“. . . history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Our generation will have to repent not only for the acts and words of the children of darkness but also for the fears and apathy of the children of light.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
I drove north on Hwy 101 not surprised to see a small gathering in the parking lot of the Newport Armory. Hand drawn signs covered a jeep pleading “protect your guns.” I shook my head and scowled disapproval at the woman waving at me from that scene as I drove by. Why didn’t I stop and let them know, on no uncertain terms, that there is at least one person in their midst who opposes their “clamor”?
“The clamor of the bad people” – who are the bad people? I suppose, like me, these folks are speaking to represent those they perceive as a compliant majority of like-minded protectors of a civil right (though not the same right I would select above the others to concentrate my energies upon). Would they really defend all of the policy choices of this gangster-in-chief? While I don’t really know if most people are good, I can hope that we are. Misguided, frightened, not evolved – these are words I’ve used to describe, for my own comfort, these extreme right-wing responders. I live among them and communicate civilly as I do with any stranger. What is civility in the face of barbaric behavior like imprisoning children? Is that good manners or just fear?
I am not apathetic regarding what is going on in this country. I am not apathetic about the current federal administration policies that separate families and put children in cages. The racist, sexist, thuggish bullying tendencies of this American President that seem to have overthrown the minds of a segment of the American population and belittled American values based in humanitarian morality is breaking my heart. What is this slimy ideology that is creeping into our lives? Should we be expecting the mind-police at our doors soon?
The familiar chant of the 1960s echoes in my mind: “Love it or leave it.” Leaving it has crossed my mind lately, but, the thought is quickly followed by the self-accusation of “Coward!” I have loved Oregon, being born here, surrounded by the stature and incomparable beauty of every part of our state. There have always been our right-wing thinkers, but, as evidenced by Oregon’s status as a politically “blue” state, most of us are not of that lot. We have all lived together like family – sometimes in disagreement – usually with respect. What changed?
Our so-called leadership in Washington DC is calling to the dark nature of a small segment of our citizens. The strength of the response seems to be growing if reports are to be believed, but, I think we are all being manipulated into thinking this “trend” is inevitable. I cannot believe that we have no option but to fall into this pit of hell and despair! What set of reasonable answers do we have from which to chose that will solve this distressing equation?
I am just a lonely voice screaming from my broken heart and it seems to be all I can do from here right now. When opportunity for real and effective action presents itself I hope others will join me. This situation we are being given is a problem to solve and quickly – lives and the futures of very young children who cannot act for themselves are being held hostage along with the true soul of our nation.
Please speak up as a Child of Light.