How Fear Has Become The Great Common Denominator

Whatever privilege any of us had in the past is no more. There is only the very thinnest of veneers of privilege left -- straight, white, Christian, exclusionary. Anyone else is other, is them.
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Fear is a great common denominator right now.

Translation: a lot of us are scared out of our minds.

If you are black, LGBT, cisgender, a woman of any color, Muslim, look different in any way, have a disability that is visible or invisible, are of Jewish descent, practice Hinduism, are considered an illegal alien, are Native American, are too short, too heavy, too skinny, have a big nose or a small one, have too much hair or not enough, are homeless, are sick, have a degenerative disease, have a mental illness, don't speak English, have a white father and a black mother, have a black mother and a white father, voted in the democratic primary, are a registered democrat, are a republican, go to college, don't go to college, never went to college, wished you had gone to college, want to be a small business owner, are a small business owner, work for the federal government, work for the state government, are a recovering alcoholic or addict, are an active alcoholic or addict, clean cars for a living, cut lawns for a living, help people create families for a living, give support when people are dying for a living, drive an uber for a living, work in holistic health care, stand up for what you believe in via protests, write what you believe and publish it on line or in print, design and put up solar panels, press clothing, stay at home and raise your children, work in a public school, work in a private school, work in a hospital, are a nurse, are a doctor, work in the mental health field, clean houses, work in the restaurant industry, deliver oil, work a minimum wage job, work at a job that pays you millions, if you observe your religion openly or you do not, if you are a homeowner, you rent a home or apartment, are retired, or are hoping to retire, you have put money into social security, you have avoided paying taxes, you have paid taxes all your life, you drive a car, you take the subway or bus, you believe in global warming, you think global warming is a hoax, you are warm all year round, you live in a place that gets snow and ice, you speak with an accent, you think you speak without an accent, you have surpassed your parents economic situation, you have not reached your parents economic situation, you feel satisfied in your life, you feel dissatisfied in your life, you can afford to pay your bills, you barely get by every month, you are drowning in debt, you were born in this country, you were born elsewhere, your family came over on the Mayflower, your family still lives elsewhere, you drink coffee, you drink tea, you drink water, you drink orange juice, you get manicures or you don't, you buy organic food, love your children, have no children, abuse your children, were abused as a child, were raped, were never molested, were brought up in a loving home, have siblings, have no siblings, consider yourself a loving person, think of yourself as a hard ass, are hopeful, feel relieved, feel hatred, feel no hatred, work alone, work on a team, cheer for the underdog, love organized sports or hate them, are a cat person, are a dog person, are an elephant person, feel yourself part of the problem, feel yourself motivated to be part of a healthy solution.

If you fall into any one of those categories, any single one of them, including drinking or not drinking water or orange juice, you are at risk.

Because when one of us is at risk, all of us are at risk.

The fear is palpable now. It is real, not illusory. There's no waiting and seeing -- our fears are coming true. It is based on hearing our incoming government and the new appointees being chosen. It's about hearing them making someone else the "other" over and over again. Lucky us! It's not about us. It's about "them". We're safe.

Uh uh.

Do you see yourself on that list? Don't fit anywhere? Really? Then add something I forgot (my apologies), but put yourself on that list.

Whatever privilege any of us had in the past is no more. There is only the very thinnest of veneers of privilege left -- straight, white, Christian, exclusionary. Anyone else is other, is them.

That's Us. All those on the list.

That veneer is the illusion, not the fear that so many of us are feeling. We are now feeling what our most discriminated against people have always felt. No apology will suffice in not having understood that more fully before.

Our amends to those we have not supported well enough in the past is to be here now, in the hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, millions. We are now identifying as "them," as "other".

Because we are all others now.

And so it is when one of us is at risk, all of us are at risk.

Take action. Support all of us. Become "us," so there is no longer a need to identify or have a them.

Let all of us be us.

A true community. A true nation.

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