Category Archives: March
I grew up in the South in the 1970s and 80s. I was a poor white girl surrounded primarily by other poor whites. On any given day I saw more rebel flags than American flags. The American flag, the Stars and Stripes, was reserved for “official” use – government buildings mainly – schools, post offices, and the like. The rebel flag, the Stars and Bars, was more of a populist thing, a flag of the people, as it were. Sewn onto hats and coats, screen-printed on t-shirts, license tags on the front plates of cars (TN does not require front registration plates), stickers on windows, kerchiefs sold in convenience stores, flying proudly on poles in front yards. Seriously. The thing was everywhere.
And I always felt maybe I was missing something. The Confederacy lost over a hundred years previously. Why are people proudly displaying a lost army’s flag? They were beaten so badly they officially disbanded and were absorbed back into the USA.
“It’s our history, heritage, culture,” people tried to explain to me. That didn’t make sense to me. Sure, it’s a representation of the HISTORY of a HERITAGE and CULTURE that lowered other humans to the status of chattel and decided it was okay to be as inhumane as they wanted to them.
“No, you idiot,” they tried again. “The War for Southern Independence was over states’ rights!”
Uhm, yeah. States’ rights to slavery. Really didn’t convince me.
We even had “neo-Nazis” at my high school. Two boys, brothers. They were vulgar, repulsive, and too old for the grades they were in. I actually asked the older one what his problem was, why did he hate people with black skin? It pretty much boiled down to “just because”. I couldn’t wrap my head around “just because” being just cause to hate. I didn’t get it then. I don’t get it now.
But maybe all those old rednecks were right and the South will rise again. The most repulsive attitudes of it sure are alive and well.
Every election cycle (which is pretty much endless these days) I hear the argument that we citizens should be grateful for whoever is put into political office but the outcome of election’s is “God’s will”. Then, when their guy loses, some of those people get tied up in knots because either they don’t really believe what they’re preaching or God didn’t choose their candidate and that’s just unacceptable. How DARE God not choose the politician who most uses his name to make money and get votes and control people’s personal lives? Harumph!
Now that we have 45 in the White House I’ve heard it again, but less this time (probably because I’ve allowed some people to leave my life and others to enter). But, in all honesty, I can actually see it. Oh, not because 45 will do God’s will in, well, anything ever but because our great citizens have been complacent for long enough!
We’ve allowed the government full reign over everything! Improvements were happening slowly. We’d made progress on protecting the environment and on human rights. Women’s concerns were being taken almost seriously. Corporations were learning they had to act right by their consumers AND employees! But it was slow and there were those fighting every step of the way to resume a way of destruction.
So now we have 45. Donald J. Trump. Stephen Bannon. Rex Tillerson. A whole slew of the worst filth humanity has to offer in charge of our nation and reversing every human rights and environmental gain that’s been made in the last, well, ever. How can this possibly be God’s will?
Well, look outside the government. Look to the people. We’re waking up! We the People are getting involved! In our communities, our local governments, our environment. Every time 45 announces another human right or government program he wants to eliminate, the people move en masse to prevent disaster. We have NEVER seen this kind of involvement! Eliminate funding to Planned Parenthood? They take in a year’s worth of donations in one weekend. Eliminate funding to women’s health care providers in underdeveloped nations? Donations skyrocket there, too. Lock up American citizens and permanent residents and green card holders because of where their plane flew in from? Watch as people storm the airports to free those wrongfully held! Lawyers donated their services to help release people!
We can’t even keep up with all of the harmful, hateful garbage this administration is getting past us! It’s too much too quickly! Their only chance is to keep us dizzy and distracted, and they are good at that. But there are enough of us ready to fight back that we can mitigate a lot of the harm.
So maybe that is God’s will. Get everyone awake and active and participating in our local communities and helping all who come our way. It’s a shame it took something so destructive to wake us up but we’re here now. And we’ll do everything we can to stop this group from destroying the only world we have.
Someone asked what rights men have that women don’t. Women can drive and vote and own property, even run for public office. We’ve come a long way, baby! Even though the question was asked in anger, I’ll try to tone down the attitude in my thoughts on the matter because an angry woman is “nasty”, a “bitch”, even a “cunt”. Things get creative from there. What’s an angry man? Women want the same right to anger as men have.
Did you know there are test strips and special finger nail polish that change color when exposed to date rape drugs? We want the right to go out, with friends or alone, without the possibility of being raped as our default setting.
If, God forbid, we are raped we want the right to go to the hospital and police without cynicism and accusations. No, it wasn’t because of where we were or what we were wearing. Whether or not we had flirted with him or even had had sex with him in the past is irrelevant and shouldn’t even be asked. We want our evidence kits tested, not destroyed. We want him to have to live with his crime for the rest of his life. He gave us a life sentence. Why should he get off with less?
We want pay equity. Same shit, different century. We want to get jobs based on our qualifications. How many people voted against Mrs. Clinton because they “don’t want to look at her for four years”? So because she isn’t “pretty”? Bullshit. How many women have lost job opportunities because they are married or of child-bearing age? How often do you hear of men losing promotions because they might decide to have a child in the next couple of years?
There are also rights we want to protect that are under systematic attack. OK, I’ll go there. Planned Parenthood provides education, cancer screenings, birth control (which can prevent abortions, fyi), and general healthcare in many clinics where the population has little other access to these services. Yes, some clinics even provide abortion services. Without touching on right or wrong here, let’s keep back alley abortions as a thing of the past. Now, if you are of the belief that abortion is murder, remember not everyone agrees with you. We are asking that our medical choices be between us and our medical professional and not based on your beliefs or opinions. I’m sure there are ways you can educate others on your beliefs while helping, rather than harming, the women faced with this heartbreaking choice.
And if a woman needs permission from someone other than her medical provider to have an abortion, a man should need permission to get ED pills, which should be issued with two condoms and a Plan B pack. Per pill, not prescription. Oh, would that raise the price? Well, why should we be paying for him to have sex, anyway?
It seems our right to peaceably assemble has also recently come under verbal assault.
Now, if you think the Marches were all about “women’s rights”, you weren’t paying attention.
Our new President has financial interest in a hotel that foreign leaders have already said of course they’ll stay in to curry favor. Our new President has financial interests in oil pipelines, most notoriously the Dakota Access Pipeline. He is now in a position to enact legislation that will do irreparable harm to the water protectors, the water source, the land, and everything else in the name of PERSONAL PROFIT.
Our new President has nominated for positions people who are eminently unqualified and have frightening views for their proposed departments.
Our new President has already moved to undo insurance protections for the poor, the disabled, and the chronically ill.
We the People marched to remind him that we are aware of his conflicts of interest and we are watching him and holding him accountable.
We the People marched to send a message to his appointees that we are watching them and holding them accountable, too.
We the People marched to send a message to the people in our new President’s line of fire that we’ve got you covered, even if you misunderstand or despise us. An attack on one of us is an attack on all free Americans.
We the People marched to remind the President and his cronies that just because you prefer to live in a world of alternative facts doesn’t mean reality goes away or follows your command.
Has all of the childish name-calling, the negativity, the hatred being spewed by the President’s supporters made me regret my decision to march? On the contrary, it’s furthered my resolve to action. I will attend every march, every rally, every meeting, every group get-together I can until sanity reigns and reality is restored. When you insult me and call me names I learn more about you than I do myself. Anyway, this snowflake is proud to be part of the avalanche.