First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

-Martin Niemoller

RUSSIA-GAY-RIGHTS-DEMO

A friend of mine stopped by my house recently.

She was scared.

My friend was born male, but now identifies as female.

She said…

“I’ve only recently began to be able to walk down the street. I fear that if Donald Trump becomes president, then it will become open season on people like me.”

Our house is a safe haven in the middle of Indiana, a state which is anything but safe for people who are different.

There is a rainbow flag in the window and a Bernie Sanders sign in the yard.

Although my politics fall to the extreme left, I am no idealist.

I believe strongly that we should always attempt to use peaceful means to resolve conflict.

But I know that we must also take extreme measures to insure our freedoms from those who seek to limit them.

I live in the birthplace of the KKK.

It always takes bravery to be one’s self.

But let’s be real.

It takes more bravery to be like my friend than it does to be like me.

My friend is right to be afraid of violence under a Trump presidency.

We’ve seen the rallies and we’ve heard the hate-speech.

“You’ll be okay” I told her “I’ve got your back.”

And then I added…

“Millions of people have your back.”

calltoarms3

I live in a state where Mike Pence was the governor.

He passed laws making it legal for businesses to discriminate against members of the LBGT+ community and he passed laws discriminating against a woman’s right to choose.

We worked tirelessly to get a Pathway to Citizenship referendum passed, but our representatives would hide in their offices and refuse to meet with us.

But our problems are not unique to the Midwest.

And Donald Trump has not limited his hate-speech to members of just one community.

He has made hateful comments and threats to members of the Hispanic community, Blacks, Jews, women, Muslims and the differently-abled.

It is my belief that his nomination to the presidency will give rise to hate in America.

It is my belief that bigots of all varieties will feel emboldened by his ignorance and subsequent rise to power.

It is my belief that school-yard bullies and cowards of all stripes will feel that hate is not only acceptable, but rewarded.

What is a small child to think when they see that someone can stand on a podium and make hateful remarks and then this person can be rewarded to the extent that they are made the most powerful person on Earth?

A dangerous precedent has been set…

And it is up to us to fight every battle that will come our way during the next four years.

If you call yourself a Progressive then I am calling on you to prove it each and every time you see discrimination.

I am asking you to be a warrior.

I believe with all my heart that this is the duty of every American.

calltoarms4

I’ve been all over this country and met tons of Trump supporters.

By and large they are good people.

Most of them are people who have worked hard their entire lives and they have watched their jobs get shipped overseas by trade agreements that hurt the American people.

Many of them lost their houses to a corrupt banking system and these same people are now paying for the bank bailout.

I want to be careful to not encourage the media’s portrayal of the Trump supporter as a dangerous and armed White Supremacist, but at the same time it is important to point out that some of Trump’s support actually comes from this small segment of our population and these people are potentially very dangerous.

It is our job to speak out when and where we see discrimination.

When I use the phrase A Call to Arms I do not mean that we take up firearms.

I sincerely hope that it will never come to that.

I am speaking instead of a much more effective means of fighting.

I am referring to compassion and activism.

I am asking everyone who reads this to be an ally every day in every way that life presents to you.

And I am asking you to look for new opportunities to be brave in a world that is often hostile.

Most of you reading this are more than likely already doing amazing things in your communities.

I applaud you and ask that you hold these questions in the front of your mind…

“What can I do to help the cause of equality?”

and

“What can I do to make the world a better place?”

In the past year we have learned, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that our country has a long way to go to reach equality for all of its citizens.

Some might view Trump’s election and candidacy as a setback to this cause.

Perhaps it is.

But at least the hatred is out in the open now.

Now we know what we are dealing with.

It is the duty of all good people to go above and beyond.

When millions of people stand together..

They win.

calltoarms6

By signing in the comments below and sharing this article with a friend you agree to do the following, as well as millions of other creative acts of kindness.

I promise to smile and speak to people.

I promise to feed those who are hungry.

I promise to speak out against discrimination anywhere and everywhere I see it.

I promise to fight any and all legislation that attempts to legalize hate.

I solemnly swear to defend women’s reproductive rights.

I promise to comfort victims.

I will attend rallies and protests for minority and women’s rights.

I will compassionately educate those with small minds.

I will listen to people and consider their points of view.

I will be slow to anger and quick to forgive.

I will not name-call, fat shame, slut-shame or engage in any other form of discrimination against people based on religion (or lack thereof), appearance or ethnicity.

I will abstain from supporting corporations that do not promote Progressive values.

I will do anonymous good deeds and random acts of kindness.

I will call and write my elected officials and tell them what legislation is important to me.

I will rally people together to vote out politicians who do not support my values.

I will be kind to animals and children.

I will assist the disabled and the elderly.

I will fight for a pathway to citizenship, so that all people who want to truly “make America great again” can come and contribute to our society.

I will treat those in the service industry with kindness and respect.

I will make eye contact and ask people how their day is.

I will listen.

I will fight against pre-programmed knee-jerk reactions.

I will love people.

Not just those who are easy to love…

But all people.

I will make the world a better place.

I will be an ally to anyone who needs it.

calltoarms7

I want to make this page a place where people can celebrate compassion and diversity.

I want to encourage people to come here and share stories of times when you stood up for something good.

Don’t look at it as bragging.

It helps people to be able to read your stories.

It inspires them to take their own giant steps.

It inspires others to be brave.

Thank you for participating in my project.

Love to you all.

lovecenter

Michael is an activist, an ally and an independent writer. If you believe in his work and his mission you can support it by donating $1 HERE. He will probably use it to create a sign for a protest or some other crazy liberal activity.

