Last week didn’t feel terribly hopeful politically. First we got the bombing attempts on Soros, Obama, Clinton. Then loud cries from the right that this was obviously a put-up job! Then when they catch the guy, he’s obviously being framed. I also spent more time than it was worth arguing with an FB friend who thinks a)the attacks are a put-up job; b)while he defends the rights of employers to fire anyone at will, he’s outraged the woman who tried to stop a black man entering his own home was fired by her employer — thought policing (no, what she did was not just think wrong thoughts). c)Pat Robertson’s right to suggest George Soros, international Jewish banker, is conspiring against America! Plus lots more blather about the horror of fake rape accusations, political correctness, liberal hatemongering forced Republicans vote for Trump, etc. Like a lot of older white guys, he’s clinging fast to his privilege and he won’t let go.
And then came the shooting at the synagogue. And even if we win in next week’s election, and in 2020, it will be a long time before we’re reasonably secure against this shit. The Republicans have made their choice: white supremacy, male supremacy, bigotry, they’re all in. The next time they get power, they’ll pick up where they left off. So it’s a long hard fight ahead. So let’s have some inspiration. Not really optimistic but a reminder that it’s right to fight, even when the world is turning to suck. Especially when it’s turning to suck.
First, Bishop Oscar Romero: “When we struggle now for human rights, for freedom, for dignity; when we feel that the church’s ministry means showing concern for those who are hungry, those who have no school, or those who suffer exclusion, we are not departing from God’s promise. He comes to free us from sin, and the church knows that the consequences of sin are all these injustices and crimes. That is why the church knows that she is saving the world when she undertakes to speak of such things.
Blair LM Kelley: “Progressives, liberals and sexual assault survivors and all those who desire a more just and decent America and who feel they lost when Kavanaugh was confirmed despite their protest should remember Mitchell, Plessy, Walker and Wells, along with Elizabeth Jennings, James Pennington, Lola Houck, Louis A. Martinet, Rodolphe Desdunes, P.B.S. Pinchback, W.E.B. DuBois, Mary Church Terrell, J. Max Barber and many others, including those whose names we do not know. All of these men and women were on the side of justice and lost. None of these people, who fought for full and equal public access as free citizens on trains and streetcars, stopped fighting. None abandoned what they knew was right. They all tried again. Most would not live to see things made right, but they continued. ”
Talia Levin: “The Myth of Sisyphus posits that the most logical response to the certain knowledge that one will die and fade into oblivion is suicide, but that “the absurd man”—Camus’ hero, embodied by Sisyphus himself—accepts this fate fully, and rejoices in it. “The struggle itself toward the heights,” Camus writes, “is enough to fill a man’s heart … it is possible to look around us and consciously—with a discipline of the mind that may seem at times beyond our strength—manufacture hope, and use it as an impetus forward.”
Czech president and former dissident Vaclav Havel: “Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”
CS Lewis (I thought I had a link, but no): “The gods will fall. The wisdom of Odin, the humourous courage of Thor (Thor was something of a Yorkshireman) and the beauty of Balder, will all be smashed eventually by the realpolitik of the stupid giants and misshapen trolls. But that does not in the least alter the allegiance of any free man.”