I have thought long and hard about what to say here about my involvement with the Threads of Resistance exhibit.
I used to never post about anything controversial here in this public space, keeping my business and political life entirely separate. If you follow me on Facebook you know that I have been unable to stay quiet about my political opinions there. I strive to engage in civil dialogue. I strive to honor and listen to all points of view. I strive to promote kindness and love and light. So why did I help sponsor an exhibit that to some might be offensive? I hope you will do me the kindness of reading with an open heart and mind.
BECAUSE in my naive youth I wrote an essay that explored ideas of xenophobia and wondered if immigrants could be America’s best asset if we would embrace them. This was before I knew more than a handful of people that didn’t look and talk and worship just like me.
Since then I’ve gained experience, learned the story of the “other” in America, been privileged to be let into the hearts and lives of those who love this country but have not been fully embraced. I have been the privileged recipient of the kindness of immigrants and refugees in my life. I have witnessed the sacrifice of parents fleeing bombings and war or economic destitution and no way to support their children at home. Parents who give up everything they know to provide safety and hope for their children. Parents who believed America when she says “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
I was born in a European city surrounded by a wall and a death strip erected by dictators. I have lived to see that divisive wall come down.
I cannot support a man who uses words to promote fear of my fellow Americans, who demonizes the “other” if their skin is brown. A man who wants to build a wall that we cannot afford and that will not matter to the safety of this country.
I resist because I have HOPE.
Hope in seeing the crowd at the airport that welcomes the refugees fleeing terror and war and the women who protest the brutal separation of families and unjust and inhumane detainment of asylum seekers. I find hope in seeing the compassion of the American people. Hope in a new generation that does not believe the color of your skin should determine your educational opportunities or whether you will survive an encounter with a police officer.
BECAUSE I remember being a very young teenager, walking with my sister. A boy, bigger and older than me got out of a van, came up behind me and roughly grabbed me. There. Then walked away laughing. I was so shocked and frightened that my sister and I turned around and walked home. I changed out of my new pants and undid my new hairdo. I had worn both for the first time. I never wore those pants or did my hair that way again thinking somehow that I was at fault for looking like that. I never told anyone. My sister and I never talked about it.
I cannot support a man who through his actions and words thinks that sexual assault is acceptable.
I resist because I have HOPE.
My daughters will have someone to tell who will not brush it off or blame what they wore. Men and women are standing up to say that sexual assault is NEVER acceptable.
BECAUSE I grew up spending hours in front of our family’s National Geographic collection, reading about all the wonders in the world. I longed to see the beauty of nature and her amazing creatures. As an adult that same magazine has been full of the constant news of heartbreaking disappearance and destruction of those resources.
I cannot support a man who values short term profit for the very few over preserving the finite natural resources that will not last another generation.
I resist because I have HOPE.
I see scientists coming out of their labs and onto the streets. They are sharing data and knowledge and trying to help us save our world. I see a young generation trying to salvage this mess that we have bequeathed to them. They value community and world citizenship.
Because America is not meant to be ruled by a king or an oligarch.
Because I love the constitution of the United States.
Because I value the checks and balances of the Judiciary branch.
Because I honor the sacrifices made by those who fight for our freedoms.
Because I believe in the freedom of religion for all Americans.
Because I believe the press must be free to expose deception.
Because I believe educating ALL our children is vital to our future.
Because I seek truth and will not condone lies.
Because I feel I must speak for those who are denied a voice.
Because I value love and compassion and kindness.
Because I love America.
Because I am an American.
Because I HOPE.
I welcome your respectful comments, whatever your view.
Aside from this post, this blog will remain, by and large, non-political.
GlorianneJuly 11, 2019 at 3:05 am
I thank you for being a resistor and sharing why so eloquently. I resist with you. Silence can be misconstrued as agreement. And I thank you for taking us a risk with us to speak your truth.
FionaJuly 9, 2019 at 8:45 am
I dearly wish more Americans felt as you do. Hearing that a friend, in every other way an intelligent and deeply caring woman, voted for your current president horrified me beyond belief. The current direction America appears to be moving is quite terrifying to an outsider. Please keep sharing your articulate thoughts.
Patti MaxwellJuly 7, 2019 at 8:33 pm
That perfectly captured everything I have been feeling. Thank you Lyric for acting, for being the change, and encouraging others to be part of that change as well.
