Jon S. Randal
Rambling thoughts here:
I've been noticing a very disturbing trend where some people are sharing links comparing tragedies, such as "What makes the deportation of an illegal alien who has been here more than 21 years more important than the Flint water crisis?" My opinion is that they are both important, they are both tragedies which we must continue to be aware of and share our frustration and discontent about what is happening in this country. This is not a competition.
I have a feeling, however, that these posts and links may be a conscious effort to divide the people, to dismantle piece by piece any opposition to policies and actions that are detrimental to the health of this nation. History has proven that neither wealth, power, nor hate can defeat a people united for a common cause, but, this strategy which seeks to divide allows whoever is in power to retain that power with only splintered opposition.
Just look at all the divisive events in the past few years - how certain groups have been pitted against one another to think that if you are for one group you must be against the other, prime example, i.e., if you support Black Lives Matter, you must not support police. It is not a competition, it's not either / or. You can care for the lives of both, for all, it does not mean you wish for the deaths of anyone - although, some extreme voices have pushed this agenda, which is just wrong.
And, don't get me wrong, I don't think the people in your circles who may be sharing these posts or links are doing it intentionally, so don't go bashing everyone who does it, they may not fully understand what is going on, which is why we need to understand, and, if need be, we need to explain what's happening.
Support Black Lives Matter. Protest the Flint water crisis. Show your horror at the deportation of immigrants who are essentially "citizens" by virtue of their standing in their community and the years they have been here without harming anyone. Protest DAPL. Support LGBTQ rights. There are so many attacks right now on civil liberties and other rights that it is difficult to see the Big Picture - which is . . .
WE NEED TO WORK TOGETHER. We can iron out the details later, right now many groups are under attack, we can't be attacking each other as well. This is why we are in this situation in the first place because we fell for the "divide and conquer" strategy, and now many groups which had previously been allies are against each other. This is why we are arguing with family and friends. This is why we are so divided. Ask yourself who benefits from all this division? That's where the focus should be.
Both Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Cesar Chavez both knew the importance of including other groups who also have been oppressed, allowing them to march with them and to support them when needed. Dr. King advised a Native American group, Chavez spoke at a Gay Rights protest.
As Martin Niemöller said:
"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."
Lincoln's birthday was yesterday, and he said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." Tomorrow is Valentine's Day - let's try to stop fighting and instead show a little bit more love. Just my opinion.