On This Memorable Day… My Fervent Wish

Today, when we honor Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who lived through so much bigotry and climbed a mountain of hate trying to win simple rights for his people, I feel the need to speak up. I fear by remaining silent I am complicit in normalizing the abhorrent behavior I see in my country, perpetrated far too often by our so-called leader. Quite honestly, I am horrified and extremely saddened to see what is happening  here, to see how divided we have become, to see how truth is being shunned, a simple value I believe we were all taught very early in life. I believe those who know me well see me as a calm person, but right about now I feel anything but. I am outraged and fear that it is either speak up or step outside my front door and scream at the top of my lungs.

I do not see this post as a political plug, although many may see it as such. Having said that, I do not want to have a discourse on who you may have voted for and why. I think we are long past trying to convince  others of our views. We have all earned the right to vote as we wish and I respect that and hope that more of us exercise this right.

Because the blogosphere brings millions of talented people from around the globe together, I am writing this post more for those outside this country who may follow my musings (and I am so grateful for your presence). I feel it is essential to remind you that the majority of us, in the country of my birth, do not embrace the views that are presently being espoused by our current administration, those of divisiveness, bigotry, closed borders, “alternate facts”. We are a country founded on immigrants; we embrace diversity; we are open-minded and compassionate; we honor the truth. Our innate instincts are to be kind, to welcome others, to embrace all humanity. Please, please do not see us through the eyes of an administration many of us pray will be short-lived. We welcome you with open arms and hope you will do so with those of us who love to travel abroad.

So today we honor Martin Luther King, Jr., an activist and civil rights icon who preached nonviolence, even after his home was bombed and he was subjected to physical abuse, and until the time his all-too-short life was snuffed out by an assassin’s bullet. During his life he received the Nobel Peace Prize, and when notified of this award, announced he would turn the prize money over to the civil rights movement, to further their cause. I cannot think of a better time to honor this man and all that he stood for. I want to hold onto that same hope for a better future for our country that he had.

We will be marching again on March 20th, the anniversary of the initial Women’s March. We will be marching for women’s rights, immigrant’s rights, reproductive rights, civil rights, economic justice and environmental rights. If you believe in these issues and have a scheduled march in your area, please consider joining in.

My sincere hope is that we take a few minutes today to reflect upon how vitally important it is for each of our voices to be heard. Silence is not the answer.

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47 thoughts on “On This Memorable Day… My Fervent Wish

  • Silence is definitely not the answer. I will be with you next Saturday marching against the hate that is spewing from our “leader”…along with millions of other like minded Americans.

    May our voices be heard loud and clear.

  • Thank you for speaking up, LuAnn. As you said, everyone is entitled to their own political opinion, but there is no room for bigotry and and the mean-spiritedness that this current administration embodies. Truth is truth. “Alternate facts” are bullshit and dangerous. I’m ashamed of our leaders. And they should be ashamed of themselves for selling out just so they can remain in power. Have you read “Stones In The River” by Ursula Hegi? It’s a powerful novel, with an underlying theme of how the Nazis insidiously gained power because people didn’t speak up. I read it years ago, but it haunts me. We must all speak up, every day, through our actions as well as our words. May truth prevail.

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment Laurel. Alternate facts are bullshit, as you say, and I cannot fathom how ANYONE can think otherwise. I have not read the book “Stones in the River” but now I will. I read a book review in the NYT about a year ago, about the latest book written about Hitler. Everything that this biographer wrote had a scarily eerie thread to our so-called leader. I wanted at that time to post about it but Terry thought it might be too soon. Sadly it would not have been. May truth prevail.

      • I think you’ll appreciate the book, LuAnn. It really speaks to how insidious evil is, and how we can find ourselves in the midst of unimaginable circumstances if we pretend things are okay when they’re clearly not. It’s also a very good novel with engaging characters — and it’s the most unexpected people who do the right thing.

      • Thanks again for this tip Laurel. And I believe, just like during the civil rights movement, it will be the most common among us, our peers, who will do the right thing, not those in higher office.

