In a letter to my children, I want to express my unconditional love and support.
My daughter texted me Tuesday night, November 8, around the time it was clear that Hillary Rodham Clinton was not going to win in a landslide and that Donald J Trump was closer to being the winner. She was afraid for her freedom and her life. She thought “they” hate her because she is a woman and an outspoken member of the LBGTQ community. Her best solution was to leave the country and not risk her life at the hands of a government and people about to make laws restricting her ability to live in peace. Her fear was based on the nasty rhetoric she had received on social media aimed at her before the election, and the misogynistic, homophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant and bigoted racist comments made by Trump and his followers.
It was crushing for me. What do I say to an adult child who is in fear of our government? A person who has achieved a modicum of fame, who helps others, speaks out on behalf of those less fortunate, embraces the rights to freedom of women and the LGBTQ community. A young woman trying to do well, who now is afraid?
My best effort was to draw parallels to the 1960’s when we lost the Kennedy’s and King, and how we persevered and continued to speak out and not accept the War in Vietnam, and lack of Civil Rights for people of color.
And how to this day I believe that many people are living in fear and seeking a better way of life. And because unfortunately some are seeking to devalue or disenfranchise others we must stay strong. That this is a battle we must fight.
Our Government is made up of men, women, whites, blacks, browns, yellows, Christians, Jews, Muslims, young and old. Most of us want to live in peace with each other.
We cannot be silent and let the hateful and intolerant subjugate others. We cannot tolerate sacrificing our moral convictions because they are different. As long as we are not harming others, then our decisions about sexuality, health, lifestyle and safety are ours.
We must harness the power of all freedom loving peaceful people to protect each other from those who threaten the values of America and the pursuit of happiness of others.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”
Now is the time to stand up and speak out, not to diminish others but ensure our pursuit of happiness.
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when ?
Hillel – Pirke Avot 1:14
WE WILL NOT GO QUIETLY!!!