I feel as though I'm surrounded by borders and landmines. I even told my husband I'm afraid to be social with some people because I'm afraid of what they might say. How did this happen? I am sad, but I am determined. I am determined to stand up for what is right and to stand up for people that need it more than me. I marched for women's rights and I marched for the right's of others that have much fewer privileges than I. I marched for equality, and I'm tired of even women not being able to recognize their own injustices because we have learned to tolerate them. I have been mocked by friends and family and seen posts and letters about strong women that do not feel inferior or suppressed in any way. Strong women that don't need a march or a pink hat. I'm glad they live on the island of denial or unawareness. It must be much easier there. Women worked very hard for decades and centuries so that we may have the freedoms and rights they speak of.
People are speaking up in resistance to something much bigger than what people realize. It's not about abortion and it's not just about women and Muslims. It's about America and what that word means to everyone around the world now. It's about freedom and individualism. America isn't run by the same people anymore. They aren't just straight men, they aren't white, and they aren't rich. America is a little piece of every part of the world in search of something better. That's how this country came to be and that's who is running this country now. We want people in office that represent these ideals.
The best way for me to stay positive and inspired and keep hope is to read and to write. I encourage you to do the same. We are witnessing a BIG part of American history, and it will feel pretty good knowing that I did a little more than just witness. I've included one of the letters I've written to a local senator. The good thing about the obvious trend we've seen in our White House Line-Up is that I can simply delete a name and toss in a new one!
I strongly encourage more people to do the same.
To those of you making your voice heard, thank you and I applaud you. They are listening and you are making a difference. You will be a valuable piece of our new history books.
Dear Senator Jeff Stone,
My husband and I recently took our boys to see the mighty Lady Liberty off the shores of New York City for the first time. I, along with hundreds of other people aboard the ferry boat, lifted my camera to take pictures of what has been a landmark of hope and freedom for our country for centuries now. Pictures taken from even the most talented photographers cannot do it justice. She seemed larger and more brilliant in person. I leaned over to my seven year old son and said, "Isn't she amazing? So many people from all over the world saw this statue and wept with relief and beamed with hope." I felt my face tighten and my lip quiver. I was holding back a lump in my throat just thinking of the many lives and stories that passed through here. "Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me..."
We are that country. We have set ourselves far above so many standards in the world, yet we hold ourselves back from being truly courageous and forward thinking when comes to supporting those of minority to live a life of liberty as you and I do in this beautiful country. The "tempest-tossed" are indeed the refugees, the gay and lesbian population, the poor minority population, and our African American population. The adversities they have faced, and continue to face on a regular basis cannot be adequately understood by those that live a life of privilege...like you and I.
I want to tell my sons the stories of the brave immigrants that pushed through their own adversities to start this great country, and that the blood, sweat and tears were worth it to live in a country where you could live the kind of life that makes you happy and allows you to feel safe.
I am afraid to look at my phone in the morning these days. I am afraid to see, yet another, disappointing and discouraging announcement from our government. Jeff Sessions has shown very blatantly that only select groups in this country deserve the very rights and freedoms Lady Liberty represents. He has continually opposed legal immigration and was deemed unfit for the seat of a federal judge due to his lack of sensitivity, and inappropriate remarks toward our black community. It doesn't take much research to see an obvious pattern in the newly appointed Trump Administration. It is a pattern of prejudice. It is a pattern that tells the world we have not really evolved and we haven't learned from our mistakes of short-sightedness. What an incredible message we could send to other countries if we continually show them we can run a safe, profitable country that supports the happiness and prosperity of men, woman and children of all colors, religions, cultures, and opinions.
I am a registered nurse in Murrieta. I am a registered Democrat, but was raised in a very Republican family. I have tried to understand, with an open mind, our differences of opinions on the political matters that separate us. I have tried to focus my young adult life on matters that I can control for the betterment of my family, and be a successful and hard-working member of this community. It has become very apparent to me that it is no longer an issue of being Republican or Democrat. It is a matter of human decency. It is a matter of being respectful and tolerant. Jeff Sessions is not. He lacks the tolerance and compassion that this country is supposed to be known for.
I urge you to, at the very least, consider making your voice heard to block Jeff Sessions from becoming Attorney General. Please do what you can to stop this new trend of government that is obviously intolerant and close-fisted. Thank you for your dedication to the communities of Temecula and Murrieta in which I work and live, and I especially thank you for listening to the opinions of your fellow citizens. --Leslie O'Neill