February 24, 2017 by Petrea
How Do We Respond?
We’re lucky, we Americans, to have a Constitution with a system of checks and balances. When that system is threatened, I’m threatened. If our government can violate a treaty with Native Americans, it can drill for oil under my home, too. If our government can force Muslims to register, it can force atheists to register, or Christians, or Jews, or Buddhists, or Sikhs. If our government can build a wall along the Mexican border and overtax Mexican goods, not only can I no longer afford avocados, tomatoes or even flowers, but the government can build walls anywhere in the country and overtax anyone and anything.
What can I do in the face of this rampaging monster?
Join the resistance (check).
March and demonstrate whenever possible (check).
Attend rallies and town halls (check).
Write to and call my representatives in Congress (both of whom happen to agree with me) and the Senate (one of whom doesn’t always obey me). (check).
And I can create art. Loudly and in the subtlest of ways, art is a response. Even if I ignore politics, simply writing the story I want to write is saying whatever the hell I want to say. The way I depict my characters is a response. Their relationships, professions, even their clothes are a response. Do they go to church? Do they go to therapy? Are they rich? Middle class? Poor? Do they have kids? Are they white, mixed, black, brown? Do they speak English? All of that is a response.
Lately I’m less afraid to speak up than I’ve ever been. Am I older, or just angrier? I know only that it’s more important than ever. Screw political correctness, it feels good to say what I feel. People who know more about politics than I do are doing a great job of writing about the news, and I’d rather read their work than write my own on the subject. My response is mine. It’s humor, it’s fiction, it’s the Wilma Dialogs and it’s the novel I’m writing. I get to do that here in America, and I’ll be damned if you don’t get to do it, too.