Oh, But I’m Afraid.


I’m sixty one years old. I’m white. I am happily middle class. I speak English as my first language. I was raised as a Christian. I’m heterosexual.

I have every kind of privilege there is, other than being a man.

There is going to be a big right wing rally in Boston tomorrow. It says it’s about “free speech”, but the speakers are Nazis, white supremacists, racists.

There is going to be a big counter rally nearby, as well as a march to the spot where the alt-right is gathering.

What do I do?

I am so conflicted.

Here is a bit of my thinking.

Don’t go:

• I live an hour and half from Boston

• I’m a 61 year old Grandmother

• There are younger, more fit people who could go.

• It might be violent. I don’t want to get hurt.

• There are people who depend on me! My children, my grandchildren. They need me to be healthy and whole.

Do go:

• For my entire life, I’ve wondered why more German people didn’t stand up to the Nazis. I assured myself, time and time again, that if I had been there, I would have done something to stop them.

• I’m as safe as anyone can be. White haired, white skinned, pudgy; I make a ridiculous target for anyone who wants to look like a tough guy.

• My grandparents gave up everything they knew…home, language, family, livelihood….so that they could raise their family here in the United States. They came for inclusion, acceptance, safety, prosperity.

•My father and his brothers, first generation Americans, went to war to fight the Nazis. They fought in Germany and even in the homeland of Italy. THEY would certainly march here if they were still alive.

• I was a teacher. I made it my life’s work to support and encourage and nurture children. At no point did I EVER say “but not the black kids” or “not the Jewish kids” or “not the Muslims.” As a teacher, as a nurturer, it is my obligation to stop bullies. Adult bullies, armed to the teeth and ready to murder anyone who isn’t one of their sick group, those are the bullies that I have to Stop. Right. Now. However I can.

• There are people who depend on me. My children, my grandchildren. They need me to be a model of courage in the face of evil.

So I’ll be joining my brave husband, and two of our progressive, courageous friends tomorrow. We will go to Boston. We will do what we can to be really safe and secure.

But we WILL stand up for our Black/gay/Jewish/Muslim/Asian/Latino/trans/disabled/fill-in-the-blank neighbors and fellow citizens.

Honestly, we don’t actually have that much of a choice.

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17 thoughts on “Oh, But I’m Afraid.

    • I’m not sure how much courage I have…I am going to be with two very close friends who are both veterans. And I have friends who live very close to the rally site, so we have a safe haven if needed. But I’m glad that you’re out there providing support!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. THANK YOU SO MUCH for being so brave and honest in your concerns and actions! You are doing the right thing, absolutely, but please stay safe. I would have the same fears, coming from similar privileges, but I would go. Thank you from Australia xx

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi, I’m from Australia, too. I feel so useless over here—it’s like watching a train speeding towards a cliff, calling out to the passengers to get off, but instead of heeding your calls, they’re giving you the finger. I’m spreading the word as much as I can, and that’s about all I can do. Peace to you. xx

      Liked by 2 people

      • That’s such a sad analogy and yet Yes, that’s exactly how it looks isn’t it? In some ways I think the whole planet is on that train, & so many folk are just not listening…
        You’re doing a great job, keep up the good work 🙏🏼
        (& a secret congratulations for coming from Australia, which lets face it, has its own set of problems, but is still pretty awesome…) ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Australia! I’d like to apologize for the insanity that has broken out over here….! I have a great deal of faith in the Boston police and how they handle these things. They were great during Occupy Boston.
      Gulp…..

      Liked by 2 people

      • 🙏🏼❤🙏🏼
        You must do a follow up blog post (or two!). I’m with you in spirit (have been telling my real life friends about your situation & decision to go), and I can safely say there’s at least 20 other lovely Australians rallying with you, & probably 3/4s of the country! ❤

        Like

  2. We are in 2017 … it’s heartbreaking that these scenes are still playing out!

    I am all for free speech and believe everyone should be able to live and think and practice and believe as they think best …. but REALLY … Mr Trump cannot even bring himself to condone the Neo Nazis and the White Supremacists. It really is an embarrassment.

    You can only do what you feel in your heart is right … if you feel it is right for you to go or whether you can find another way to spread the live that the world is clearly missing right now.

    You will make the right choice for you x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, Judy, I was speaking completely tongue-in-cheek! It’s a comment that people keep making when we see the latest horrors from the White House. “Well, but you know….at least he didn’t have that email problem.”
    sigh

    Like

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