For the last several days I’ve been struggling emotionally. There are a few personal reasons that have contributed to my case of the blues, like a foot injury that is healing much more slowly than I’d like, but as I’ve tried to understand why I’m this way I’ve realized that it’s all Donald Trump’s fault.
Not really. If Hillary Clinton was our President, things would be better, but I know based on what happened when Obama was President that I’d also have lots of problems with her. On climate, for example, there is no question that, under Clinton, we would need a great deal of activism and mobilization to combat her incrementalist approaches to this huge civilizational crisis. Instead of incrementalism, we need much, much more, a World War II kind of societal mobilization of will, energy and resources.
Under Trump and the Republicans, we’re getting, on just about every issue, more like an attempted societal mobilization to accelerate movement towards the cliff of worldwide climate catastrophe, repressive government, attacks on the poor and even more income inequality, overt racism and sexism, stepped-up permanent war, etc., etc., etc.
There’s a lot to be depressed about.
What I’ve been saying to myself and to other people since Trump’s inauguration is that “there are a lot of bad things, and there are a lot of good things.” What are the good things? They can be summed up in one word: RESISTANCE.
Just this morning I heard on Democracy Now Congressman Luis Gutierrez speaking about the major mobilization in support of immigrant rights and other rights on May 1. I’ve heard that this was happening, but it was good to hear him publicizing it over national progressive media. Two days before those nationwide actions, on April 29th, is the second People’s Climate March, expected to bring out hundreds of thousands of people to Washington, DC. Also this morning it was reported that a judge in Hawaii blocked Trump’s latest Muslim ban effort. Much of the media just keeps refusing to kowtow to Bannon’s boy. Under mass pressure from below many Democrats in Congress are resisting there. And Bernie keeps speaking up and leading, like the movement’s energizer bunny.
It helps to remember all of this.
It also helps to remember what I said in an interview last week while taking action against a major fracked gas pipeline on the Walk to Protect the People and Places We Live in northeast North Carolina. I said there, in response to a question about if I ever get depressed or feel hopeless, that yes, I do, but what I’ve learned is that when I do, I need to consciously accept it and work my way through it. I need to take a break and spend time in the natural world, taking a walk or a bike ride in the outdoors. I need to take the time to talk out my feelings with a friend or loved one or a group of them. I need to meditate, make contact with the Great Spirit in which I believe.
I also need to think of all of those people, past and present, who lived or are living daily realities that are much harder than mine, yet who continue to struggle for justice. Just five days ago I was with thousands of them, Indigenous people taking part in the Native Nations March in DC. I can, we can, draw strength from their strength and resilience, the amazing, deeply-spiritual, massive, effective resistance at Standing Rock. Even with Trump’s rapid move upon taking office to approve the Dakota Access pipeline crossing the Missouri river, there is no question but that the Standing Rock resistance, the months-long encampment of thousands, has taken our movement several steps forward, with effects still playing out.
My bottom line: it would be a disservice to young people, to those yet to be born, for me to do anything other than to give all that I can, as well as I can, to help bring into being a world of justice, grounded in love. I will keep at it.