Enemy of the People

The elections have come and gone but the dilemmas of governance still face us. And if there is an enemy of the people, the enemy remains this: fear.

My first encounter with white fear came in my youth from an aunt who told me how the “colored” races were poised to outnumber whites. She showed me literature on it. She commented on the character of Jews. This was my first taste of fear and hatred. I did not like it then. I like it less now. My father, her brother, did not share her viewpoints. A Republican and a Veteran he taught me about respect of others, about patriotism and most importantly about respect of self.

I had a choice then and I have a choice now. To accept fear mongering, to pretend it’s not there, or to stand up and call it out for what it is. And what is it? Fear is the death trap of the living. It is the cold and dismal feeling that drains hope from our being. It is the precursor to anger and hate.

What does fear have to do with an election? This election was not only a race between parties. It was a choice between the politics of fear and the politics of hope.

And in this very fortunate moment, as people of color are stepping up and fulfilling the promises of this great country – we must support them. When people are grieving loved ones lost in violent and unforgivable ways, we must stand by them. When the earth weeps for the brutality we have wrought on her, we must come to her aid.

This is our moment of choice. Who we are and who we want to be is before us. Fear or hope. Kindness or brutality. It is no longer a choice between Republican and Democrat. It is a choice to be human.


The photo is of yarrow. From wikipedia: “In antiquity, yarrow was known as herbal militaris, for its use in stanching the flow of blood from wounds.”

This piece aired on WDRT’s “Consider This” November 8.

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