I am a heterosexual, black woman, who has never served a day in the military. I have two uncles who served, one in the Army and one in the Air Force. At the age of 20, my uncle died as a scouter in the Vietnam War. A 6’5” scouter died in battle. Why was he a scouter is something I cannot answer, but I know this to be true, I was not a fan of seeing any of my college students deciding to go to the military. I don’t want to see them die. And in some cases, come back alive and they cannot figure out how to adjust to life.
I will not serve, but I respect those who do. Yet, this is not a conversation about serving. This is a conversation about equal rights and acknowledging our brothers and sisters.
You may have sat back and observed the travel ban and thought, that has nothing to do with me. So, you didn’t care too much.
You may have sat back and heard all of the talking about building the wall. And in fact, the House budget that passed on July 27, 2017, placed a down payment of $1.6 billion on the wall. You may have thought, “well, I am an American, and it doesn’t apply to me.” In fact, you may secretly agree because then you think that Americans could use those construction jobs that have largely been replaced with cheaper labor.
So, you are now sitting back again when you see the tweets about Transgenders being banned from serving in the military. You may think that it doesn’t apply to you either.
Well, let me tell you what does apply to you – The Department of Justice feels that it is okay to discriminate against transgenders on the job. The DOJ wants to role back any law that would go against strong Voting ID laws. They want to suppress votes. They do not want to prosecute cops who wrongly shoot unarmed black men. Oh, and that NRA television ad that said it was okay to “protect” America with pointing guns to protest groups like Black Lives Matter and the Women’s March will not be investigated. We have a complete and utter racist at the helm of the DOJ who is actually doing his job. Yet, you think it is okay to sit back.
On a sunny afternoon on July 28, 2017, we have our president who made the decision to champion police brutality in the face of the Australian who just died for calling the cops for help. Black and Brown people are arrested at a much higher rate than any other group of people even though we are the minority, and our president wants the DOJ to role back laws that protect anyone who interacts with the police. So, if you have an encounter with an officer, that officer is the judge and jury – and the federal government supports that. Yet, again, you think this has nothing to do with you yet.
Let us learn from history. Hitler did not come to the Jews first. He came from groups that he thought were commonly despised. He went after the gypsies. He went after gays and lesbians. He went after people of color. The Jews were the last group because there was no one else left to stand up for them.
Trump is not Hitler, but Trump will make America Great Again. We know what decade that America was great – pre 1954 (the year Brown v. Board of Education passed that integrated public schools). How was your demographic of people before 1954? My demographic of people lived in a segregated town. They were in the back of the bus. They didn’t go to the movies. They refused to go to the back of the diner for food. I could go on, but I will not.
I will not sit by and let my brother and sister lose today. I know that going after 15,000 people is small for them, and it may be small for you. But, this is only the beginning. Oh, and I am not going back to 1953.