If You’re Angry & You Know It: The Time for Political Activism is Now
by Dixie Laite, dametown.com // This is a hard time to be alive. And this is a good time to be alive. Before, things mattered, of course. They always mattered. But now, thanks to the Trump voters and the politicians who have completely abdicated their moral responsibility, it really, REALLY matters.
The world needs us. It always wanted our energy, our kindness, our common sense and loving stewardship. But thanks to climate change, pollution, bees dying out, maniacal sociopaths with access to nuclear codes – it’s red alert time. The survival of the planet depends on us. On me, on you.
Earth, that’s an important thing to fight for, right? I mean, Superman and Buffy Summers do it all the time. Then there are the earthlings that need us: Women, people of color, gay folks, veterans, polar bears, orangutans, immigrants seeking asylum, children in cages, bees. They desperately need not just our well-wishes but our courage and our commitment. Thoughts, prayers, votes, staying informed…that’s all very nice. But at the end of the day, big whoop.
This shit is serious. I’m going to be kinda rough for a minute. But sometimes it’s cruel to be kind and the planet is in too much peril for coddling. Ask yourself: What do I stand for? NOW is the time you’ll find out; now is the time to prove it. It’s said the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but this time good intentions without action drag us all to hell with you.
Ladies, we don’t have time anymore to worry about being sweet and gentle and likable. This is our Code Red, our crucible. This is our moment of truth. Christians, do you believe everyone is your brother and sister – even if, wait for it, they speak – gasp — Spanish? Liberals, are you against racism? Are you against sexism, homophobia? Call me crazy (lots do), but I take all this seriously. I’m just nutty enough to take racism seriously. I think misogyny and xenophobia are worth fighting against. The millions of people who suffer because of all this bigotry and apathy, I take them very seriously. I don’t tolerate it. Ever.
I’m not dumb enough to think people particularly care whether or not they are in my good graces, but I am committed enough to my morals and integrity to stand up for what I think is right. If someone explicitly or implicitly supports dangerous actions and ideas, I will communicate that there are consequences. One of those consequences is that your choice will not be tolerated. You want to blindly go along with the dismantling of our democracy, I’m not going to smile at your anecdote, or share videos about cute baby bears. I’m going to stand up for what I stand for.
I know this doesn’t make me nice. I know it sure doesn’t make me likable. I know it probably doesn’t make me right. But it does make it clear where I stand, what I’m committed to, and for whom I’m willing to fight. It does make me who I am.
Life is a series of choices. Who we are ultimately comes down to the actions we take (or don’t take), and the words we say (or don’t say). The Holocaust didn’t happen because of one man named Hitler; it was all the people who let it happen, either with their outright support or by not speaking up when they could. For me, the Holocaust rests on the shoulders of the marginally bigoted, the fearful ones, the “polite” ones.
So, in a weird way, we owe Trump and his supporters our gratitude. This crucible in which we’re living exposes who we really are. Our commitment to our ethics is best revealed when the rubber hits the road. I invite you to exercise that stubborn part of you that will not turn the other cheek by turning your back on the people and planet who need you.