L. Jurgen Atema –Jan. 2021
We are all grateful when the hurricane has passed and our home yet stands. When we look into the stillness that follows to see the detritus of leaves and branches, the blown over trash or umbrella that speaks to the long, riotous night. Relief floods in the awakening space of our good fortune.
Then, bleeding into our dawning awareness, we grasp that fortune’s dance partner is devastation. So we reach beyond our steadfast walls, out to neighbors, community, country, with the ugly understanding that the work has just begun. It is here we realize there are no strangers, that we all are founded on the same land, in the same arc of time, and our work is joined by the same elements.
Now, in this blue-black of the dawn’s early light, we see our union battered, fragmented into tribalism, vulnerable to internal and external elements. This tempest has inundated all of our homes with great effect. We now know it will only be with immediate effort that we have a chance to move to a more peaceful union. For delay invites the rat-scavengers of chaos to gnaw at what remains, multiplying injury to the insult we’ve just endured.
We must begin to reassemble the decent heart of America. We face this challenge knowing compassion’s long road; knowing we have a very short time. We must, however, must lead with compassion for those with whom we have so vehemently disagreed. For those who have leveled abuse after abuse upon us. Rebuilding ourselves on the stump of hate, fear and violence multiplies the inevitable decay of time and negates our efforts.
Our MAGA citizens are our problem. The storm that shook our homes awoke the kraken of fear in theirs; dissembled their conscience. January 6th makes that clear. The violent insurrection that ensued was filled with decent people fighting an enemy that has no physical embodiment. Filled with decent people who bought a story of hate and division. Filled with decent people who were confounded by a media mirage fomented by their leaders’ frothing hate.
To be clear, I give no safe harbor to those who provoked this insurrection; who sold 45’s ‘big lie’.
Leaders who pleasured themselves by injecting this purulent discharge into the necks of the decent and the kind should be buried in the vacuous hold of prison for a very long time. They should be made to see the horror they have wrought all while being reduced to an insignificant void. We must never forget their actions, while making them inconsequential.
Our MAGA citizens are raw and angry. Their palpable distrust of Americas majority continues to be fed by their media diet and may yet grow to a fearsome level of malevolence. The hangover from 45 is rapidly being filled by the-hair-of-the-dog. But we have a moment to seize. To engage with the followers of MAGA.
Unfortunately, this work comes with confrontation; with standing in the lane of fear and hate and diverting those decent folks back to kindness and truth. MAGA is built on fear of ‘them’, while not recognizing that is us. So let MAGA see us, the decent, kind and compassionate soul of America.
But let them also know that we will not bend. That compassion has hard, un-malleable edges that will resist them. That our compassion will grind them into submission before we will yield to the obscenity that they have been sold.
In a divided country, democracy is a fragile business and time is short. MAGA will try and divert us, make us feel our decency is weakness. They will point at a scratch in our truth, and ignore the mortal wound of fear and hate in theirs. And though our truths are not perfect, they are certainly more perfect. Don’t be shaken by their finger pointing. Stay focused on the arc of the task. Speak, organize, resist; stay together, stay strong.
Decency gives no quarter to fear and hate; yet fear and hate are brutal tools that will conspire to break us individually. Those who work with the deepest empathy should not stand alone in this task. Bond yourselves to others who work similarly. Unity is how we make our stand.
So repel MAGA shoulder to shoulder with your tribe. Support each other on your social media feeds. Organize friends to stand with you when speaking against MAGA’s voice. When the ‘big lie’ is exposed to the relentless scrutiny of truth, delivered with compassion, the decent folks will turn from MAGA, forcing the dregs of what remains too wither rather than fester. Work together to soften their hate and dispel the lies. Find the cracks in MAGA and fill them with your kindness and compassion. Work together and stay united.
Democracy asks us to answer the call now. It needs the decent heart of America to stay the course while the lingering squalls of this tempest persist.
United in compassion for every neighbor, we are the decent heart of America. We will rebuild America, Democracy-Strong.
L. Jurgen Atema –Jan. 2021