To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Observercast

Bring It On

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BY SHARON MARTIN

Have you felt like curling into a ball and crying these last two weeks? The bald-faced cruelty of the Trump Administration has left me heartsick.

People who had been through years-long screening were turned away from our door and sent back to nothing. They’d sold their personal property and quit jobs. Some left family waiting at the airline gate. Some were returned to certain danger.

And none of it makes us safer. Or richer, unless your portfolios are heavy with defense stocks.

Just two weeks in, and we are already tired. We’re tired of marching, tired of responding to lies, tired of protesting the latest cruelty. This regime is counting on that. If they wear us out, they win.

If you’re find yourself faltering, an Oklahoma City poet has some suggestions. Jennifer E. Hudgens urges us not only to keep “speaking up and out against hate” and “being good humans” but also to “make art.”

“I know some really amazing folks,” she adds.

So do I. And some of them voted for the president. The arrogance to think that only we have the answers will do no one any good. We need to listen as well as speak up, but we can’t be OK with lies and hate.

So, buck up. Get up each day armed with your best weapons – kindness and a determination to know the truth.

Fighting back is grueling work, but there are positives. Food isn’t being rationed … yet. We don’t need to carry identification papers to go to work … yet. We can still gather and speak and stand in the open.

And we have tools. Purpose, courage, books, and beauty can help us carry on. Time spent with friends and loved ones will keep us from getting burned out by the fight. A walk in the woods or neighborhood park does everyone some good.

Poets and musicians, keep writing and performing, and not just protest poems and fight songs. Writers, painters, and sculptors, keep creating. Art and beauty are not only necessary to our lives but to the fight. If it weren’t so, cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts and its sister organization wouldn’t have been among the first announced.

Soldiers aren’t the only ones who will fight to keep us free. Artists will keep making art. Scientists will keep thinking and observing and sharing. Journalists will bear witness.

Keep up the good fight.

Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer