This is an open letter to my dear America. I hope someone is reading and sharing and spreading humanity and kindness faster than the cancer of racism that is devouring the insides of our country. It is destroying us.
I just dropped the girls off at their first day of school and as I pulled away, I started crying. I was completely overwhelmed by a horrible feeling I know all too well. There was a lump in my throat and a knot in my stomach and it wasn’t the typical first day of school mommy blues that we all get but it was definitely not new.
It’s the same feeling that I’ve felt every day that I’ve sent my husband off to work since 9/11. It’s the same terrible, sick feeling that I’ve felt every morning at drop off since Sandy Hook. It’s the same fear I have every single time I’ve gotten on a plane knowing there’s a risk. Not because of heights or claustrophobia but because I know that we live in a world where extremists armed with hatred who think they are doing what’s best for them, are fearless and willing to die for their hate like the racists who descended upon Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend armed with tiki torches and hearts full of hate.
I spent the past weekend camping in Michigan; one last getaway before the craziness of school scoops us all up and we can’t see past the minutia. We’re about to be swallowed up whole so I wanted a few days of unplugged togetherness, with the people who really matter to me in this world, my children.
Unfortunately, I still needed to be tethered to the real world because of work. I didn’t engage because I wanted to focus on what was right in front of me; what truly matters. I am trying to be present but I see it all happening, this train wreck at 100 miles an hour. Our country is careening out of control and our leader doesn’t know how and doesn’t seem willing to get us back on track.
I kept quiet and let my thoughts settle into coherent actions. But I’m tired of the burden of being a person who always does something. I’m exhausted of telling friends what they already know. I am sick to death of listening while the Internet feigns outrage and shock. I can’t keep giving people who believe themselves to be good, decent Americans permission to keep engaging in the same insanity.
See something. Do nothing. See it on the Internet. Feign outrage. Share a petition on social. Talk to your like-minded friends about the horror and pat yourselves on the back for recognizing that this is, in fact, horrible. 2 days later, forget about it. Forgive the aggressor. Accept the unacceptable as status quo. Move on to the next “cause”. Do nothing.
The time for placing blame has passed, it is now time to take accountability. Complacency is not an option. It never should have been, where human beings were involved. Action is the only acceptable reaction.
We shouldn’t be feigning outrage and shock. We should be genuinely outraged, shocked and pissed off. We should be moved to our feet by our hearts and our minds. We can no longer sit down while the aggressors mow through those of us who dare to stand up for the collective us. America, the home of the brave.
It’s scary standing up. Those who love you most will tell you to sit down because they are afraid of the danger it brings to do the right thing. Standing up begs to be knocked down but we must get back up. We must endure for if we do not take a stand, we will all be mowed down and our land of the free will not be so free.
I am not blaming you for any choice or vote you cast up until this moment. You know what you did. Your choice is only for you to learn to live with. No one dared believe just how much hatred could breed when given the right growing conditions. But we knew. It has spread across this country like a plague and it is killing all of us.
What I am begging you to do today is to forget about who you voted for or party lines and think about your family, your future and the country that you love so much. The time to dig in has passed. We need to work together as Americans to fix what is broken.
I don’t want to weep when I drop my children off at school because I know that we live in a country currently fueled by hatred. I know there are so many good people in this country. Decent human beings who love their families, their neighbors and their country. The bad apples are in the minority. But they are eating at this country like cancer. Their movement is spreading because it is not being treated. Racism is a cancer that needs to be eradicated.
Stand up. Say something. Do something. Be something. Racism, bigotry, and hatred cannot be tolerated. We need a zero tolerance and we can’t forget. Embrace your outrage. Flame it’s embers and let it fuel you to do the right thing; to stand up to those who would tell us that any human is less than another. Forget what is politically correct and do what is right.
What are you doing? How are you stopping the hate? How are you putting love and kindness into the world? How are you standing up for what is right in the face of what is terrifying?
What action are you taking for your dear America?