  • Kudos, LuAnn for your beautifully written post. As a US citizen living abroad, I find myself wanting to apologize for the toxic political ideology, ignorance and hateful behavior displayed by the current administration as well as the implicit approval by the GOP through their silence as protections for the dreamers or sanctuaries for those fleeing natural disasters, war and persecution are cast aside, Countries that we have considered allies are crudely disparaged, religious intolerance and misogyny condoned, and environmental protections torn down and still the GOP remains silent. I know I’m preaching to the choir, so to speak, but the daily outrages are open, festering wounds no matter where you live and demand discussion, protest and dissent Thank you, thank you, thank you for raising your voice and for marching! Anita

    • It is the least I can do Anita. I can understand having different viewpoints, which we should be able to calmly debate. What I cannot fathom is how we can turn a blind eye to the lack of basic human values, those which we learned (or should have) as a child. I do believe in karma and I have to try to hold onto hope, which is darn difficult in these times. Thanks as always for your succinct comment Anita.

  • LuAnn, You definitely echo my thoughts today, right down to my very core. I know you have intense feelings about the necessity to support resistance against today’s negative social atmosphere. It is so very important for those of us who feel this way, to continue our efforts against accepting it. I believe and know that our path towards an America that once again makes us proud is the way to deal with this anomaly in our nation’s history.

  • Thanks for your comments and the picture of a statue I haven’t seen in person. Your thought-provoking ideas are just what King would have celebrated because with dialogue, with open expression, and with true listening, we may be able to come together in common causes. Best wishes for making a difference.

  • Once again your words carry such a powerful message full of truth. Very well written:) Yes, the book Laurel mentioned is a must read. Looking forward to seeing you and Terry real soon!!!

  • It is an all too easily forgotten fact that we live in countries where are allowed to speak out and as such it is almost disrespectful to those in countries that can’t, not to exercise that right. Debate is what makes our society better and it is a shame that more of us don’t exercise that right of ours to vote or speak up.

  • We are the ones who have the power to make things right. We also have the responsibility to step up, speak out and take positive action. Thank you!

  • Well said, LuAnn. Thanks for putting into calm and intelligent words what so many of us are thinking. I’ve felt crippled with rage and outrage since November 2016.

      • We are hanging on too, LuAnn and Terry. When are you going on your trip to South America?

        Rog and Gayl

        On Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 7:23 PM, Paint Your Landscape wrote:

        > LuAnn commented: “Thanks Lisa. I have often felt the same but I’m trying > to hold onto hope. It is damn tough some days.” >

      • We are leaving for South America on Feb. 28th so unfortunately we will not get the chance to come by San Elijo while you are there. It probably won’t be a bad idea for us to get away from the madness however.

  • Bravo LuAnne. Having recently visited the Killing Fields in Cambodia where three million innocent people were killed I think speaking out against hate is vital. Sparks of hatred can give me strength in numbers. Let us hope that kindness and understanding rain down on all.

  • Well stated and very much on point, Lu Ann. That said, just because I tend to be argumentative, allow me a couple of thoughts that may be uncomfortable to your readers. First for my credentials, I am hard core Democrat and have always been, so no issue on any of the substance and intentions. But as I read the comments, by reaction is “oh boy, we are in trouble”. The comments, which I expect reflect the mindset of most Democrats are along the line of “facts are facts” or “truth will prevail”. Here is the problem. A HUGE portion of the US electorate lives in a post fact reality. I know this is hard for Democrat fact-based educated voters to wrap their heads around, but nonetheless, it’s a truism that we have to be able to get through. FACTS do not matter. They are less valuable to almost 50% of the electorate that politicians hitting the “right” emotional buttons; So when 45 clearly lies, clearly distorts “facts”, IT DOES NOT MATTER to his core. That may only be 33 to 36% of the electorate but that is an electorate that votes disproportionately. How many Democrats do you know who were so convinced of Hillary’s obvious forthcoming win, that they did not bother to go wait for hours in polls to win?

