Two elections in the past 18 years didn’t break my heart into a million little pieces. In 2008 and 2012, we elected and re-elected Barack Obama for president. I can’t help but speculate, two years after we elected donald trump, that white people just got scared. But that sort of lets white people off the hook, doesn’t it. To just say we’re scared. We got scared that a black man was the face of the US.
And now, we’re scared of a group of brown-skinned men, women, and children who are fleeing unsafe conditions in Central America. I’m not going to pretend that I know very much about immigration. I am woefully ignorant of the difficulties migrant families face in their countries of origin or of what they will face when they make it to the US border.
Here’s the thing. While I don’t have all the knowledge I should have–it’s my fault I don’t–about immigration, I don’t watch FOX news. Ever. So I’m not afraid of the migrant families trying to make it to the US for asylum, for a better life, for protection, food, the alleviation of grinding poverty.
In fact, I want to help. I believe that is what we’re called to do. As citizens of the world and as citizens of the United States and as citizens of our states and as citizens of our communities. We’re human, for God’s sake.
I’ve got a LOVE MORE sign in my front yard. And you know what that means to me? That I love those people moving towards the United States. People who understand that our president doesn’t want them and, in fact, is sending troops to the border–and they’re still coming. Because, I suppose, they believe in our better angels. Our better angels, folks.
I live in a small, very Christian, very white community in Southern Illinois. That LOVE MORE sign in my front yard–I see it all over town, and I believe people mean it.
So what’s the problem?
It’s the resolution on tomorrow’s ballot here in Richland County. It’s the gun sanctuary resolution:
“Shall Richland County become a sanctuary county for law abiding gun owners to protect them from unconstitutional gun laws passed by the Illinois General Assembly?“
What it means is that if our general assembly passed laws prohibiting in any way our “god-given” gun rights, Richland County would welcome all persecuted gun owners in for safety and protection.
It doesn’t mean a damned thing. A resolution is a piece of paper. Being a gun sanctuary county is just a way of saying, “We Love Our Guns.”
I’m going to be blunt here, I think it’s dumb, but whatever.
I just think it’s ironic, that in Richland County people believe it’s important to protect gun owners while at the same time our president is going out of his way to do the opposite to a group of people who are in great need of sanctuary. Why the hell else would you travel on foot to the US border? N. E. E. D.
Breaks my heart and makes me mad.
You see, I want to believe in tomorrow–that people will vote. I want to believe in the so many people who’ve already voted. I want to believe that we can undo some of the horror (yes, horror) implicit in donald trump’s election.
But I’m worried. Because I never, for one minute, thought he would win. It didn’t occur to me that he could win. People were too decent.
I’m worried, friends. I’m worried about tomorrow. I’m worried that too many people of color, too many people without addresses, too many people working minimum wage jobs while trying to secure decent housing, too many people won’t vote–because we’ve made it too hard, because because we’ve made it impossible, because they don’t have the time or don’t believe it matters because it’s never made a difference in their lives.
I’m worried that the voting machines are rigged.
I’m worried that even if Democrats win, the government will step in and invalidate the elections.
I’m worried we won’t win enough seats to make a difference.
I’m worried that so many of the people I love are going to keep voting for lies and cruelty.
It’s been a long, hard journey with my eyes on LOVE MORE. Because that night in 2016 when I realized donald trump was going to be president–well, it destroyed, a little bit, my faith in people.
I’m working to build it back up.
I hope tomorrow helps.