Morning or Mourning in America?

It was still dark out when I awoke this Sunday before an election that has been called pivotal, momentous, the beginning or the end. I checked my phone, yes that’s what I do, and then the whereabouts of my kitten. We got up, my kitty and I, and peered out the back door at the soft light coming up on the hills above us .

Six years ago Janauary, 2017, I awoke from a nightmare during a thunderstorm in which Michele and Barack came into my room and told me they had to leave now BUT, sadly, they’d left the monster under the bed in charge. And since then our country has transformed into something many of us don’t recognize- a country where filling up your giant car’s tank is more important than putting children in cages or shooting up their classrooms-that monstrous prediction seemed to come true.

Of course, for some Americans this has country was never safe, especially during transformative times, even the times where rights were expanded-many people died to get to that conclusion.

So yeah, we’re all scared for good reason but let me tell you something, I awoke to this video and then the skies began to lighten, the air warmed a bit and I felt hopeful.

Whether some of the things Obama refers to seem realistic to you or me, it’s hard not to want to believe his view of the world, and the crowd responds to that worldview and optimism. I’ve read that he is still the most popular politician in the country and that reminds me that there is hope-he may be right about who we are.

We must remind ourselves that the majority of the country rejected the ugly, violent view of who we might be both in 2018 and again in 2020. No matter how much ugliness we see on twitter (if you’re still there), the terror of climate change we see on the weather channel, and the claims of mayhem on apps like Next Door, most of us still want a better world for our kids and aging parents too. And that better world doesn’t count on excluding others or carrying guns against our neighbors, it stands for opportunity and equality, homes and jobs for all.

And I tend to believe that those folks who speak of giving our police more resources, would not speak that way if they knew how police unions and local departments often use that rhetoric as a permission slip to treat some communities with disrespect and intimidation.

So from Pennsylvania and my home county of Montgomery to Califonia and my home city of Oakland, we are faced with stark choices-like a mayoral race where the dignity of those seeking homes and neighborhood schools versus ever more building of luxury high rises-and a governor who supports insurrection, these choices are real.

I’ve seen the polls and heard the dire prognostications and I have no predictions to make. It’s likely we’ll win some and lose some as the old saying goes.

But I feel a bit fortified by this rally in Philly where my Quaker foremothers fought for equality and peaceI remember how we flocked to the airports when TFG threatened immigrants and refugees with harassment and terror. It was grass roots organzing of the most organic kind and it made a difference.

We have instincts toward organizing against injustice and oppression. We will activate them in the most creative ways:

WHATEVER HAPPENS, WE WILL CONTINUE TO BEND THE ARC TOWARDS JUSTICE-

WE CANNOT DO ANYTHING ELSE.

Take heart! When we fight, when we organize, when we hope, when we create, when we act, WE WIN.

6 thoughts on “Morning or Mourning in America?

  1. Thank you for this, Pamela. I’m doing my best to remain hopeful – not easy but I’m ready to be heartened by some of the election results.  Best, Eileen

    “It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.”  

    James Baldwin

  2. Pamela … Your essay (and Obama’s speech closing) are brilliant examples of writing and speechmaking). How I wish this exposition could be viewed by all voters … and perhaps earlier in the campaign period. To me, it is well beyond mind-boggling that almost half of the country’s voters reject the “better angels” vision, seem immune to democratically humane values, and vocally opt for authoritarianism, regardless of consequences. It is more and more impossible to regard the potential greatness of this country with the pride it should deserve.

  3. Thank you for this needed encouragement! My ancestors were unable to effectively resist German fascism and lost their lives. We have a chance to forcefully battle this frightening U.S. version of the same world view, and it is incumbent upon us to do so! Allan

  4. Terrific. I’m telling all of my friends (that vote) to push for Sheng. Unfortunately many of them now have really been suffering under this current administration and feel no hope in voting or democracy of any kind. 😢

    iris 510/684-8387

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