Protesting Is Completely Out Of My Comfort Zone

Women’s March, January 22, 2017 in Austin, Texas.
Women’s March, January 22, 2017 in Austin, Texas.

But I’m doing it.

Why? Because I realize I cannot stay silent. Silence implies consent, a concept going all the way back to Plato. The maxim of silence in the law is “Silence gives consent,” or so saith Sir Thomas More. Silence cost Sir Thomas More his head, but silence must not cost us the future, and the reputation, of the United States. I do not consent to the wave of bigotry and hatred rolling over our nation, therefore I must speak out.

I don’t recognize my country these days. Trump’s campaign of blame and anger has turned loose, and made acceptable, unbelievable ugliness toward just about anyone who isn’t a white Christian. Banning Muslim majority countries from coming into the United States because we fear terrorism? Not one immigrant or refugee from these countries has ever attacked the United States, but that may change now that we have targeted them because of their religion. The desecration of Jewish cemeteries? Bomb threats to Jewish synagogues? Swastikas on college campuses? Fires set in Mosques? Calling Mexicans rapists and deporting mothers away from their children? Spending billions of dollars building a wall to keep out Mexicans? Tearing hijabs off the heads of women in the streets? Police shooting unarmed men of color? Repealing the Affordable Care Act so benefits of healthcare will go to the healthy and the rich? Risking the health of women? No. No. No. I cannot, and will not, remain silent.

Protest of the Muslim Ban at DFW, a major international hub.
Protest of the Muslim Ban at DFW, a major international hub.

I cannot remain silent while a known white nationalist is installed in the White House and on our National Security Council. I will not remain silent as the President of the United States makes wild accusations and spreads known falsehoods. I want an investigation into the depth of infiltration in our election process by the Russians, and I want to know how deeply the Trump Campaign was involved in it. Trump and Bannon are tearing our government apart, “deconstructing” it, and throwing out our protections in the process. Why? So corporations and billionaires can continue to rape our country. They want to throw out regulations protecting our air, our water, our bodies, and our money. Tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy? Really? Isn’t that from an old playbook? In the last 30 years or so, Republicans come into office, cut taxes, do away with regulations, build up the military or go to war, and the economy topples. The Democrats come in and fix the economy, and then another Republican comes into office to tear it down again. President Obama and his administration rescued our economy from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and Trump thinks he can take credit for it after less than two months in office? No. No. No.

Fossil fuels cause our planet and our oceans to warm. Period. Has anyone in this administration looked at the scientific evidence? No, because they are too busy looking at their spreadsheets and raking in money. Scott Pruitt (climate change denier appointed to head the EPA), Rick Perry (the guy who wanted to eliminate the Department of Energy, now the head of it), and Rex Tillerson (former CEO of Exxon Mobil, now Secretary of State) are prime examples of how the fossil fuel industries have gained access to the government and are destroying the integrity of our institutions. The Trump Regime has appointed billionaires by the dozen without the knowledge or expertise to run important governmental departments. A prime example is the Department of Energy. During the Obama administration Ernest Moniz was the head of the Department of Energy. His qualifications for the job were unquestionable. A nuclear physicist, he also served as Associate Director for Science in the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President of the United States. He is a founding member of the Cyprus Institute and served at MIT as the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems, as the Director of the Energy Initiative, and as the Director of the Laboratory for Energy and the Environment (Wikipedia). Let’s compare his qualifications in running the department responsible for our nuclear arsenal to Rick Perry’s qualifications. Perry is the former Governor of Texas, graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in animal science, and was a member of the Aggie Corps of Cadets. He has experience in government, yes, and, of course, experience on Dancing with the Stars. He recently resigned from the board of Dallas based Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the building of the Dakota Pipeline. Perry wanted to eliminate the Department of Energy when he ran for President in 2012. He may have resigned from the board of ETP, but that does not mean he divested himself of stock in the company. The most important thing he knows about Energy is how to make a profit from it. Perry has obvious conflicts of interest in serving as the Head of the Department of Energy. He is only one small example of the lack of knowledge rampant in the Trump Regime. I could go on and on, and remember, these people were actually approved by the Republican majority Senate. What happened to the days when Republicans and Democrats worked together? Those days are long gone.

Protest of the Dakota Pipeline in Dallas, Texas.
Protest of the Dakota Pipeline in Dallas, Texas.
At the DAPL protest in Dallas.
At the DAPL protest in Dallas.

The result of the 2016 election was a shock, not only in the United States, but to the world. There is only one positive that came out of the 2016 election: the nation is awake now. Protesting will help us stay awake, so I am joining protests. So far I have attended a Dakota Pipeline protest in Dallas, a Muslim Ban protest at Dallas Ft Worth International Airport, and yesterday, a protest against the Republican agenda in Dallas, Texas. I was a child during the 1960s, and saw demonstrations on the nightly news, so protesting is a new activity for me. It does not feel comfortable, in fact, it is way out of my comfort zone. I am forcing myself to attend meetings, luncheons, protests, and to introduce myself to others who are like minded and want to work for change. Even though it is still uncomfortable, I want to protest the abuses that are swamping the country I love. Discrimination and bias against the “other” have come out of the dark corners of American society because of the example set by the current resident of the Oval Office. So, I’m on the street, feeling exposed and yes, nervous, and totally out of my element. I am doing it because I care about what is right, and how people are treated, and I intend to continue doing it. I will work to elect more open minded people to our government in 2018, and to rid our country of the cancer metastasizing within it. I’m awake, and I know I have to participate in order to bring back the nation I believe in. I hope others will join in, and refuse to accept the tidal wave of hatred emanating from the people’s house.

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