This weekend, at our local People’s Solidarity Rally, we joined millions of people around the country and around the world in registering our objections to what President Trump intends to do (and already has done, simply in rising to the position that he has in the manner that he did), and we brought M with us. The rally in our city was not particularly large, but to M it was HUGE.
I think it was very powerful for my daughter to see a large crowd of people who are resisting Trump and hate the way that we are…she knows we are not alone.
She insisted on making her own sign – I asked her what she wanted me to write on it, and she told me which words (and which to make “all big letters”), then I created the bubble letters and she colored them in. She was very proud of it, and wanted me to share this picture with Hillary Clinton (I’m not entirely sure how to do that, but I should figure it out!):
Madrigal has been a passionate supporter of Hillary Clinton ever since watching parts of the DNC convention with us this summer. She’s 5, so her understanding of what’s going on is obviously not incredibly sophisticated, but she definitely came to her own conclusion about what Trump is (“a bully who doesn’t love everyone and wants to make us hate and hurt each other”) and who Hillary Clinton is (“a really strong woman who loves everyone and wants to help us take care of each other”) and I’m just really proud of her engagement. And of course, heartbroken that she did not get to see Hillary sworn in as president, and that instead she will have to grow up in the world that Trump and his enablers are shaping. I can’t even articulate how much that breaks my heart. But Hillary Clinton is no less a role model for my daughter in “defeat” (she did win the popular vote by an astounding margin, after all).
We were able to walk to the rally from our house (we only live about one mile outside of downtown). In our matching pink hats (and sweaters, because she adorably insists on matching me whenever possible), and with my husband carrying signs, it was quite obvious where we were headed. We got several honks and cheers from cars that passed us, a few high-fives from fellow walkers…and one jerk in a big SUV honked and gave us the finger. I…struggle to imagine the mindset that feels powerful upon flipping off a 5 year old.
But to circle back around to the picture I opened this post with…the idea that the story of the universe is still being written, and that we have a part to play in how it turns out. I *love* that idea. That’s why I think it is so important to speak up about injustice, to make noise, to make “good trouble”. There’s that famous line about the long arc of the moral universe bending towards justice, and the thing that’s always bugged me slightly about the usual framing of it is that it seems to assume that there is an moral universe that’s just out there, doing its long arc, and we just experience it. I know some people find that meaningful and inspiring, but to me, it seems like a framing that inspires complacency. As a Humanist, I hold that if there is a moral universe at all, it is one of our own making, and thus the arc that bends towards justice only does so if we *make* it bend. We are the makers of this story and I hope we can make it good.
Oh, M, I’m so sorry this is the direction things have gone, but I will be by your side fighting for what is right and trying to make the future you inherit as good as it can possibly be, and bending that arc back in the direction of justice.