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In This Time... I Prayed That We Would Be Wrong

Posted on August 26, 2017 at 3:50 PM

In This Time... I prayed that we would be wrong. On November 9, 2016, we were coming to see our new reality. Pundits predicted that 45 would pivot and become presidential. He would understand the enormity of the responsibility of his office. He would realize that he was the president for everyone.



Many of us believed that 45 had shown his true colors. This 70 year-old man who rose to power using divisive strategies and little understanding of how the country worked was not going to change. Many of us believed that 45 had narcissistic, racist, misogynistic, homophobic and xenophobic tendencies that were working for him so that there was no reason for him to change. We believed that 45 didn't have the desire to learn what he did not know or to obtain more than a superficial knowledge of issues important to progress in the United States or the world. I prayed that we would be wrong.



In This Time... we immediately organized to protect the rights we had fought for decades to achieve. We marched. We called our representatives. We wrote opinion pieces. We held town hall meetings. Our mantra was Resist! We channeled our fear and anger into action. We supported one another. We did what we could to ensure that our democratic structures held. And they did. But we now know that this is a long-term struggle we, the people, are going to have to lead.



In This Time... we fast forward to today and find that we have everything we feared we would have in 45. I prayed that we would be wrong. We find ourselves with a president who stands up for white supremacists rather than those opposing racism; who denigrates women leaders and wives of leaders in allied nations rather than treating women with respect; who works to take away the rights of dedicated military folks because they are transgender rather than protecting their rights; who values trying to get a legislative win regardless of the legislation rather than promoting sound public policy; who uses unconventional means, bypassing the Justice Department, to pardon a man who was convicted of illegally detaining Latinos; who attempts to tear down the structures that make us a democracy. There are so many issues with 45 coming at us so fast that we stay in a defensive posture. Is there anything we are for?


In This time... we are unclear what either the Democratic or Republican parties stand for. The Democrats have come up with a new slogan, "A Better Deal" designed to state what they stand for. Not exactly the rallying cry for a nation. Those of us who have read what it means know that there are some real progressive principles behind it, but it sounds like a slogan that has gone through the marketing grinder so many times that it's as inspiring as paint drying. On the other side of the aisle, the silence, in word and action, from the Republican Party on the hateful behavior of 45 is deafening. A few courageous Republicans did denounce some of 45's stuff, but as the party in power, they have the ability to take decisive action. They have chosen not to, for what I can only assume is for what they perceive as a stronger political position.


 

In This Time... we must ask ourselves what do we stand for? Do we have clarity on what we are fighting for? Are we just anti-45? Do we support the Democratic or Republican party simply because we define ourselves as Democratic or Republican?



In this time... we must stand for social justice. Social justice is the way in which human rights are manifested in the lives of everyday people at every level of society.  The UN Declaration on Human Rights (it's worth a read) lists life, liberty, security, freedom from oppression and discrimination, health care, food and nutrition, and housing as some of the human rights we all possess. When we talk about social justice and human rights, we must be clear as to what we are referencing. Having clarity on what we stand for serves as a foundation on which we build the world we so desperately desire and deserve. Clarity on what we stand for guides our interactions with our policy makers, communities, neighbors, friends, and family.


 

In this time... I prayed that we would be wrong. I wanted a president that I could respect. I would have loved nothing more than to be able to boldly say that I was wrong. That 45 is a president with good judgment, strong moral character, intelligence, and equanimity. In the absence of such a president, I will stand for social justice. I will fight to protect the human rights of all of us. The first step in being able to take a stand is to be real clear on what you are standing for.


 

"I'm for truth no matter who tells it. I'm for justice no matter who it's for or against. I am a human being first and foremost, and as such, I am for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole." Malcolm X



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