I set up my constellation flag today with a heavy heart. Four years ago I pedaled throughout this country and found strength in the goodness of the people I met. Tonight, city after city I visited tremble with protests, mostly peaceful, each pounding a valid stake against institutions supported by our government that systematically oppress our fellow citizens for the color of their skin.
I have strived to retain reason and balance through the election of a tyrannical President, the elevation of an abuser to our highest court, the approval of one incompetent sycophant after another by our deplorable Senate. I have struggled to plough fertile rows of truth from the impossibly high pile of lies and corruption. I have remained engaged in my hospital and food banks to counter a pandemic that has endangered as many lives from calculated chaos as from respiratory contagion. All under the naïve assumption that if good people continue to do good work, good will prevail.
But tonight I am worn down. By the assholes I encounter every day who refuse to wear masks, the creeps who violate our social distance, the science-deniers who proclaim their individual freedoms, mistaking inconvenience as oppression.
Tonight I am defeated. Exhausted for the people who are truly oppressed, forced to take to the streets at this most dangerous time to shout: ENOUGH! It is time for this to stop. It is time to treat all people, regardless of their skin color or national origin, as equals. It is time for us white folk to stand aside, share the wealth, share the power.
I am the most patriotic person I know. I love this country so much, I served my nation not in war, but in peace, as a VISTA volunteer. I took the time to explore and document it at a depth few ever will. But tonight I am in tears that the nation I love is so morally bankrupt. I reach out to my community, real and virtual, to help me find the strength and support to carry on. To rebuild our democracy, to recapture the noble ideals of a nation that has strayed so far from its purpose.