Linda ElderJuly 10, 2017 at 10:50 am
Thank you Sister Lyric. We are sisters in spirit. I too resist in my own way and hope to always do so in a respectful and kind way that continues to show light and love. People may disagree for a variety of reasons and if we can all do so respectfully it makes all the difference. Blessings.
Mary BoltonMarch 19, 2017 at 3:44 pm
VERY well said! Thank you.
stephanieMarch 14, 2017 at 1:40 pm
Thank you for sharing. I resist too. I’ll check out the call for entry.
Elizabeth IngrahamMarch 7, 2017 at 12:48 pm
Standing beside you, sister.
We are all in this together.
J. Bruce WilcoxMarch 4, 2017 at 12:46 am
Resistance comes in all forms. ALL FORMS. Silent. Vocal. Humorous. Angry. Safe. Violent. Nurturing. Lethal. Singularly. Masses. Apathy is the downfall of resistance. And resistance can be bludgeoned brutally. We Americans have experienced an extended period of relative calm and that has allowed us to go to sleep. Much violence at home- citizen on citizen violence- police on citizen violence- but wars were happening- over there. Even when they were our wars with our citizens fighting. But now- the civil war against our daily life is on our doorstep. If it happens it will have been because we let it happen. BY BEING TOO DAMN NICE. And thinking everyone else would be too. The negative downside of political correctness. Being a gay male has meant I’ve been fighting for 5 decades. And frankly- I’m sick of it. Nice to see white-bread America (no offense Lyric) finally Acting Up. Being forced to Act Up. Before it’s too late for all of us.
Jeanne MarklinMarch 3, 2017 at 11:09 pm
I, too have hope, and see human beings as capable of incredible kindness. We need to encourage kindness and empathy for all people. Thank you for opening your heart and making mind and eloquently expressing what I am thinking.
Mrs. PlumMarch 3, 2017 at 12:22 am
Lyric, your words are kind AND strong–exactly what we need today. I’m only a 2nd generation American. My grandparents all immigrated here from Eastern Europe, traveling the vast Atlantic in steerage to find a better life for themselves and future generations. They worked hard and made sure their children had a strong moral foundation. I am forever grateful to them. Thank you for your message of hope.
GabrieleMarch 2, 2017 at 7:59 pm
I am an immigrant. I believe in this great nation and became a citizen by choice. I’m here because my parents were looking for a better life post WWII. We found a land of opportunity. My parents worked hard. We assimilated. We contributed. Today, my parents’ 5 children are all college educated. We have all chosen helping professions. We are raising the next generation to be tolerant, accepting, inclusive. To be givers and not takers. This is a land of opportunity for immigrants of all nations and we want them, we desire for all of them, to have those same opportunities to succeed, to escape oppression, to find a better life.
Michele BilyeuMarch 2, 2017 at 7:35 pm
Beautifully and articulated expressed!
JaneMarch 1, 2017 at 3:45 pm
Thank you Lyric for your brave and honest story. I am glad that you have spoken up. I recently read, and now repeat, I no longer have the luxury to be apolitical. I live in a tiny community that thinks differently than I about our President. I nonetheless want civil discourse, positive hopeful dialogue, and reality. I love this movement, Threads of Resistance. I am so glad to have met you via your blog. Because of you, maybe I will be brave enough to share some of my scary stories on my blog, too, and not feel the need to hide that junk. And to creatively express all of the emotions and truth in my art as you do.
Nancy MullinsMarch 1, 2017 at 1:22 pm
I don’t know you, but our spirits and our reality make us sisters in this unimaginable world we find ourselves in. Blessings to you and us all.
JeannieMarch 1, 2017 at 11:20 am
Lyric, this is one of the most beautiful posts I have ever read. You captured in words, what I feel in my heart -so eloquent, personal, and heart warming. I have hope. I believe there are more that feel like you and I do, than those who care distrust of “others” in their heart or do not value our earth or our youth’s education and living happily together. We have to speak out for those who cannot, to continue to provide a good education for our youth, to live with open hearts and learn about things we do not understand. Thank you.
JaneFebruary 28, 2017 at 6:28 pm
Good for you, Lyric. Eloquently written. It occurs to me maybe we ought ALL to share our stories of encountering unsavory, scary situations. It might be shocking how many there are.
But mostly thank you for the hopeful, kind tone and the manifesto at the end. This is how change unfolds.