I’m With Her.

Last night I lay down on the couch, with my head in my mother’s lap, and together we watched Hillary Clinton accept the Democratic nomination for the Presidency of the United States. And though she wasn’t my first choice, it was a profound moment.

My mother was an immigrant. And she is the granddaughter of immigrants. And there we were, with my own sleeping daughter on both of our minds, as we watched a woman move one step away from the Oval Office.

A moment for my mother, who was so often called “mouthy”.

A moment for me, who was incessantly bullied with the words “aggressive” and “bossy”, and who is still told way too often to “tone it down.”

A moment for my young daughter, whose legs and mouth and mind never stop moving.

And now Hillary Clinton, the mouthy, aggressive, boss lady, who has been told way too often to “stop screaming” and “smile” is one step away from being President of the most influential country in the world.

It was a moment where I understood in a unique way that my daughter’s life will be fundamentally different because of the barrier that was broken tonight. And all of a sudden, all I want to do is buy her a Hillary doll wearing a white pantsuit.

Hillary

I can’t pretend that it doesn’t matter to me that a woman is up on that stage. It does. Maybe she wasn’t my first choice, but now she is the only choice, so I’m moving forward with optimism. It’s a “Fine, I’m With Her” instead of a “Hell Yeah, I”m With Her”, but I’m with her just the same. And not just because it brought tears to my eyes to see a woman up there, embracing her own daughter, before accepting the responsibility of running for the highest office on the planet. But because the alternative is unthinkable.

Because it is likely that the next President could appoint up to 4 Supreme Court judges. Those appointments will shape the future of the next generation of the United States, and that could shape the next generation in the world. I do not want my daughter to be a citizen of a country whose next door neighbour, largest trading parter, and biggest influence, thinks that a bunch of white men reading from a mythical book of metaphors should decide what women can and cannot do with their bodies.

It is no secret that I am a huge fan, supporter and adorer of Bernie Sanders. His authenticity, his compassion, his unadulterated belief in the goodness of people and our ability to rise above our base fears to work together for each other is both inspiring and liberating. I mean it from the bottom of my heart when I say that I love him, and that he changed my view not just of what’s possible in politics, but of what’s possible in people. His movement brought out of the shadows millions of people who believe that the more you give, the more you get. They worked so hard for him, and they can’t stop now.

Here’s the thing:

Hillary is not the world’s greatest orator, but some moments of authenticity really shone through last night. I appreciated them, and I’m hanging on to them as I jump onto her bandwagon. She said a lot of things I wanted to hear – a lot of things that many of Bernie’s supporters wish she had been saying all along. But she’s saying them now. And I hope so hard that all of the people who worked tirelessly for Bernie will work for her. Help her win, and reset the course of the country. And then hold her feet to the fire. Make her honour her word, and demand justice when she doesn’t. Get involved in any way you can in the engine of democracy in your country. The revolution that Bernie started was never about him, it was about everyone. Get behind Hillary now, and move the revolution forward.

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Only love can win

http://www.catholicteacherresources.com/2012/02/peace-prayer-service/

I’m going to say some stuff here that some people may not like.  And that’s okay.  We’re allowed to have a difference of opinion and still love each other around here.  If you can’t do that, allow me to tip my hat to you as you make your way over to another, less offensive blog for now.  Hope to see you back here real soon.

So here’s the deal:

There’s some shit going down on the other side of the world.  It’s all over the news on tv and on the radio and in the paper and in social media.

A lot of people have been all up in my Facebook these days with their opinions on the recent flareup of violence in the Middle East.  I’ve got people filling up my newsfeed with pro-Israeli reports and other people filling up my newsfeed with pro-Palestinian reports.  And other people filling up my newsfeed with cat videos, which is the most offensive of all.  But I digress.

I’m not an expert in politics in general, and I’m certainly not the most knowledgeable about Mideast politics.  It seems that the issues run so deep and so far back and are so tangled up in culture and religion and economics that to truly understand the heart of the matter would take years of study and conversation and to be quite honest with you, my heart just can’t take it.  Just scratching the surface of it right now is almost too much to bear.

Because I have a daughter who is both Jewish and Muslim.  She has blood coursing through her veins that carries the history of slavery and oppression, of conquerors and pharohs, and of people who just can’t freaking get along.  And truly, I worry sometimes about the weight she will carry in her life because of it.

The day will come when she will ask me what side I’m on.  My opinion will matter not only because I’m her mother, but because I’m a Muslim woman who chose a Jewish man.  And I still choose him, happily and wholeheartedly, every single day.

And also I know, in her heart, she will be asking me what side she should be on.  But how can she pick a side?  How can she turn her face to her left, trying to deny her right?  How can she pretend that choosing in favour of one side isn’t also choosing against another, and that would mean choosing against herself?  How can she choose between her mother and her father?

In our house, in our family, she will never have to.  I am committed to this with all my heart, and I will shoot down and knock out anyone in our extended families who try to sway her to one side.

We are not going to get into who’s right and who’s wrong.  Both sides have arguments that are valid, and both sides have arguments that hold no water with me.  So they can have their reasons, and they are welcome to them.  And that’s what we will teach our daughter.

And when she asks how she is to choose a side, we will tell her she doesn’t have to.  All she has to choose is love.  Each side feels they are right.  Each sides feels they’ve been wronged.  Love them both.  Honour them both.  Fight for them both.  Not for one side to win, but for both sides to win.  Not for one side to conquer,overcome, and defeat, but for love to conquer, overcome and defeat.

We will not pick sides.  We will simply hold up love as our standard.  That’s all she needs to know.