By nature, I am not a confrontational person. I prefer to keep the peace rather than stir the pot, even when it desperately needs to be stirred. I don’t like tension or potentially hurting someone’s feelings. I rarely make controversial posts on Facebook and I try to stay away from conversations about politics or religion at social gatherings at work. Hell, I don’t even like to argue the price of something at the grocery store.
But you will occasionally reach a point where you can’t hold it in any longer. You have to say your piece and stand up for yourself. For others. You have to start a revolution.
This election left myself and millions of others broken. Voiceless, defeated, afraid. And even now, months later, I am still in disbelief. This cannot be reality. I keep thinking that I’ll wake up and this will have all been a terrible dream. But that hasn’t happened. Instead, each day, my faith in democracy is chipped away just a little bit more.
For once, I refuse to be quiet. I refuse to “suck it up” or “get over it” or accept what is. I refuse to let those on the other side intimidate me. I refuse to let them silence me.
I live in Indiana, a notoriously red state. However, I live in Indianapolis, a big city that is far more progressive than what most other Hoosiers would prefer. In the past, it has been hard to speak out against Republican candidates. And I let that difficulty get the better of me more often than not. Now? It’s far more acceptable to express your political dissent. Because so many others are feeling it too. And even if they weren’t, even if it were still hard, I wouldn’t let that stop me.
I simply cannot wrap my brain around how our country allowed this to happen. And honestly, I don’t WANT to understand it. Because it’s downright appalling, no matter the reason.
I mean, I can sort of see how rich, white, hetero men could bring themselves to fill in that bubble. It’s still gross, but I can see it. These decisions affect them about as much as the threat of a volcano affects me (i.e. as indirectly as possible). But if things move forward as promised, practically everyone else is going to be treated as a second class citizen. Women. Racial and ethnic minorities. The LGBTQ community. The poor. Immigrants.
I don’t know about you, but I kinda like my rights. I like being able to choose what goes on with my own body. I want my daughters to feel like equals. To be paid fairly and have access to decent healthcare. I want my son to see that equality and respect are the norm in our world and not just in our home. I want all of my children to go to school everyday in a nurturing environment that will effectively prepare them for life in the real world, not for potential grizzly bear attacks. I don’t want them to be taught to a test. To standards that will always be out of reach for most students. I don’t want them reduced to a fucking number. A statistic.
And even if I were too afraid to stand up for myself, I have to stand up for them. Because I can’t let them grow up in this shitshow and not see it for what it is. They can’t think that this is just how the government works. Because this is not how it’s supposed to work.
Being the voice of dissent is often the hardest thing to be. Scary. Exhausting. Seemingly impossible. But the people in this world who have made the biggest impact are the ones who spoke up against the masses. Against the voices in power. They’re the ones who started a revolution. And now it’s our turn.
I am just a 33 year old woman in Indiana, with no real ties to the business that is politics. One small person with one small voice. But to quote someone with a much bigger voice then my own… Though she be but little, she is fierce. And I am fierce. And I am teaching my children to be fierce.
We will stand up. We will rise. We will persist.
You say you want a revolution
Well, you know, we all want to change the world
The Beatles aren’t my favorite band for nothing. John, Paul, George, and Ringo sure had a thing or two to teach us. Maybe we just didn’t listen hard enough the first time.