This post is not one of my usual postings. It is political. If this will offend you, skip it and come back later in the week for my usual posts. This is also not a forum for debate. This is my soapbox and I am standing on it.
I have had a rough week. I have been appalled by the news of a rapist getting less than a minimum sentence for his crimes. I have listened to someone complain about the state indoctrinating Kindergardeners to be trans-sexual and unsafe bathrooms. I have watched supposedly liberal voters refuse to vote for a woman. And yesterday morning I woke up to the news of the worst mass shooting in American history. It made me wonder at what point our country became this? As I calmed down I realized that our country has always been this.
The Princess just finished a year of American History and we spent a lot of time in our house talking about Manifest Destiny. The history of the United States is inseparable from subjugation and genocide in the name of the greater good. The belief that the dominant culture has the right to do what they want when they want has shaped this nation since the days of the first settlers. It is this attitude that is at the heart of what is going on right now.
We are facing a type of cultural Manifest Destiny. The dominant, white-centered, patriarchal, Protestant, wealth based powers that our culture has been based on is under attack. I believe this is a good thing. I believe that the more people who have a voice in our country the stronger it will be. I believe that rights are shared equally no matter race, gender, religion, politics, or sexual orientation. I even believe that you don’t actually need to be born here to receive those rights. This goes against our cultural Manifest Destiny. In Manifest Destiny those who have the power deserve the power and do not have to share. Those who dare to be different or oppose the system are stopped by whatever means possible. We see this being realized in the fight to control women’s access to reproductive health care, the increased violence against black communities, and the rise in mass shootings across the country. This push back against inclusion even has its own spokesperson. He is running for President on a hate based platform and I refuse to use his name in any social media because I am tired of him trending. He believes that women, immigrants, non-whites, non-Christians, and the poor have less personhood than he does. And he has followers. And they have guns. It is beginning to feel less like an election than an armed attack on those who are different. If we are scared enough, if enough of us are killed, if we are continually punished maybe we will stop speaking out and let the culture roll over us. The status quo will be maintained and those in power will continue in their safe comfortable lives.
It’s time to say no. No to hate. No to violence. No to one group of people having a different set of rules than everyone else. No to fear. No to exclusion. And no to those people who view these things as the way life should be.
“You think the only people who are people
Are the people who look and think like you”
We know better. We know that life is made beautiful by difference. We know that hope will always triumph. Even when the road is dark and the way is dangerous, if we stick together we can get through.