Yesterday, like so many days in this administration, was full of frustration and heartbreak. The Barr Report tells a slanted story and we deserve to know more. I find it impossible to believe there was no collusion when we heard him ask the Russians to hack her and for Wikileaks to release the emails.
We heard it. He said it publicly. He continues to cozy to Putin. This feels like the ultimate Gaslight. And it probably is.
Attorney General Barr (I see Nathan Lane playing him on SNL) is Trump’s guy. His defender. In 2018 Barr wrote a memo attacking Mueller’s investigation.
Bias and corruption are rampant in politics. The GOP is devoted to protecting a con man for more Judges, less oversight, more cash in pocket. This is the frustration. It’s so blatant. The divide is between those who see what’s happening, those who refuse to see what’s happening and those who love what’s happening.
The heartbreak is the damage caused and not knowing what to do when faced with so much disregard, suffering and pain.
Last Friday I ran to catch a train headed downtown as the doors should have been closing. Feeling lucky that I made it, I pushed my way to the center of a completely silent car. Silence isn’t entirely unusual as commute time is spent reading, devicing and with our headphones on. Yet, something was off. The doors never closed. The conductor walked the platform towards a young black man who, surrounded by women, was pouring a bottle water on his face. There was talk of an ambulance. Something bad had happened.
I asked the people around me what happened. They shrugged. We stood shoulder to shoulder, doors open, as this young man, his hands visibly shaking and coat drenched, tilted his head back to pour more water on his face.
Then the doors closed and we were off to the next station. Two women were talking and I asked them what happened. They told me a white guy was harassing a woman of color and this young man put his body between her and the white guy. When the train came to the station, the white guy maced the young man and took off.
Everybody on the train witnessed hate. And heroics. We either said nothing or whispered about it. As new people boarded at each station who had no idea what we had witnessed, things grew stranger, like what happened never happened.
I felt sick in the silence. I wondered why we were too afraid to speak out, too afraid to connect and too afraid to see. I was silent too. Why didn’t I say something?
On my way home that same day, I walked past my neighbor’s house where he had placed a memorial for his brother who was murdered by the Police on March 22, 2013. This murdered happened right in front of his house, on our street, in our tight community. I’d forgotten the anniversary. I think all the neighbors did or perhaps we just want to forget. The trauma still lies within us, the violence of that day and witnessing what it means to be murdered because of the color of your skin.
The details of that day are endlessly gruesome, similar to so many stories we hear about black people being murdered by cops. As my neighbor grieved his brother, I was acutely aware that he was doing it alone, silently. His pain ignored so that we can forget and move on, move away from the trauma that we don’t want to acknowledge or see.
Or so is my summation.
I wonder, as we witness the continual crimes and denials of this administration, are we turning away so our lives still feel normal?
We’ve witnessed grotesque inhumanity, a disregard for the constitution, for the commonalities we share, for truth and good will. I wonder how I can be part of the solution when all I want to do it look away.
When I started writing Easy Activism immediately preceding the election, it was with fervor and a belief that we can do better, we could make this better. I still believe we can, actually I know we will, yet I stopped writing regularly around six months ago as I didn’t want to see it anymore. I didn’t know how to stay well when immersed is such dis-ease and disregard.
But turning is not authentic for me. The pain is real and not seeing is not an option. We are awake, there is no way to go back to sleep.
I know I must love my way through. Grief and love are bosom buddies. Since we value love, kindness, empathy, compassion, truth, humanity, so must we stand, hearts wide open, in the face of injustice to speak truth to power. I must lend my voice so others can be heard.
TODAY’S EASY ACTIVISM
1. Demand to see the Mueller report, not the Barr summary. Make the calls to your representatives – 1.844.332.1330.
2. We must find a way to end the Electoral College. Gore won the popular vote. Hillary won the popular vote. 1 vote, 1 person. Here’s a light read summing up what’s in the works. Sign the petition, which will go to your legislatures. PLEASE SHARE IT TOO.
3. Make a commitment to support whoever becomes the Democratic candidate, regardless of their humanness, flaws and perhaps things you disagree with. This is a crowded field and we must lead with compassion. No attacking. No ending friendships. No name-calling. Let’s commit to supporting each other and leading all discussions with open hearts and minds.
In love and gratitude.