“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.” – Martin Niemöller
Recently, they first came for the Muslims. Then Black and Brown people were trying to take our jobs. Doctors wanted to take away our “freedom” by reminding us to maintain distance and wear masks to keep from dying from a worldwide pandemic. Specialists in every area of expertise are not to be believed because they’re Elites. Anyone who has empathy for anyone else is Woke and therefore unwelcome. Gays do not belong. And heaven forbid that the four transgender youths in the entire state of Utah want to play a sport. Girls in Florida who want to join a high school sport must now submit their menstrual history.
Women are the new “others.” It’s hard to believe that the majority of the population is considered “Them,” to be feared and controlled at all costs. Last year’s Dobbs decision has made the pro-life, anti-women movement go to any length to control a woman’s reproductive future. A decision that was once between a woman and her doctor is now game for neighbors who want to spy and collect $10,000 if a woman is suspected of wanting an abortion. A woman who wants a baby desperately has a miscarriage and cannot get appropriate medical care in the aftermath. And is probably reported by her neighbor for the 10K!
State legislatures want to ban a woman from traveling across state lines if it means she may have an abortion while out-of-state. Because of legal confusion, sick pregnant women whose lives might be lost must become septic before a necessary abortion can be performed. Exceptions to the abortion bans don’t matter because pro-lifers don’t care about rape, incest or life of the mother. The LIFE of the mother. Just kill her, she doesn’t matter. We only want what’s inside. We’re talking about respect for human life, here, people. In a few days, a radical judge might ban the abortion drug that’s been safe and legal for twenty years, causing an immediate national ban on abortion.
Women, wake up! Some conservatives don’t want us to work, or even be able to vote. They and the courts want to ban conception and in vitro fertilization. If we are merely a vessel for the unborn, we are not humans, or citizens, of this country. Soon when we marry we’ll have to forfeit all our property to our husbands, and not even be able to have a checking account or be able to buy a house. Those don’t sound like the “good old days” to me.
Lest we forget, a society in which women are forced to bear children (13th Amendment, anyone, which bars involuntary servitude) they could also be sterilized if that is the state’s will. You don’t deserve to have a child. You’re too [insert poor, Black, whatever here] to have a child. Only White babies will be born to White heterosexual married couples who use no birth control. Read any Margaret Atwood lately?
It really bothers me that the people who want to force women to carry children care nothing for that child once it is extant. No food, housing, educational opportunities? No problem. She shouldn’t have gotten herself (!) pregnant in the first place.
What Mr. Niemöller tells us is also from the Bible, we know it as “do unto others.” Everybody’s different. Like snowflakes, I say. Everyone should be cherished for who they are and what they bring to our shared world. Our country is one of immigrants, a melting pot, and provides equal opportunity for all. At least in theory, hopefully learning to be so in practice. These efforts to brand people as different and thus to be feared is a losing proposition for a nation of the people, for the people, and for freedom of choice.
Don’t ban books. I grew up in a tiny village, all white. My aunt was an English teacher so I spent a lot of time at the library. I learned to read early and learned about the Jewish experience at age eight from The Diary of Anne Frank. Biographies of Harriet Tubman, Maria Tallchief (principal ballerina) and Rosa Parks expanded my horizons. People seen as “different” and ridiculed by others always knew I’d stick up for them. One gal thanked me twenty years later for helping her brother, who was gay. No-one knew it at the time (except him, probably) but he was different and picked on by his classmates so I’d walk to school with him.
Open your mind and heart and learn about others and their experiences. You’ll realize there’s no “us” and “them,” it’s all we. We’re all human. Take some time and figure out who wants us to hate others and what’s in it for them. For media, it’s viewership and ad revenue. Also, our politics have become so negative and thus have become corrosive to our culture. We can change that. We hire politicians to listen to our wants and needs. Right now as I near retirement age I care about womens’ and voting rights, the economy, Social Security and Medicare. I pay my representatives to care about those things, not whether a gay neighbor has moved in with his fiancé (btw they’re great) or my college-age cousin wants to take an African-American Studies course that mentions CRT.
We’re a great nation. Living in the past is not the answer. It’s a shared future and that is ours to shape. Let’s do it with thought, wisdom and knowledge of history. Cheers! Dee