Friday, December 30, 2016

love doesn’t always win

There’s a sign popping up around my neighborhood in various people’s yards. It’s produced by a group called Nasty Women Get Shit Done PDX (that link goes to their Facebook page). Proceeds from sales of the sign go to producing more signs for sale and to Lutheran Community Services NW Emergency Housing Fund, which provides financial assistance to incoming refugees. Here’s more information on where to buy the sign.

I think it’s great that these women have produced these signs, and I’m pleased to see them around town. The sign says:

The text:

In Our America
All People Are Equal
Love Wins
Black Lives Matter
Immigrants & Refugees Are Welcome
Disabilities Are Respected
Women Are In Charge of Their Bodies
People & Planet Are Valued Over Profit
Diversity is Celebrated

I don’t have the sign in my yard, and that has surprised some neighbors that know me.

Again: I'm pleased to see the sign - I like that people are taking such a strong, public stand. It's nice to know I'm surrounded by people that don't agree with the incoming Presidential administration. It gives me a great deal of comfort.

But I have three problems with the sign:

1) I really hate calling the USA “America.” The USA is a part of “America.” So is Canada and Mexico and all of Central America and South America. I get told off on this point every time I travel and meet people from these regions. It's an exhausting conversation.

2) The sign should say “Immigrants & Refugees Are Welcomed”, with a “d” at the end.

3) This is the really big one, the primary reason I don't have the sign in my yard: because of the part that says “Love Wins”. Because love doesn’t win. Unfortunately, very often, love loses. Very often, love doesn’t even come into play in the fight.

Love didn’t free the slaves in the USA - a war, a burning sense of social justice by many people (but not the majority of people), legislation and a minority of people with a lot of power did.

Love didn’t win World War II - the better militaries did.

Love didn’t prevent the Holocaust.

Love didn’t give women the vote in the USA.

And love didn’t win on November 8, 2016.

I have a huge amount of respect for those that are responding to the horror in the USA with a sense of love. That’s great. Good for you. I'm not telling you that you shouldn't have that value.

But I just cannot manage love in the face of evil. It would be hypocritical of me to put that sign in my front yard.

It will take something monumental to restore my faith in humanity, for me to believe that love wins, and, quite frankly, I think it’s impossible.

I haven't given up on life, or this world, or even this country. I’m going to keep fighting - non-violently, of course. I won’t repeat myself on how, I’ve said so quite plainly in earlier blog entries. But I confess that, for me, love has nothing to do with it. I fight because I value ethics, justice, humanism, equality and the planet. Not from a sense of love as much as a sense of righteousness.

Good luck out there, everybody.

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