“Ummm because I worked for it? Others are not my problem nor responsibility.”

Of course, the title of this blog was not written by me; I have better grammar. Snooty response, I know, and I also have better compassion.

What happened here, in the United States?

When I was a kid I remember my dad would pull over any time he saw anyone having car trouble, and he was right there to help them. Granted, he could fix cars, but it didn’t matter, in my memory, who it was, he helped them. Help didn’t have a nationality, or a religion, or a gender, or a team.

But perhaps memory is faulty.

I remember, and long for, a United States where people had more of a “We’re all in the same boat” ethos. Of course, Trumpers and the loud part of the Republican Party, the white male part and their female supporters who feel like those poor white men need protection from the rest of us, remember something different. They seem to remember a United States that only had white people in it, and everyone listened to the father in the household, and everyone had his or her place and stuck to it.

I also remember, from back in those halcyon days, not nice things about my family: driving around to look at Christmas lights, and my parents pointing out the houses without them and saying, “Those people are Jewish,” like it was something that smelled bad. Of course, when I was under the age of ten, I didn’t even know what Jewish meant. In fact, one of the childhood jokes on me was that my best friend was Catholic, and went to Catholic school, and when she asked me what I was I said, “Oh I’m public,” because I went to public school (We went to a Methodist church, but it wasn’t how I defined myself. I was much more about school.). My mother, of course, thought this was hysterical, but also wanted me to be sure I told everyone we were Methodist. Much later in life I had a student at Golden West College tell me she was Christian, and I asked, “What kind?”
And she said, “Christian.”
And I said, “I know, but what kind? Catholic? Protestant, Baptist?”
And she said, “No. Christian. I don’t know what those other things are. I go to the True Jesus church, and we’re the only church that is Christian and loves Jesus.”


I guess I’ve never been good at teams.

Republicans know how to run a rally. Certainly Trump does, and he taught them all to do it. Loud slogans, us against them, and us are the righteous underdogs. And people will adopt that mantra in a hot second, and it doesn’t matter if you’re being persecuted in another country, besieged by wars or drug cartels, can’t get medical care for a terrible disease, can’t get food for your kids, can’t find work or a place to live and be safe, can’t stop and invader from knocking on your door, so what? In the words of my Facebook detractor: “Ummm because I worked for it? Others are not my problem nor responsibility.” AND the implied, but not stated, message is: not only did I work for it, but I worked for it harder, for less pay, with less fanfare, and less for my family than any of those other people, and,
I deserve it more, because I am a TRUE American, and NO ONE ELSE IS.

Fuck me.

I’m getting a little sick of it and sick of them.

I’m getting a little sick of the hate.

I’m getting well and truly sick of teams, and “OUR side.”

I am sick of righteousness.

And, I fully admit, as I sit here and try to just keep-on keeping on, raise my daughter with my values, do my work, pay my bills, I am not just sick of those people, I am afraid of them.

I think that they think that they have the tiger by the tail, that they have this thing almost licked, this thing called the “Wrong America” that they are going to make “Right” again. I mean, there are, literally, more of people like me than people like them. BUT, they are loud; they are mean; they are selfish; they are bandwagon groupies, and they have the tiger by the tail, and they don’t seem to care, as evidenced by them crawling all over the Capital like roaches and punching out police, who they take out in the process of hammering America into a bastion of white male supremacy.

I don’t know what to do about it. But I know what I want.

I want immigrants from all over the world who are in jeopardy in some way in their home countries to be able to come here, and have our love and support when they do. I do not want us judging who is worthy or not. I want us helping them, and using some of the corporate tax profits to give them aid and resources and get them set up for success, and offer them a pathway to citizenship, or a helping hand to start over in their home country, if that’s what they need and want. I want my taxes, and Walmart’s teeny little bit of taxes, and, in my plan, we’re going to tax the churches too, and we’re going to use those taxes for that.

And I want trans kids and queer kids and different kids, different from those norms people imagine from the past, free, free to be who they are, and not who some guy and his wife in Florida think they should be. I WANT THAT.

And, OF COURSE, I want Maya Angelou taught in school, and Maus, and whatever else kids need or want to read. I want kids to read Rubyfruit Jungle, as I did, and, guess what, stayed straight anyway, because I’m straight. Rita Mae Brown wrote a great book, and it didn’t turn me into what I’m not. People don’t get turned into something else by books, except for more educated. Good sweet mercy, let people read books and figure it out for themselves.

And hands off women’s bodies. Our bodies belong to us, and not to that same couple in Florida trying to push the rest of us around.

And this:


I mean, what if the roaches attack the Capital again, but this time do it with 434 million guns?

According to that opinion piece on the latest school shooting:

But it’s important to separate what conservatives do and don’t say about the gun-saturated nation they created. They put a great value on the freedom they associate with gun ownership and would undoubtedly argue that the United States is more free today than it was a decade ago because of loosened gun laws. They celebrate the states where guns are least hindered as the freest places in the country.

What they don’t say is that all of us are safer. They believe the freedom to own guns is more important than the freedom not to be terrorized by the presence of guns and that the trade off in lives lost has been worth it.

They don’t deny the carnage; just three months into the year, 10,000 Americans have been killed with guns — roughly 4,200 homicides and 5,700 suicides. Nor do they deny the state of terror Americans feel about sending their children to school or just going to the grocery store. You won’t hear conservatives tell you that you have nothing to be afraid of.

Is your kid in school? Mine is. And I am terrified.

And why do Republicans keep doubling down on guns, aside from the money they get paid to sell guns for the gun companies?

Because it is part of the rally. White guys, you are under siege, and only you can stop the rampaging horde. Get guns for yourself and your family, because, ultimately, “… Others are not my problem nor responsibility.”

And there you have it.

So, I had to blog about this today, because I am tired, not sleepy, but tired, my spirits are flagging over the “Others are not my problem nor responsibility.”

And though I don’t believe in teams, and rally bullshit, there will have to be a consistent pushing back by those of us who don’t want or condone the hate, proliferation of guns, or control.

We are the quiet ones.

We are the “live and let lives.”

We are the lovers of our children as they are and not only as we wish them to be.

We are the haters of violence to solve things.

We are the respecters of women.

We are the promotors of the sanctity of all families, not just the ones we like the look of.

And if we don’t push back, if we don’t stand up at school board meetings, those same meetings that we don’t have time to go to, if we don’t get out and vote in those elections that they make harder for us to get to, if we don’t tell Aunt Sally that we don’t want her using those words in front of our children, and tell Uncle Jack that he cannot bring his gun or his hate to our holiday dinner, if we don’t push back on jokes and comments that are mean and cruel and inciting, if we don’t ask for those books they don’t want us to read and share them, if we don’t pay for National Public Radio so people in Fox News Land can get access to some free and balanced reporting on what is happening in the world, if we don’t take the time to stand up for immigrants and LGBTQ folk, and ME TOO and Black Lives Matter, if we don’t do every small but mighty little thing that we can possibly do in our quiet way, we’re going to lose to the loudmouths. And, though it is tough to get all those things in, it is much tougher to get the world back after it’s been locked down.

We have to find the time, and the bandwidth, to do it, and we don’t need a team or a rally to make a difference.

Push back. Stand up. Donate. Support. Say something. Vote.

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