1. Truth: I sent 10 postcards to Donald Trump. It was part of a larger project where people from all over sent the same with a simple message, “Not Bannon.” I added a short message, a plea to “keep white supremacists OUT of the White House.” I don’t pretend to think there aren’t already white supremacists in the White House, or that my postcards will make any difference, even when added to all the others, but I’m willing to try it, to at the very least register my disagreement in some small way.
2. Truth: I sent an email to President Obama. I’ve heard that it’s more effective to call, but I was at work and didn’t want to be interrupted, yet wanted to say something — again, to at the very least register my disagreement in some small way. Here’s where you can submit a message: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact My email said, (feel free to copy it or use it as a script if you call, I’m happy to share if it makes it easier for anyone else),
It has been a blessing to have you as our leader for the past eight years. I voted for you both times, with my whole heart. The first time you were sworn in, I watched live online and sobbed. I’m crying now remembering it.
Over the past eight years, you have been the voice of reason, sanity, and compassion. I know that you’ve done what you could under difficult circumstances. You did so much good, and I know you’d hoped to do so much more. With you in the White House, I believed that we all were moving in the direction of wisdom and compassion, that things would continue, with our good effort, to get better for all people and for our planet.
And now, the bad news (besides that other terrible horrible awful news we got on election day) — In these final days of your time in office, I find myself disappointed in you. As Bernie Sanders said in a recent open letter to you, “It is deeply distressing to me that the federal government is putting the profits of the oil industry ahead of the treaty and sovereign rights of Native American communities.” I don’t have to tell you all the things that are wrong with the Dakota Pipeline Project, (but just in case, here’s the short list: a white community rejected the pipeline near them because of the risk to their water supply when no such option has been given to those at Standing Rock, the way the pipeline has been permitted is not just unethical but possibly illegal — building it a little at a time to avoid the environmental studies that would be required for such a project if submitted as a whole and ignoring standing treaties about the land — and the oil transported by the pipeline is going to be sold to another country so the only purpose of the line is the profit of a select few).
What has me so distressed, so disappointed in you, is that in recent days especially, there have been clear human rights violations happening on the site. These good people who are protecting their sacred burial grounds, their land, and OUR water are being horribly abused.
I’m begging you, step in. Stop the abuse of the water protectors. Stop the pipeline. Make sure those involved in illegal actions are prosecuted and held responsible. And when that’s done, apologize to those at Standing Rock for not stepping in sooner. Please, please make this right.
3. Truth: Yesterday was Giving Tuesday. I didn’t spend any money on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but yesterday I gave $10 to an older gentleman standing out in the cold who’d asked for “.25, .50, anything.” Then I was Christmas shopping and saw the cutest, softest stuffed kitty. Dexter would have loved it so much, and I totally wanted to buy it, even though the dogs we have now can’t have those kinds of toys, (Ringo is a murderer). For a brief second, I considered buying it for myself, but even my broken little heart knew how dumb that was. Then I saw a Giving Tuesday link for one of my favorite animal shelters, Richmond Animal League. Problem solved! If I give them $25 dollars, they don’t just give a dog a new toy, they give him new humans and a new home, and that’s so much better. Then I gave a month’s worth of meals to Rams Against Hunger, a project “aimed at eliminating food insecurity for students at Colorado State University by providing five nutritious meals a week from the CSU dining halls to students in need” because school is hard enough, life is hard enough without having to worry about being hungry too. Then I gave my first Kiva loan. I’ve wanted to give a loan through Kiva before (https://www.kiva.org/) , but every time I go to their website and look, I get so overwhelmed and leave without giving a loan. Yesterday, I tried again, and was successful. First, I filtered to “women” and changed the results to show by “amount remaining.” My goal was to be the one who completed someone’s loan. I looked a bit, and was feeling that same sense of overwhelm, “how am I ever going to choose,” and then I saw her face, and I can’t explain it, but I knew this was the woman I’d help. “Tahira is 37 years old and is from Sialkot, Pakistan. She is a hardworking mother of five young children. She is working hard to ensure a good life for them.” She wanted to buy a sewing machine and some fabric so that she could start a little business to help earn some extra money, and I helped her.
One wish: May we all continue to try, to not give up, and to do what we can with what we have where we are.
Hey! I had to comment because of the Kiva loan! I can’t remember when I did my first one, but I donated $100 and I remember doing the same thing: I was determined to help women particularly and I liked the idea of finding loans that were just about ready to be paid out. After that first loan of $100, every time $25 of it is paid pack, I go back online and re-lend it. At present, I have helped almost 35 different women! (And one man—there was a man, Iraqi if I recall correctly, who needed money for his son’s tuition, and I lent one of my recycled $25 to him). I love Kiva. I was reading something recently which implied that microloans/micro-lending has been a bust, and what do I know? What I do know is I love going on, picking someone, imagining their life. I like to sometimes click on the world map to see where my loans have gone, the percentage to what continents, etc. I get really psyched when another $25 is ready to relend.
By the way, thank you for the info re: the postcards to Trump (hadn’t heard about that) and about emailing Obama. In the last month of numbness alternating with anger and angst, I have been jotting down all of the ideas others have posted here and there about what to do. Recently I decided to finally enroll in a local “parent leader institute” that teaches you about advocacy and local politics (ostensibly for one to use on behalf of the community’s children). It took me 50 years to feel a need to learn more about politics and government. But now it is a visceral need so I must feed it.
Thanks for your awesome blog. I enjoy your posts. Have a great weekend.
Lucille in CT
I’m glad to hear you’ve had such a good experience with Kiva. I’m hoping after that initial loan, it will get easier to chose. I know what you mean — I feel not just that it’s time to get involved in political things, but an urgency about it. If anything good comes out of this election, it’s that. ❤