We’re days from the midterm elections here in the US. We have outright racist voter suppression in Georgia and North Dakota and elsewhere. We have thousands of kids deeply traumatized from being torn away from their families and too many still separated. We have an alcoholic rapist in the Supreme Court who thinks people with low IQs should be forced to have abortions. Brave women survivors who speak out are facing death threats and law suits. We have withdrawn from the UN Human Rights Council. We have a congress violating standards of procedure to pack federal courts with conservative judges. Our government isn’t allowing same sex partners of diplomats to have visas. We are in baffling, absurd, and selfish official denial of climate change.
I keep seeing friends post things their kids said about fairness and love and justice and then saying “the kids will save us.”
If we won’t save ourselves my kids will be too busy mourning their friends who died from illegal abortions or had their families torn apart by ICE to save anyone.
We have to save ourselves now. I tell my daughter a little bit about what’s happening, about bullies and separating families and lies and hurting people and bravery. But it’s not just cause I’m unschooling, I don’t put pressure on her to save us.
Her cute drawing about justice does not stand in for my action, it’s just a learning process.
And she’s learning from me and a few other people. She’s getting a distilled version of the wisdom of my life and a few others, and if we haven’t learned how to save anyone how in the &$#$ will she?
The day Kavanaugh was nominated, we went to a pumpkin patch. Because this was really important to my kids, and they are kids. They know what’s happening and they watch me take action. I let them know what I do. But they don’t need to take on that weight right now.
I’ve been reading posts from Humans of New York in Rwanda telling the stories of rescuers–people who actually saved other people from genocide. They are amazing because they are normal people, taking normal practical actions. And while of course this genocide goes beyond (I think and hope) what is happening at this moment in the US, the prelude of culturally and politically making hate normal is frighteningly familiar.
And what made these people rescuers? A commitment that hurting others is not acceptable, and that hurting others is more frightening than the actions they took to save people.
I hope so much that in the US we can have that commitment right this minute. People are hurting. Kids are in camps–call them internment or detention or prison or whatever. We are too late for many, but there is no way we should wait to toss the weight of an ever-warming world on our kids shoulders when they turn 18.
Right now, doing nothing is unacceptable. And this isn’t about guilt tripping. There’s a lot I can’t do. Find what works for you, but find it soon, don’t just picture your kid doing it someday.
Ideas for adults:
Support women running
Moms Rising actions
Find hope in the Small Victories Newsletter
Write letters to voters
Canvass for Heidi Heitkamp, Stacey Abrams, Beto O’Rourke, or whoever you can get to.
Check out the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network for ideas for Autistic activism:
Donate to or volunteer at your local Domestic Violence shelter.
Donate to or volunteer at your RAINN
Donate or volunteer for organizations that have been working to rescue people from harm for a long time:
Join an Indivisible chapter: