I don’t know about you but I live with this permanent Sword of Damocles hanging over my head. I’m not good enough. I’m not good enough for Noah. I’m not good enough to live in a nice, safe home. I’m not good enough to be loved. I’m not good enough to deserve to live. I’m not good enough to _____________. Fill in the blank how you please and I’ve probably thought it.
I learned something interesting from Occupy. I didn’t have to be good enough. I had to be there. I had to be there with thousands of other people and we shut down the port of Oakland. Was that long-term impactful? It depends on who you ask. There were consequences to an awful lot of people. Did it change politics as usual? No. But Mayor Jean Quan sure didn’t last long. Did it fix the problems with the police? Ha. Ha. Ha. No.
My neighborhood is different than it was before Occupy. Why? Because more people talk to each other. I’ve had a bunch of neighbors tell me that they hadn’t spoken to anyone in our neighborhood ever before I started introducing them around and now they talk on a regular basis. They used to walk past each other and not even nod. They needed someone to do an introduction and explain why they should be friendly. Now they are.
I was deeply inspired by Occupy. I watched the protests with love in my heart and amazement that so many humans came together in one place to say, “How things are happening is wrong.”
We need to show up like this with the current problems. Trump and his transition team are seriously talking about putting Muslim people on a list. This isn’t ok. This isn’t a little ok. Haven’t we learned from our history? It was wrong when we put Japanese people in internment camps. It was wrong when we herded up Native Americans and put them on reservations. Wrong wrong fucking wrong.
We just can’t do this again. No. We have to fight against this. All of us. Each of us who feel too small and too insignificant and too unimportant to be able to help. We need to show up. We need to protest. We need to write letters and call our congress critters. I think I should follow up with letters and calls to my state and local government officials too though I have not done so yet. I should do that this week.
We have to show that we are never going to commit that particular set of evils again. We need to stop breaking our population down into subgroups and then punishing them for sins they have not committed. It was not the fault of Japanese Americans that we went to war with Japan. It is not the fault of Muslim Americans that we fight wars with Muslim countries.
It’s just bullshit. It’s not ok. Not unless we round up every god damn white man because those mother fuckers are dangerous.
Do you know what I am good enough to do? I am good enough to say that these people matter. They matter to my community, my country, and my world whether or not they ever have a conversation with me or touch my life. It isn’t about me. They don’t have to be my friend to be ok and accepted. They just have to exist.
I’m good enough to believe that and act on it and try to make it so people in my community have increased safety.
If I do not work towards the people in my community having this kind of safety, maybe I am not really much good for much else. If I do not work to help those who are currently suffering… maybe I can’t be good. Maybe I have to earn it. Maybe I’ll never do enough to earn it but I have to stay on this treadmill trying until I collapse and die and then I’ll be good enough to deserve a great memorial at my death services.
Krissy was a bad ass motherfucker. All of you remember that. At my funeral. That’s what you say.
Life is complicated and big and we all have so very much to do. But this action is important. This is about our future. This is about the collective soul of our country. What kind of people are we?
White people elected a frightening white supremacist to the White House. Shit. We suck.
I strongly suspect that was possible because of the large scale disenfranchisement of citizens. Half of all citizens aren’t allowed to vote. That’s fucked up. We have just continued our racist paradigm straight on from slavery.
This is one of those times. This is when you stand up. If you hear someone express hate towards a less powerful group, take a god damn risk. It’s important. The god damn president is a scary man who really wants to hurt a lot of people. It will take a full scale resistance from every part of the nation to overcome the force of the tidal wave he wants to create.
It doesn’t matter if we are tired and hurting. We have to fight this or the children of people who are not white Christians will pay and pay and pay. It’s horse shit. It’s time for this country to change its tune. We have always been an evil nation but we could be better.
If we fight. Get involved in your local government. Get involved in your community. Talk to people. Build connections. Find a way to have impact on peoples lives. Don’t know what to do? Start by reading this.
Occupy the space you are in. Take up room. Make the world you want to live in. Or President Trump will make the world he wants to see.