I think a lot about what my mother would think – what she would think about all the changes that have occurred since she passed away 7 years ago.
My mother was very proud to be an American – and she was aware of the imperfections of her country.
In her lifetime, schools were desegregated, women were given the right to choose what to do with an unwanted pregnancy, and the first black president was elected. I remember talking to her on the phone during Obama’s inauguration, her crying. She was so proud of Obama and what his election meant for where the US was going.
Since her passing, Trump was elected, and the polarization between the left and right became even more extreme – with an uprising of the alt-right, BLM emerged, Me Too movement, a million Americans died because of how poorly the US handled the pandemic and…the supreme court just overturned Roe v. Wade – taking away a woman’s right to choose. It’s been a busy few years.
My mother would be crying right now – as I have been. She would be sitting in front of her television watching three news channels simultaneously, curlers on – shaking with disbelief.
It feels like we’ve gone back in time – it feels like the US is regressing, not progressing.
That being said, I’m not surprised.
I moved back to the US from Canada when I was 12. I saw and experienced racism, sexism and classism. It never left the US. Not to say I did/do not see this in Canada – it’s just a bit more nuanced here – just a bit.
Since her passing, it feels like everything just barely below the surface has emerged and has boiled up and is pouring over into the forefront of everything.
The question I have is:
What are we going to do about it?
On a personal level, our feelings.
On a community level – supporting each other.
On a level political – these rulings.
I don’t have the answers to these questions – I’m just sitting with them. As I’m sure, many of us are.
What I do know is that to transcend, you need to deal with the shadow. You need to look at what is lurking on the periphery.
The US has had much lurking at the periphery since its inception. In this time, the ugly parts have stepped into the light and are screaming for us to look at them.
What they seem to be shouting is:
Who has the right to choose anything – the majority or the minority?
Who has the right to choose what I do with my body – me or someone who doesn’t know me?
The lyrics from a Rage Against the Machine song keep playing over in my mind – “The land of the free, whoever told you that was your enemy.”
I’m just sitting here, feeling, thinking, reflecting.
I wish I could hear my mother’s insights on all that has transpired. She was very good at articulating her thoughts and predictions.
So I ask you, where do you think we go from here?