My late son came to me in a dream last night. This doesn’t happen often, but when it does, he usually has something profound to say.
I have been so discouraged since the election, which to me is the death of tolerance and inclusion in America. Yesterday, after seeing footage of followers of the man who would be president doing a Nazi salute, I was thinking that I don’t even want to live to see what happens.
Really. I’m 64 and I’ve lived most of my life in an America that was working to make itself better. Women managed to claim sovereignty over our own bodies. The Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, Medicare, Medicaid, the rights of interracial and LGBTQ couples to marry, all happened within my lifetime.
And now this: a common criminal, a con man, misogynist, racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic narcissist is elected to the highest office in the land.
I have been furious at people who voted for him, even though I love some of them as friends and family members.
But Mike had something profound to say again: “You can’t blame sheep for being led to the slaughter.”
People have been fooled by this con man, and his accomplices at Fox News, CNN and all the other corporate “news” outlets that gave him free time, that promoted his candidacy as entertainment and that refused to investigate his shortcomings and crimes.
To make things worse, the corporate media played Hillary Clinton as a villain — a nasty woman. News of her private e-mail server (the same one used by her Republican predecessors at the State Department) was all over the news, as were the charges that she had something to do with the four American deaths in Benghazi. For 30 years, she was portrayed as a shrill, conniving bitch, and the American public bought that, even though she has been a dedicated public servant.
As for whether Bernie Sanders would have won — and he was my preferred candidate — do you think these people making Nazi salutes would have let a Jew into the White House? Really?
The corporate media have led the American public to the slaughter. They have shrugged off their responsibility to investigate and inform, and instead have gone for lies and profit.
They have peddled the false equivalency of “both sides do it,” until people believed it was equal, and they continue to do it as they claim I have no right to be angry because the other side hated Obama.
Obama isn’t a criminal. He didn’t have to settle a fraud lawsuit before taking office. He was never accused of rape. He never cheated on his wife — his only wife, by the way.
Mike was right about that, but as he said he had to leave, I told him once again that I didn’t want to be here, especially without him, and he answered the same way he has before:
“That’s not an option, Mom. You have work to do.”
I have work to do.
I told a Muslim friend this morning I will go with her to the grocery store or anywhere else she is afraid to go alone. She was born in Pakistan and still wears traditional clothing — a sari and hijab. But she is an American citizen. This is her homeland now, but she is afraid to be here.
A Jewish friend says the raised arms of white supporters of this man at a political rally remind him of the tattoo on his mother’s forearm. If you don’t know what that means, look it up. He said it also reminded him of the hatred in his schoolmates’ eyes when they beat him up because he was a Jew — and he went to school in a middle-class, suburban town.
Another Jewish friend was followed by a pickup truck, plastered with bumper stickers for this man and sporting two Confederate flags, as she left her synagogue with her 7-year-old grandson. The truck pulled up beside her and the two white men inside started screaming anti-Semitic insults at her.
I have felt compelled, as a survivor of sexual violence, to help other survivors cope with this sexual predator by starting a support group called #IBelieveTheWomen, as this man promises to sue and ruin all the women coming forward to tell of his unwanted sexual advances toward them.
I will not accept that this country really wants to be led by this criminal. I will not be sweet and give him a chance to govern when I know what he is and what he wants to do.
But I will stop blaming the voters when the culprit is the slaughterhouse personnel at Fox News, Breitbart and other peddlers of right-wing bullshit.
I will blame The New York Times and other so-called mainstream media for giving this man a pass until it was too late to turn the ship around. I will blame corporate newspaper companies for laying off reporters and editors at a time when our country most needed real information.
This will not end well. The right controls all three branches of our federal government now. These people will not give up the power they have attained, and some of us will die fighting them.
Just look at what’s happening in North Carolina. Our governor has lost a close race, and the state Supreme Court has gone to a Democratic majority. The governor has refused to concede and the GOP legislature is hinting it might add two justices to the court to give the Republicans the majority again. And there’s talk of throwing the gubernatorial race to the legislature, which would appoint the Republican governor to another term.
Now legislators are denying they will have a special session to increase the size of the court and stack it, but they have called special sessions before to push through unpopular and ill-considered legislation.
Those of us who still have critical thinking skills need to use them now. Our very existence as a nation depends on it.
Leaving now is not an option. We have work to do.
I have also had the feeling that I didn’t want to be here anymore. But I don’t want to leave all the work to my children. Perhaps this stark landscape will trigger the world we envision. “The darkest hour is always just before the dawn” and all that. If you wish to be a Lightworker, you will encounter the darkness.
Hi Leslie, I’m a 72 year old Jew who is grateful for all the positive progress we have helped to create as activists. We always said “never again”. I’m very scared about this new regime that has railroaded our country. On my way to VA, I was accosted by that same type pickup truck in TN. It seems they didn’t like my Bernie Sanders and peace stickers. It was frightening and all I could do was pray. My prayer was answered as i pulled over behind a policeman who was giving a ticket to someone. I have thought about leaving the country but the world isn’t a safe place now for any minority group. I have also thought that i’ve fought the good fight and its time to transition to join my ancestors. They tell me not yet also. So, my friend, what can we do besides rage against that dark night? We can stand together and say no more. Thank you for what you do. You’re an awesome warrior.