 

 

17 thoughts on “A Progressive Call to Arms

  1. We are the protectors of love and compassion and understanding. I plan to stand up with you and to stay acting at all levels of government. Together we can and will overcome the fears we are faced with.

    Like

  2. You preach about love and acceptance, but you gloat about how happy you are that people who voted for Hillary are crying and upset about this election. These are people who are worried about their loved ones, worried about the future of their families, and their healthcare, and the state of their country. Worried about their rights. They’re worried about whether or not they could possibly be deported, or that they may die without access to health insurance. People who are afraid because of the racism and violence surrounding them, about what might happen to their children.

    Are you pleased and proud when you read news stories today about little girls getting their pussies grabbed in school? People scrawling racist messages on people’s lockers in school, on the outside of buildings? Children being told by other children that now they’re going to “go back where they came from”? This is what makes you happy? This has made you smile for the last three days? Really?

    I know you think Hillary had to be punished for “cheating.” But you need to realize that these people are not just upset because their candidate lost. Their fear is legitimate and real. Most of these people just wanted to live in a place where they didn’t have to worry about being assaulted for their religion, or race, or gender. They do not deserve this condescension and smug attitude. They do not deserve to see people like yourself bragging about how they had this coming to them because they voted for Hillary, and this is their punishment. Many of these people, like myself, were Bernie supporters, trying to stop what they thought might be the end of their civil rights. They wanted to do the right thing. They wanted to see this country united in love, not in hate.

    It makes me sick to see posts like your most recent one, gloating about people being upset with the election results. Have some empathy. Have some compassion for these people. They voted for a candidate that you didn’t like, but now many of them are suffering the consequences of seeing millions of racists emboldened because their candidate won. This is what you want? This fills you with joy?

    If you truly cared about love and acceptance, and were a compassionate person, you would feel a sadness for these people, not happiness at their despair. You would not be gleeful about the outcome of this election. Many of them were people on your team. It makes me wonder about your true intentions all along. What kind of person you actually are. Do you actually want to help people? Do you want this nation to be united, and for everyone to be treated equally? Or do you just want to rub the Presidential win in their faces and laugh at them, because they didn’t have the option to vote for Bernie anymore and voted for Hillary instead, so they deserve anything that happens to them?

    I think you need to do some serious soul searching. You may have started with good intentions, but you’ve become as smug and self righteous as the people who are spreading hate.

    Like

    1. They should have been better informed about the candidate they were supporting and the unethical actions of her campaign. You cannot expect people that oppose corruption to not be glad to see it defeated. That would be like crying or not caring if a bank robber was convicted. Millions of us supported Bernie Sanders. He and we were robbed by a corrupt Clinton Campaign, the DNC and media collusion. We still care for Hillary supporters as human beings but feel her loss was justified, and in fact the general election should never have even taken place under the circumstances of which it did.

      Like

    2. They are upset because their candidate lost and,not surprisingly have fallen prey to the lies,propaganda and fear tactics.If they are so concerned why didn’t they speak out about the election fraud during and after the primaries?Everyone knew Bernie would beat Trump by a landslide.Are we happy she lost,yes we are,we knew she would,we weren’t going to support corruption.If I were you I’d be concerned about the fact the establishment hasn’t learned a thing,they’ve called for these protests over a fair election and are now trying to find a way to corrupt the EC votes.None of these things are something to be proud about.Michael is the least smug,self righteous people I know but given what you wrote perhaps you should look in the mirror.

      Like

    3. There’s more so much more. I don’t know that someone such as yourself will ever be able to see that either. Many of us were just as worried about the hate and violence and killing a Hillary presidency would bring.

      Like

    4. I loved this article and cheerfully reposted it on my social media accounts. I agreed with everything except the American habit of referring to the US President as the most important person on earth. As a Canadian, I certainly understand that what an American president decides has its impact in Canada. That does not make him/her the most important person to me, my country or the rest of the world. The President, much like our Prime Minister is a servant of the people. Because we have forgotten that, politicians have usurped power that does not belong to them. The people need to show solidarity and to remind the politicians that hold office, because we, the people, say they may, that they work for us and we do not work for them. We need to take back our power, stop voting party lines and start voting ideal lines. We need to stand together with our fellow citizens, not just of our own local community but of the worldwide community. When we speak as one people, governments will be forced to listen. Let’s start with Standing Rock.

      Like

  3. Reblogged this on Stepping Toes and commented:
    The United states of America having shaken Europe as well with an unexpected outcome, should waken up all those who have been dormant or did not speake up yet, to protect those around them who are in the minority, or who are poor, or who are sick or who have an other colour of skin, or who think differently ….

    Like

  4. “What is a small child to think when they see that someone can stand on a podium and make hateful remarks and then this person can be rewarded to the extent that they are made the most powerful person on Earth?”

    Even a small child is likely to think, “then maybe you should have recognized the danger Trump posed and tried to stop him at the ballot box, rather than cast a vanity vote”.

    Not that you’ll ever grasp it, but you’re not motivated by principle, just by narcissism that delights in seeing itself as principled. But if you’re willing to see people get hurt just to get your way — and you are — that is amorality at best.

    Like every pretentious social critic you know to quote Niemoller, but what do you think Niemoller would say of you, who could have stopped Trump at the voting booth and simply opted not to? I can’t imagine he’d be beaming with admiration at your principles.

    Like

  5. “A mind committed to compassion is like an overflowing reservoir – a constant source of energy, determination and kindness.” – 14th Dalai Lama

    I commit to showing compassion to all who cross my path and make an effort to learn about them so that I can enrich their growth from within.

    Like

  6. Signing on. I am alarmed & concerned by the name calling & finger pointing on both sides. We need to address root causes along with bad behavior. Otherwise corporate powers continue to win.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s