The summer of 2022 felt like whiplash—left and right, SCOTUS curtailed and eroded critical civil rights protections.
What does it mean to be an American, in a country where our highest institutions can take rights away with the stroke of a pen?
To me, a Black, Jewish, queer, and first-generation American, whose mother came to this country seeking opportunity and access, freedom would actually look like the unrestricted and unfettered right to vote. It would look like a true democracy that isn’t constantly teetering on the edge of collapse. Freedom would look like me leaving my home, without the fear of being shot dead by the police or the latest mass shooter (and we know there will be many more, especially now that states can no longer regulate guns). It would look like access to public toilets, housing for the unhoused, green spaces, basic health care no matter where I worked, and schools with working heat and A/C.
Our stories that reveal the true nature of this country and describe our resistance; we constantly hold up a mirror to our collective reflection. From Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman to white co-conspirators like Anne Braden, we cajole this country to bridge the chasm between who we are and who we seek to be.
Our country’s short history has been violent, traumatic, and devastating. And it’s also been filled with stories of collective hope, resistance, and adaptation to change. Our story isn’t over. As I call on the magic of my and our collective ancestors, We have not lost our agency. We have the power and opportunity to shape change, thereby shaping our story and our collective future. Our story isn’t over.
From the Lilith Blog, July 2022. Read the full article here.