This is a day that I feel proud to be an American. Deepest gratitude and respect to all the students who walked out of school today, and the adults who support them. Demonstrations of civic consciousness are fundamental to our democracy, and we are all responsible for one another’s “general welfare.” Beyond the shores of America, there have been shows of solidarity across the globe. I am not ashamed to say that these events move me to tears. It is so good to know that humans still act in ways that are a balm to the spirit and soul.
I made sure to contact both my daughters’ schools to express my support for any students moved to walk out in remembrance and in exercise of our collective right to responsive representation. At 10am I smudged (indigenous ceremony of lighting sage for purification and prayer) with my 4yr old and sang “This Little Light of Mine.”
It felt like the right choice, as the song recently associated with the travesty/tragedy in Charlottesville. Just as we can no longer accept the unchecked access to and proliferation of military-grade guns in our shared public spheres, we can no longer ignore the clear threats and unfettered recruitment efforts of internet radicalization among white supremacist groups.
Most people are aware of the classic exception to free speech: you cannot yell “fire!”in a movie theater, because it can cause panic and endanger the crowd of innocent people. In the name of safety, it seems logical that nor we should allow violence-stoking hate speech that glorifies the prospect of race wars and even, disgustingly, commends or makes light of school shootings. At minimum, that joke isn’t funny anymore. Also, such rhetoric is seditiously divisive to the “more perfect Union” we are Constitutionally responsible to form. Even worse, it is impossible to distinguish in tone and tactics from other terrorist organizations across the world.
Do feel free to share your thoughts and stories.