January in America [2017 Edition]

Every day, the ways forward seem more narrow, fewer, darker. The future feels tenuous, as if the future itself is not quite sure it exists anymore.

Each day I wake, and more doors seem to be closing against me and mine and us. But we have not been locked out -- we have been locked in, and there is only so much air and so much space and too many bodies.

Every day, I look around at the people I see driving the mini-van in the next lane on the way to work, or the cashier at the supermarket, or the women who tend my children. I wonder if they believe in the suffocation of human rights, if they believe that only certain people get to be married or have healthcare or have the right to control their own bodies. I want to know and I never want to know, because I have a pretty good idea anyway, and even the specter of knowledge breaks me a little more each time I realize it again.

Each day, I gaze at my children, with their doe eyes and legs that are all of a sudden very long, and I do not know what sort of world I can promise to them. I fear that they will be the first generation in the history of our species that will have no hospitable planet to grow old on, that they will be the first generation without an inheritance of land or water or sky, and that I will not have done enough to make this impending reality otherwise.

Every day, I think about money. I think about money and think about money and think about money, and where it will come from, and if it will be enough. I think about how our parents could work any job, any job, for 40 hours a week and know that they could live on the money from that, that they could provide their families with a home and food and clothing, that there would be enough. I think about how I work three jobs, and work well past 40 hours a week, and how it is not even close to enough, not even combined, and I want to rage at those who tell me that I'm entitled to want otherwise, but I can't because I'm too fucking tired.

Each day I wake and hear of some new heresy or hypocrisy handed down from the highest seats of government, new laws that promise to reduce me from human to incubator of humans, new bills that leave thousands to die because they can't pay to be made well, new resolutions that sweat to target education and fairness and kindness and every kind of minority, that assure that least of these that they really are the least, and that by god they will pay for being the least.

And every day I know, I know, that as hard as it is right now, for all the challenges I have, I am one of the lucky ones. I am white, and I come from the middle class, and I possess a great education with no loans outstanding on it, and that is immense privilege. I know that I will be one of the last to be affected if our country sinks like a stone, and god, that's unfair, and still I can't help but be grateful that I don't have it worse. If it's so hard for someone coming into the world with a leg up, how much more devastating must it be for those born into circumstances that they did not choose, circumstances which society has unjustly decided makes them somehow worth less? Why must living beyond mere existence be nearly impossible for any person, much less so many?

The ways forward are closing before me, before us all. Can't you see it? Can't you feel it? Will you stand against the embargo of our rights, of the rights of your neighbors and countrymen and countrywomen? Will you stand for what is acceptable and be uncomfortable, or allow what is unacceptable while retaining your comfort? Will we fight and demand that fairness and empathy rule, or will we let fear and complacency render us mute and flaccid?

The ways are closing before us, and these are those that remain. What will you choose?

Here are some resources to help you resist hate and government-approved injustice and help make this a world that you want to live in:

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