorge ourselves on cheap hamburgers, pesticide-laced apples, and twisted up versions of the “American dream”. And their children who arrived at young and tender ages, sharing classrooms, sports fields, and school lunches with our children for most of their lives; shall we shout “Get Out Too,” as we show them the door, with a steel-toed boot and baton in hand?
- Safety in Schools for our Children and Educators, from the tyranny of violent threat and chaos. Investment in Public Education Funding, for the infrastructure, supplies, teachers, and counselors guiding and shaping young minds—Our Future.
- Legal Protections for all from military grade weapons built for rapid, automated modes of nothing more than mass destruction. How many stacks of slaughtered, innocent civilians will it take, as politicians and lobbyists watch from ivory towers and yachts, golf clubs and private jets? Our “all or nothing” public dialogue about guns must seem so pathetically simple, amusing, and profitable to them.
Above are just some of the issues that mobilized over 4.2 million Americans at Women’s Marches across the country, the weekend of January 20th – 21st, in what some are tallying to be the largest demonstration in US history. Here in eastern Washington friends and neighbors also gathered, united in protest: 6,000+ strong in Spokane, 100+ strong in Chewelah. Our neighbors and friends, families and colleagues showed up, spoke out, refusing to be silenced by the unfortunate attempts of cowardly online bullies, drive-by verbal attacks, and even familial and workplace intimidation. So many of us in eastern Washington are no longer content to look the other way when misogyny, racism, unchecked greed, and power grabs of various sorts threaten our lives and our American democracy.
We will no longer tolerate the political pandering, and use of our neighbors as pawns of the elite. They’re content to consider us as mangy, rabid dogs; tossing out a few scraps of angry divisive rhetoric about God and guns, abortion and race; as they stuff their pockets and off-shore accounts. Do the elite really think Americans are gullible enough to sit back, with blank stares on our faces and big dumb grins, as our schools are de-funded, healthcare access is eradicated, and the social safety nets that keep us from sliding into a third world county are obliterated? Does anybody really favor handing over our National Parks, forests, and waterways to the highest bidder, with little regard to all we life forms that look to Mother Nature as our sustainer? All while tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans and large corporations are doled out aplenty.
Do our political leaders really believe that we have forgotten all about the American law and value of separation of church and state? What about the American ideal of a diverse and tolerant nation? Does anybody remember the civil rights movement? Or the salvation to be found in the pristine outdoors, and communities still spared from polluted air and water?
Evidently millions of Americans do care, do remember. And for those that just can’t seem to understand why we’re all so upset, try turning off your skewed entertainment news, liberate your lives from intentional brainwashing. Step out from behind the television and computer screens, take off your blinders, and invite yourself to wake up.
We Americans are standing united and committed to breaking down the hateful walls that the plagues of greed and patriarchy constructed far too long ago. These times are changing, growing, and evolving to usher forth those ideals conceived of long ago in the hearts, heads, and spirits of countless souls. Committed to paper in 1787, the preamble of our US Constitution reads:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…”
It is truly up to “We the People,” to nurture and nourish this ideal to full bloom. Is there really any reason to fear a society that works for the good of all? Is there really any limit on the amount of “freedom” to go around? Do you only deserve common human respect, legal rights if you look a certain way? Dress a certain way? Speak a certain way? Love a certain way? Pray a certain way? Have a certain sort of luck? Make a certain minimum salary?
Have you ever visited an extremely impoverished country, where children plaster themselves against your car doors, desperate and hungry for any sort of help? Have you ever wandered through crowded streets, lined with starving mothers, clutching their bone-thin babies? It is heart-breaking, horrific, and harrowing to witness so much great need; and the juxtaposition with gated communities, full of mansions, armed with security guards. Perhaps Elysium isn’t so far away from our reality. Did you ever see that 2013 movie with Jodie Foster and Matt Damon? The elite classes, after their businesses have destroyed planet earth, take their profits and build a new community aboard a spaceship, leaving the middle class and underprivileged folk to struggle and scrape by on our dying, decimated planet.
Wake up America. It doesn’t have to go this way: a poisoned planet, poor and underfunded education, limited and inadequate healthcare, neighbor versus neighbor, piles of slaughtered children staining our school floors. Together we can turn the dark tide of greed threatening to carry our country away, and heal the sickness that has festered too long across our society. It’s up to “We the People,” together, to rise to the change. Get out and vote. Get involved in your community. Spread kindness. Promote the greater good. Because this is It. The times don’t get more critical than Now. With Love in our hearts, may Love be our guide.
Featured photos were taken by ElizaBeth Coira at the Chewelah Women’s March on January 20, 2018; and the Spokane Women’s Persistence March on January 21, 2018.