    The non stop attacks on the press, the daily humdrum about “fake news” is also about that. It is about creating an alternative reality where anything that in the past might have been considered a distinction between facts and opinions, no longer exists. The “fact” that a significant portion of US voters still think that President Obama was not born in the U.S. should be providing insight that just anchoring the future of a saner US democracy (and by this I mean a Democratic leadership) on presenting facts, is a losing proposition. I’ll go further – let’s even imagine that Mueller eventually comes up with a fact-based, gzillion page report, fully annotated, that categorically proves that 45 and members of his family knowingly obstructed justice, knowingly engaged with a foreign power, Russia, to disrupt and distort the US democratic process, that 45 and his family have clear financial entanglement with the Russian mob etc… will any of this stick? I don’t think it will. Because 45 will have succeeded in torpedoing the very institutions – the Justice Dept, the FBI, the courts and the media — i.e. fact-based entities, that will make the case. What then? Short of a military coup, which I don’t believe the US military is prepared to execute unless and until 45 requires them to launch a military strike that they consider unjustified and self defeating, the US military will just stand by and nothing will happen…

    SO… All this to suggest that, fact based or passion based, the only path to sanity lies in an overwhelming Democratic presence at the polls in 2018, so large that it obliterates any Russian-manipulated disruption at the polls. The marches are all good, but they have only fleeting value as the electorate’s opportunity to be counted is still 9 months away. A whole lot of crazy crazy can happen between now and then, and just like 45 claimed that the Women’s March recently was a march in support of his good performance (obviously not fact-based), he will continue to lie and distort to muddy the waters for the blindingly following 36%. And since the not as crazy Republican party has clearly decided to close their eyes and block their nose to continue supporting 45 because, as Senate Majority Leader McConnell admitted recently “he’ll sign anything we put in front of him”, thinking that sanity will prevail with the Republican political incumbents is wishfull thinking. There has been indeed a surge of “He’s crazy” finger pointing, but in ALL cases, these are from Republicans who are throwing in the towel and won’t run again. Therefore, ONLY a massive turn out by the “resistance” (which probably will be impacted by mechanical challenges such as insufficient ballots, or poorly functioning machines, or no-paper trail voting machines that can yield the results that are “desired”), has a chance to turn the tide, if Democrats retake both the house and the Senate. While feel good articles about a Democratic wave abound, I don’t buy it at all. These articles flooded the media also just prior to the 2018 election. And they are counter productive because Democratic voters then find less motivation to get off their sofa and go to the booth.

    So marches are good. Facts are satisfying. Truth is attractive. But none of these suffice. An organized, “vote with your feet and go to the ballot box” ground game is the only germane path to sanity. And for this, we remain vulnerable to such variables as a) good weather, b) “mood” in the 48 hours before the election, c) unproven bullshit stories that are floated just before the election to confuse the masses, d) any program on TV that seems oh so much more appealing than waiting in line at the polls…

    Sorry if I cast a dubious note on the logic that “facts and truth will prevail”. They did not last time around and they won’t likely prevail this coming November either. Register to vote now! Do the work NOW to register your friends, family and neighbors! Donate to your Senatorial candidate and Representative NOW!

    • I truly do appreciate your comments and wholeheartedly agree with everything you have said. I have been working here in So. Cal to get the word out about getting to the polls, but I am very worried that will not happen, for the reasons you have pointed out in your comment.

      By now I shouldn’t be shocked at the GOP sticking their heads in the sand, but I still find myself outraged. And I am deeply worried that the Democratic Party doesn’t yet have a solid message to sell to the people, other than we are against everything that tRump stands for. If we don’t take back the House in November, I fear how much worse it will get.

      So, although I try to remain hopeful, because without hope what do we have, I have this deep-seated fear that never seems to leave me. Although not one to stick my head in the sand, I am looking forward to our upcoming Patagonian trip, not just for the adventure, but for a chance to shut down the rhetoric here for awhile.

      I am off tonight to attend an event to try to take out a GOP Senator, another of 45’s puppets. Wish us luck!

      Again, thanks so much for your comment!

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