Raise Your Voice

(A family member was hospitalized tonight, so this post is later than I’d planned.)

January 20th, 2017, is unfurling. In mere hours, our 45th president will be sworn in.

I love my country, and so (not “but,” for it is because I love America that) I am afraid. I am disappointed, I am angry, and I am afraid. This brand-new administration is already shaping up to be a textbook kakistocracy. (That’s “rule by the worst,” if you didn’t know.) Religious minorities, women, the poor, people of color, LGBT+ folks, the list goes on and on — there are many people who stand to lose a lot if we don’t protect them now, right down to an individual level.

I’m not interested in debating politics here though (and comments are moderated, so don’t waste your breath with inflammatory “libtard” rants — no one will see them).

What I am interested in is staving off the despair that has reached a fever pitch tonight. Screw that. I want to lance despair through its hollow heart and roundhouse kick its ass out the window. We need to hold on to hope and we need to believe in our own agency, our own incredible power.

Here’s the thing:

They cannot silence all of our raised voices. We are the people, and we will not stand for injustice and backsliding on all of the progress we’ve made toward a society where everyone is truly free to be whoever they are and nobody is treated like a second-class citizen, a society where your dreams, your body, and your choices are respected. We have a long way to go — it feels like such a long road sometimes! — but we will NOT go backward. We are one nation, indivisible, despite the PEOTUS’s attempts to capitalize on our differences.

In our hearts, in our minds, and in the streets, we are marching forward.

We are not going to succeed with whispers. Now is the time, all of you armchair warriors. Your ideas are needed. Your presence is needed. Your open eyes and your strong hands and your steady heart…we are going to need all that you are, now more than ever. You are all that we need to triumph over those who would weaken us by tearing us away from our brothers and sisters who are of different genders, races, orientations, political persuasions, income brackets, religions.

Hold fast to one another. Don’t listen to the insinuations that certain Others are responsible for your problems. That Kool-Aid is poisoned; don’t drink it! We need you hale and ready.

And we need your VOICE. You. You can make a difference; you are the key to building the future we all want, deep down — a future of community and friendship, not division and strife.

Raise your amazing voice. Shake the rafters with the thunder you have held inside. Use your power to advocate for those in this new administration’s crosshairs. Drown out the hate with your love and your reaching arms. Sing, write, paint, build, shout, live your truth out loud, and make space for others to do the same.

We are the People, and we are unstoppable. America was already great, because America is us. Not even that stale Cheeto and his cronies can change that.

Take heart, my loves, and then take action.

[Highly suggested reading, by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés here.]

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