The good news: We’re almost two years down and have a major election coming soon.
End of good news. Back to scary-land…
I lived in Germany for a period when there were far more people alive who remembered the Nazi era. Based on the dozens of personal reminiscences I witnessed as a child of the 1970’s, I have a hard time trying to equate what we are currently going through with what they experienced back in the day. I would very much like to climb aboard the bandwagon and point out how our times resemble 1933 Weimar, but I cannot... Sadly I am old enough to know better.
What is happening today is very much an American tragedy. I am still young enough to learn (and accept) that the so-called “mainstream” culture I was brought up to respect was largely developed as a cover for the systemic bigotry and abuse of people who do not look like me. I remember the worst days of Nixon too. Same people, same playbook, and likely to be the same outcome. Scary times indeed…
Folks, welcome to our “never again” moment. We do not need to go any further than what we have seen this summer. This is bad enough ... and the people who support, protect or enable this sort of evil no longer deserve to have their ideas taken seriously.
They are not Nazis, but we may truly regard the majority of them as being the indirect descendants of the collaborators, fellow-travelers and opportunists of that era. They will be the ones trying to justify voting Republican this fall and in 2020. Yes, I just said that; it is time to stop being polite about it. If you can find a way to support people who put children in cages—you are not much different than those who supported the Nazis.
Ever heard of a group of heroes called “The Few”? They were the fighter pilots of the British Royal Air Force who defended the skies of Southern England during the Battle of Britain. That dust-up started during an August too—almost eighty years ago to be exact. The real Nazis had just completed a cakewalk over most of Europe, and only these chaps, for the most part the Millennials of their day, stood in their way of completing the job.
“Were you scared?” I asked some of them as a child. They were getting up in age by that point, and getting far more honest about their feelings, too. The typical answer after the second pink gin: Don’t believe the movies, that’s Hollywood. They were scared s***less, but they knew that they had a job to do and that only they could do it.
There comes a time for most when you have to make a choice. Our community chooses freedom, and we are not alone. We rightly should be saddened and angered by what we have seen of late, but we are no longer afraid. We now resist as a family, each one of us fighting for the sake of our sisters and brothers who share a mutual blessing, and for those who may be experiencing the sting of open bigotry perhaps for the first time.
We’re not “The Resistance”: that title properly belongs to those who are helping innocent people inside and outside cages throughout the country. We are the new “Few,” because we are for the most part regarded as outsiders. We have the freedom of action, and we have not given up to the demagogues, and never will. Our blessing has now become an unsheddable burden in more ways than one. There is no going back for any of us in the post-internet world. We must stand and fight, because there is no longer any alternative.
The Southern LGBTQ+ community is on point because we have to be. We do not have time to be victims anymore, even when the target often is us. This is the steep price of being thought of as the real adults in the room by those whose opinions we truly respect. Panic and fear-mongering only helps the people who wish us ill, and there are far too many down here who honestly think that what has taken place this summer is a good thing.
Let the anger you feel at the treatment of innocent people be channeled into an effective resistance and a permanent change. Sometimes it takes a brush with evil to demonstrate the courage each one of us has deep down inside. The burden becomes an honor when we choose to help defend those who are not in a position to defend themselves. We were all born this way, born to be brave.
Those who resisted back in the day were considered “the crazy people” until the very end, when it turned out that they truly were the only sane people in the room. I’m old enough to remember when being queer was considered crazy, and still young enough to earn a pink gin.
Come join me.