Wednesday, November 9, 2016

There's some good in this world...

Authors note: Originally published on 11/9/2016.  I took this post down in January 2017 because I was informed that it was detrimental to my career. After this weekend's events in Charlottesville, VA.  I will be leaving it up. Career consequences pale in comparison to to the death of Heather Heyer and those who were physically beaten by American Nazis while our President stood by doing nothing.

I have been trying to wrap my mind around what happened in the last 24 hours. A highly qualified woman lost to a racist, misogynistic, bombastic, hateful man with no credentials. All the lessons that my wife and I try to teach our children are clearly for naught for large swath of America (CNN's Van Jones said it best).

For my white friends:

You will never be looked upon with suspicion by Federal agents or the Police. I saw my 9 year old daughter humiliated by the TSA for Flying While Brown and I could not do anything about it without being arrested. (She saw a father that failed to protect her in a scary situation).

You will never experience the fear of being a 8 year old beat up in a bathroom in 1979 by kids calling you a "camel jockey" and the school authorities blowing it off as "boys will be boys" (locker room talk?).
In the last 24 hours two Muslim woman students have been assaulted by punks yelling "Trump"

My daughter is brown skinned and she is scared. My son is brown skin and he is scared.

Donald Trump has normalized public hate against minorities and people of color, and the thin veil of public decorum has been ripped away. The change that people on my side of the skin tone barrier I see is that it now acceptable to voice and act on your deepest darkest thoughts and it will be excusable because the President of the United States enables it.

Can you please explain to me why this is okay? Day 1 in Trump's America

I thought of turning to scripture or faith for solace, but that somehow rings hollow when 80% of Evangelicals voted for DJT. Somehow, the Hindu/Buddhist concept of detachment just does not apply fully.

Then I remembered the words of one very wise Hobbit, Samwise Gamgee:
Frodo: I can't do this, Sam.
Sam: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy?
Sam: How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.
Sam: Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding on to, Sam? 

Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it's worth fighting for.

Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, Director: Peter Jackson