Stacey Abrams, an amazing woman, was brought to my attention by Molly Ball’s article in the Aug 6th Time Magazine. Equally amazing was Stacey’s family, and her parents, who saw themselves as “genteel poor” because they watched PBS, read books, had no money. Even though both parents had a college education, back in Mississippi they were still black. Her Mom was a librarian but earned less than the school janitor. The family lived in a tiny house, sometimes the electricity or the water got cut off, but both parents insisted their kids “Go to church, take care of one another. There is no excuse for doing nothing!”
These equally amazing parents were eventually called to the Methodist Ministry and Stacey eventually graduated from Spelman College and Yale Law School, then became a tax attorney for the city of Atlanta. Her ability to work well with Republicans, helping them improve their bills so more citizens benefitted, has made her a convincing candidate for Governor of Georgia with her progressive message that arrests liberal white and minorities. Nor does she run for office like a white male, telling everybody what to do. Like the Virginia women last November who wondered why too many male representative in state government seemed to be making rules that would have an adverse affect on women’s ability to be in charge of their own bodies and lives, get a good education, afford child care assistance, get equal pay with men, they finally seemed to say, “I don’t think so.” And so they began organizing and supporting one another in learning how to run for a political office — any office open. It was their hope to become new leaders of center Right and center Left, coming together to take the place of today’s old white guys.
The remarkable teenaged survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting Feb. 14 in Florida continue challenging politicians, pundits and the NRA and have amassed a Twitter following of more than 150,000 students. In Parkland, it’s as if all students and faculty agreed immediately to focus on stronger gun laws. With 17 of their classmates and faculty shot to death, they have become celebrity activists embraced by many as the new leaders of the nation’s generation. Sporting Goods stores, Walmart, Delta, United Airlines, all cut NRA ties in reaction to those shootings and some car rental companies and big banks were not renewing co-branded credit cards with the NRA. About 3.9 million Americans will be turning 18 this year. The Parkinson survivors have made this news that won’t go away. They and their followers are the future of America and they plan to vote!
Trump continues to hold DACA and dreamers hostage until Congress votes him money to “Build that Wall”. Many who work with Border Control and with the Asylum parents whose children have been seized from them, placed in sterile barracks-like buildings — say it is not necessary. Folks like Janelle, must continue to ‘tread water’ hoping for a just future. She calls me, telling me again, that she is in Rochester with her client being kept alive with his regular cancer treatments. She still does her regular exercises, follows her diet and checks her resume on her iPhone for any new leads. Having no social security card, she cannot drive so must depend on others
Some of Trump’s own cabinet are making public statements on TV today that they believe Putin who stated on TV that he wanted Trump to win. They also insist Mueller must be allowed to conclude his investigation to protect our Democracy. Trump, however, insists with great fervor at a rally last night of his followers, that he believes in Putin and that the Collusion and Meuller are all on a witch hunt.
I may well be ‘a cockeyed optimist’ but I need to believe that when Stacey Abrams draws in a sizable minority population to form a coalition with white Democrats; the Virginia ladies energize many women to support and run for public office; and the many students across the nation have entered universities and the vast work world; they will remember these days when they learned the art of precision and respectful protest; knowing exactly what they were protesting, why they were protesting and how to use social media and their own voices to stay on message. These will be tomorrow’s leaders and the model for a generation of millennials to follow. Let us hope this bodes well for DACAs and Asylum seekers to finally become American citizens.
Witch hunt or Truth seekers? Trump or members of his board? Stay tuned.