There is a middle road between complacency and despair


Hey, you.

I want to tell you something.

It might not be okay. We, I mean, the United States, the planet, humanity — we might not be okay.

The not-okayness of it all looms out there, hangs in the air like the ice storm that’s been forecast all day and now you are driving home praying to reach safety before it hits.

This is, in fact, how fascism begins.

We know this. History tells us this. We have the documentation. We have the evidence, the records, the fascists speaking in their own words. We know the lies they told and the comforts they offered to tranquilize nations into accepting fascism. We’ve seen this before.

We need to be frightened now.

We cannot normalize this. We cannot allow anti-Semitic white supremacist wife-beaters like Steve Bannon to just be accepted into the White House. We cannot stay quiet while Trump vows to approve the Keystone Pipeline which he directly profits from. We cannot allow Paul Ryan to blithely uninsure and thus injure or cause to be killed millions of people on Medicare or covered by the ACA.

This is not normal. We cannot accept it as normal. We must challenge. We must fight.

But we also cannot despair.

We also know, from history, how many times we have turned away from outright barbarism. We know who has kept the lights on. We have the records, the words of those who stood and fought and refused to back down in the face of hatred and bigotry. We celebrate those people. We count them as heroes.

Most of them never call themselves heroes. You know why? Because they know the truth.

All those heroes, they were just normal folks like you and me before the darkness descended. But when the dark came down, they held onto light.

This is, indeed, what the rise of fascism has looked like in the past. You are right to be afraid. But what is called for is not despair, it’s *rage*. It’s determination. It’s organizing, community-building. It’s standing up for one another. What is called for is a stand against the worst impulses of our human nature.

In the Avengers movie, Loki says “in the end, you will always kneel.”

And the nameless European man rises to his feet and says, “Not to men like you.”

“There are no men like me,” Loki replies.

“There are always men like you,” the man replies.

Here’s the clip on YouTube.

In the “My Shot” number from Hamilton we have

Rise up
When you’re living on your knees you
Rise up
Tell your brother that he’s gotta
Rise up
Tell your sister that she’s gotta
Rise up

Yeah. That. Don’t despair. There are always men like Pence, Ryan, Bannon, Trump.

But there are always people like you and me.



One Response

  1. Wow!! Who would have “thunk” it?

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