Last year was touted as “the year of the woman” with film after film and book after book focusing on strong women in lead roles forced to save the world from dire foes against impossible odds. This year, it seems, we are being asked to put what we learned into practice in our everyday lives.
We are only just reaching the end of the second week of Trump’s presidency, and it’s been a complete disaster – so bad, it seems like some sort of poorly written dystopian novel. Mom and I have gone to three protests in the last two weeks and will be going to another one on Monday. It’s that bad. So completely horrible, I can’t even list all of the things that shock me here. Every day is worse than the one before, and it is already making people exhausted by continual outrage and disbelief. As for me, I’m finding it very hard to concentrate and get work done or even have a semblance or normalcy to my day-to-day life.
I find myself reposting article after article, consumed with keeping up with the latest news.
It is easy to become numb, to lose oneself in escapist television or books and ignore politics altogether. But we have seen the world that results from apathy and shock. Letting oneself succumb to helplessness and stunned dismay until we are overwhelmed – that’s what happened to educated Germans in the 1930s. They couldn’t believe that their fellow citizens were so stupid, refused to believe that it was possible for those things to happen in their country. And then they were subsumed by tyranny and fascism.
I can’t let that happen to me, however difficult it might be. Being quiet and ignoring what is happening is not going to make it stop. Thought the reality is painful and repugnant, I must face it and act accordingly. I have a duty to humanity to do so. If those of us who disagree with what is happening do not speak up, who will? Who do we think is going to step up to save us?
We have to save ourselves. It is hard work. It is painful and discouraging. It is not going to happen overnight. But it is vital not to give in without a fight. I cannot. My conscience will not let me.
Mom and I have ordered t-shirts that read “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty – Thomas Jefferson.” I am taking that quote to heart. I need to believe that there are others who feel the same way and who will resist what is happening to our nation.
I would like to wind back the clock a couple of years when my social media was full of silly memes and cat videos and kid’s birthday parties, but that isn’t the world we live in right now. And I don’t want to become complacent or tell myself I have to pretend this is the “new normal.” I don’t want to get used to the way our government is operating currently. I am not going to be quiet and accept it. I plan to do everything I can in order to make sure my voice is heard and to encourage others to speak out as well. This isn’t a time for being silent. This is about human rights. Human dignity. Human beings. I cannot in good conscience allow myself to sit quietly and pretend the house isn’t on fire. It’s time to sound the alarm and do what I can to fix what is wrong.