one of the hardest things this past year

You know how people say, if you have a time machine, the first thing you should do is go back in time and kill Hitler?(*)

One of the hardest things this past year (2016, 2017) has been the realization that so many people in my country, if given the chance, would probably go back in time to make sure that Hitler won.

They’d go back in time to make sure that the Confederacy won the civil war, that slavery didn’t end.

They’d go back to take away women’s right to vote, along with all women’s other rights as well.

That’s the kind of people I find being loud and proud in the U.S. today.  smdh

 

(* why Hitler?  because he slaughtered Europeans and white folk?  why isn’t the first impulse to go back and prevent the genocide of the First Nations?  why not prevent the transatlantic slave trade?  colonial imperialism?  apartheid?  the Spanish Inquisition?  why not assassinate King Leopold II of Belgium?  Ivar Lovaas?  Stalin?  etc.)

 

 

 

 

 

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One year ago

a close-up portrait shot of Martin Luther King, Jr with the quote Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.portrait shot of kid president july 8 2016 leaning forward with a serious look on his face and the quote Love does that, it just keeps goinga glorious brilliance of fireflies in a wooded area, taken by Japanese photographer Nomiyama Kei

First image is a close-up portrait shot of Martin Luther King, Jr with the quote, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Second image is a portrait shot of Kid President leaning forward with a serious look on his face and the quote, “Love does that, it just keeps going.”  It was posted with the following poem:

Yes, there is so much brokenness, but there is still so much beauty.
Please keep lighting the way, friends. Love is our duty.
The pain overwhelms, but it will not slow our rowing.
You see —
Love does that. It just keeps going.
/Brad

Third image is a glorious brilliance of fireflies in a wooded area, taken by Japanese photographer Nomiyama Kei.

On July 8, 2016, I looked at my feed, and these three images were right in a row. That’s what inspired me to write this post:

Anger can be a light. And we need to ask ourselves, when fellow citizens are killed by their own police force every day all across the country when they’re just out living normal lives, why aren’t we ALL angry?

Why aren’t we, as a community, as a society, angry when the police terrorize and shoot people down right in front of everyone? Why aren’t we angry when the usual state of things is that people are raped and then blamed for being raped while the rapist goes free to rape again? Why aren’t we angry when the elderly, mentally ill, and disabled are abused, neglected, ignored, abandoned, killed, with no justice? Why aren’t we angry when people are discriminated against and persecuted for their religion right here in this country? Why aren’t we angry when people are in danger of their lives for holding hands while walking down the street?

Where is our anger? Why aren’t we using it to change things?

Love can be a light. Where is our love? Why are we not using it to heal and support and protect our society?

Hope can be a light. Where is our hope? Where is our belief that a better tomorrow is possible?

Because our hate is all over the tv. And damn them the media industry knows full well that just makes it worse. Why are we not angry about that? Why don’t we stand up and demand accountability from the media as well?

Stop fanning the flames of hate and fear. Start showing the light. NOT the “feel-good” fluff about the kitten rescued from an overturned teacup; no, show people CARING about each other and working TOGETHER to make a real difference, towards real, enduring, healing CHANGE.

If we are the society we claim to be, we need to start acting like it. “Those people” are not our enemies; they are our neighbors and fellow citizens. We are one society. Those who act like “the other” is an enemy become like enemies themselves.

Hate and fear and cynicism and apathy and ignorant self-serving judgement are only going to make it worse. That’s just going to make it darker.

We need to remember to light the way.

(Today’s note:  Why is it that we still need a rallying cry even now)