At the turning of the year

At the turning of the year

First, let me start by saying this: I am incredibly blessed. I have a wonderful life: I’m married to an amazing woman, I have a job where I make an impact, I have friends and family who enrich my life.

And because of this, I don’t have the belief that this is all of my own doing. Part of it is. But a great part of it is because of the community of which I’m a part. I don’t mean my local community. I mean the greater community of which we all are a part. No man or woman is an island; we are all only as strong as the weakest among us, so it is incumbent upon all of us to raise up each other. That is the essence of humanity: we rise or fall together, not singly.

We are turning a page tonight. A new wind blows. We have endured a penurious two years. Years of despair and questioning. Is this all we are? Have we exhausted our possibilities? Are we doomed to decline and wallow in the mire? Is what Donald Trump represents the future?

No. No. And no.

We are in a new long twilight struggle. There are forces in this world which seek to oppress. Which seek to establish dominance. These forces are forces which grow by diminishing others. Trump is the expression of these forces, but he’s not their prime mover. They have existed since the dawn of humanity. And humans have always struggled against them. We’ve seen them in the past century. Fascism. Communism. And now a revivified fascism, which seeks to place a boot on the face of humanity for eternity.

But never has a people been more equipped to fight these forces. We don’t tug at our forelocks and accept things as the will of God. We are our own agents. We fight for our own rights. We will not be categorized, or numbered, or put down. We will struggle for our own dignity, and the dignity of others.

This new year is not like the past two. We’re not just holding the line. We’re advancing, pushing back against those who would stifle us. Both those of the extreme right and left will have a fight on their hands. We won’t be frightened, we won’t be cowed, we won’t be silenced. We will persevere and move forward, because we know that we fight for what is right. Is this messianic? No, it’s mere justice. We are a people awakened to our own power, and we will not allow those who wish to hoard it take it away from us. As we say in Spanish, el pueblo unido jamas sera vencido. A united people will never be defeated. People like Trump and Putin—and, yes, Bernie Sanders—think that they can frighten us into reaching to them as saviors. No. We are our own saviors, and each others’ saviors. We don’t need men on white horses to lead us. We are our own leaders. As a wise man said, we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

For this new year, I wish you joy and strength. One cannot go with the other. And we will win.



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