Welcome to the somewhat unbalanced mind of Orbson Rice.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Morning After

The morning comes and the world is not yet on fire. I have not felt this level of devastation since 9/11. I can honestly say that the events of the last 24-hours instill more fear in me than that dreadful day. My inbox has been flooded with messages asking, “What can we do?” “What do I tell my kids?” “I’m scared for my life, should I flee the country?” I have struggled with my answer. Who am I to even begin to answer? Should you flee the country? Maybe. That’s the truth. The United States of America, the beacon for freedom and democracy, the most powerful nation in the world just placed into power not only a President, but an entire government whose ideology threatens the very freedoms we have worked for centuries to obtain. If you are a woman, a Muslim, a Jew, disabled, a person of color, LGBQT, I understand your fears. I cannot even fathom what must be happening in your minds right now and I’m sorry that I didn’t do more to try to stop this. The election is over and I could rant for pages about the hatred and bigotry.  About all that we could lose and all the rights that hang on the precipice. I could draw comparisons to regimes throughout history. Regimes in which, if you didn’t fit a specific look and belief you were ostracized, imprisoned and much, much worse. That is where my mind is at when you ask me if you should flee. I wonder if Jewish families asked their friends the same question early on in Germany. That is what kept me awake last night. What do we do? What do we tell our children? Is it bad enough that it’s time to run?  I don’t believe I have an answer for you, but I do have an answer for me. I rise up. I fight.

Democracy only exists when you don’t always get your way. Last night I didn’t get my way, but at least for now, our democracy is still alive. Do you want to know what to tell your kids? Tell them that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote; that the majority of Americans chose her to be your President. That sometimes the system doesn’t work, sometimes the person who shouts the loudest wins. Sometimes the bully wins, even if all they shout is nothing but hate and lies. It’s not fair, but life isn’t always fair, it’s how you respond that matters. So here is what I tell you today, for whatever little it might be worth.

I am not alone. You are not alone. WE ARE NOT ALONE.

Do not give into hate, fight it with LOVE. Do not be tempted to violence, fight it with LOVE. Do not go quietly into that night with your heads bowed, raise up your voices and shout from every rooftop that you stand with your brothers and sisters from every walk of life. As for those of you who are afraid for their lives this morning, if you leave I will understand, but if you stay I will continue to stand at your side. Join me as a lay myself down in front of this steamroller of hate, because while it may crush a few of us, if we stand together it will not, it can not succeed in taking us all. Protect your friends, protect strangers, do not turn a blind eye when they began to chip away at our humanity. Form friendships, join organizations of like minded people. Amass as one and fight together for what is right.  Dedicate your mind, your time and your heart. We are all busy just trying to survive in the big world, but now is not the time to put your head into the sand and wait four years. This is our country too and I think it is high time the progressive monster started to get a little rowdy. Will you rise with me?

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Martin Niemöller – “a prominent Protestant pastor who opposed the Nazi regime. He spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.”

No comments:

Post a Comment