Preparing for 2020 Election
Born in Washington, DC, and raised in the Maryland suburbs, we used to say that our local news was national & international news. 58 years later, it’s hard for me to shake my fascination and addiction to national & international politics. I’m thankful for the ways the DC metropolitan area formed me as a world citizen.
Nevertheless, as we approach November 3, 2020, it’s clear to me that my power and greatest impact, along with voting, is how I act and respond in these coming days of increasing stress, uncertainty and anxious waiting.
My daily practice throughout the rest of October, November and December will be to notice when I’m “othering” those with whom I disagree, sometimes vehemently, and figure out how to speak & act without using venom and rage.
I truly believe there is always a third, fourth, fifth way forward in these polarized, fractured times. For example, as we anticipate the Senate confirmation of Judge Barrett, I sense and trust there are multiple ways forward, including state legislatures passing good, strong laws that protect a woman’s privacy regarding reproductive rights, power over her own body and her right to choose what is best for her body, her psyche and her family.
Such efforts will require time, sacrifice and much struggle. When I feel despondent, I remember Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Frederick Douglass, none of whom were alive when the 19th amendment to the Constitution was ratified or the Voting Rights Act was passed. Yet they never relented in their struggle for justice.
Dear White siblings, be not fooled.
When the President of the U.S. and his entourage, (it’s important to learn their names and positions of power) impulsively decided to walk across the street from the White House to a House of God, their instincts reveal White Supremacy & Christian Nationalism. The videos and photos portray it pure and simple.
If any of the 5-7 White people who walked the hundred plus yards had stopped to acknowledge the humanity, the dignity, the presence of the protestors, the clergy, the media, the police, their actions would have illustrated common decency.
Instead, they were blindly focused on their goal, which was to cross the street, stand in front of a church none of them attend, hold up a Bible as if it were the Flag, (both idolatrous) and blaspheme religious institutions while disgracing the executive branch of the U.S. government.
White siblings, it’s time to stand down. To acknowledge and disrupt our practices of power hoarding & paternalism. It’s been killing Brown & Black bodies since 1619 and it’s killing us. Credit due Tema Okun and her work on white supremacy culture, changework.
Today is the last day of May 2020
The U.S. convulses from 400 years of White people not naming, facing, repairing two truths: White people stole this land from the Native peoples and White people built economic, political & legal systems upon the necks, backs and bodies of Black peoples, through slavery, segregation, redlining, mass incarceration and militarized police.
Genocides of Native & Black peoples. These are the dual pandemics which have infected our nation for over 4 centuries. COVID 19 lays bare what Black and Brown peoples have always known. White Supremacy is the underlying sickness which must be named. It starts with me.