There was a time when I didn’t consider myself a political activist. I was content to let others do the work, to let others fight the fight. During President Barack Obama’s administration that changed. The game changer for me was the prospect of marriage equality.
I’ve never been one to want to get married. (Well, not since I was a teenager and thought I might marry a woman at age 17, but I digress). Maybe that’s because I haven’t had a significant other in my life that I love so much that that down-on-one-knee scenario would be the next logical step and a resounding, tearful yes the only answer. If you know me you know I would cry. I’m a soft-hearted Sally.
Regardless of my personal relationship status, I have gay friends who wanted/want to get married. Why shouldn’t they get married? Just because some words in an ancient text says it’s not the way? Please! Evolve already. Many words in that ancient text no longer hold any meaning. And yet, same sex couples continue to be judged against the ideals of some man from a time long ago (and translated through the centuries by yet more men) that continue to keep the hearts of some believers so hardened that they can’t open them. And the heels of all of their shoes must me in ruin for all the digging in.
That was 2015 and this is 2017.
It’s an era of frustration, anger, anxiety. There is hate on both sides of our divide. And name-calling. It’s nasty. There is no compromise. Social media doesn’t help. It doesn’t really bring us closer together. And it’s certainly not social. No, social media allows us to yell and scream at each other, emboldened with the courage that only the safety of a keyboard can provide.
It’s an era when “fake news” is screamed in front of the camera anytime the person screaming doesn’t agree with or accept what’s being reported. There are bans, witch hunts, repeals, stalls, rush jobs, refusals, threats. There is finger-pointing, bullying, harassment. There is no end in sight. The “leader” of the free world is guilty of leading the charge for all of the above mentioned actions. Oh look, he is a leader.
It’s an era of marches and pussy hats and the raising of voices.
This brings me to the vote on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, to repeal the Obama era rules to keep the internet free for the American people ― net neutrality.
This was one more slap in the face to We The People — those of us who raised our voices in protest. The ears that needed to hear the voices refused to hear. And why is that? From my view, standing outside looking in, it appears that the undoing of legislation put into place during the Obama era is at the top of the To Do list for the current administration. For no other reason that to undo. The man that lost the popular vote but won the electorate hates his predecessor so much that it appears all he really wants to do is undo everything the man did, effectively taking us backwards.
As a supporter of Barack Obama I will admit that it’s hard for me to understand the point of view of people who hated/hate him as much as I hate his replacement. But that’s not what this is about.
The above mention repeal of the net neutrality rules has me concerned for our Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press. Regardless of who you support, you should be concerned about the repeal.
While initially appointed to the FCC by Barack Obama, it was Donald Trump who appointed Ajit Pai, chairman. And it was Mr. Pai who cast the deciding vote to begin dismantling the net neutrality rules that keep the internet free and open. He has now opened the door for internet service providers (ISPs) to slow down content (better finish the second season of “The Crown” on Netlix before it starts stopping to buffer) or even block content with which they don’t agree.
This is where it gets personal for me. I am a writer. I have spoken out many times against the actions of Donald Trump, the administrator of the Corporate Greed Administration. You have to open your eyes. Don’t you think that the man who made “fake news” one of the go to phrases of the year has just laid the foundation for a different kind of wall? The one that blocks the legitimate news outlets that report the truth that he doesn’t like? It’s a What If scenario but can’t you see the “what if” getting clearer all around you? Maybe you think, This is America. That won’t happen here. Do you really want to find out?
If ISPs have the ability to block competitive content what makes any of us think that news websites that keep us informed and point out the truth aren’t going to be added to the “blocked” list?
We have to fight. We can’t be silent. We have to raise our voices. We have to make ourselves be heard. If we don’t, the truth could be repealed and that silence will be deafening.