Archives for posts with tag: ACLU


There are many people who woke up differently last November. Their eyes were opened and they felt shock and outrage that they may not have experienced before. While I rallied against him for the entire campaign, I think that I also felt shocked on a different level. I was distraught that so many people did not see beyond the simply phrased rhetoric and shut their eyes and ears to his ugliness.

I immediately joined the ACLU. As soon as I caught wind of the Women’s March I made reservations so I could attend it in D.C. I searched for groups to attend. The political and social justice fire inside of me was fanned and grew even larger.  I attended the march and it will remain one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

I also looked to get involved locally and on a grassroots level. I attended a couple meetings where I was living, but then we moved. I wasted no time in searching out new grassroots meetings to get involved with. I have now attended two in the city. Sometimes I have spoken up more and other times I have really intently just listened.

As I quickly walked the cold Chicago streets with my husband on our way home from a People Power gathering last night, I explained to him how I was feeling:

My favorite part of all of these meetings is the chance to listen to so many different perspectives. While, most people are there for similar reasons, it doesn’t mean that every reason is strictly the same. Gaining knowledge by listening to what someone else has gone through or is feeling really is important. I have learned so many personal challenges and hopes just by being in these meetings. I really think and wish this was something we all did. That we took the time to hear what other people have gone through. I think that the country would be in a better place if that happened a little more. 

I cherish the opportunity to hear respectful but sometimes differing dialogue. Last night we were all there for similar reasons, we felt called to action. The ACLU laid out a plan for us to tackle. In the group there were many differing opinions on how to go about that. Back and forth until a plan of sorts was agreed upon. It wasn’t a mean discussion. It wasn’t aggressive or ugly. It was just discourse.

I wrote about how a young Muslim girl I met on my D.C. trip described America as a salad instead of a melting pot. That hasn’t left me. This high school student taught me something. I have carried that thought with me. Hearing other people’s stories and experiences during and since the election has enriched my life. I am a white female. That comes with its privileges and with its struggles. I recognize that and I respect that. No two life experiences are exactly the same. Learning how other humans have lived and what they have dealt with has enriched my corner of the salad we live in. Opening your eyes to the fact that your experience differs from the next person’s experience can only make this world better. I want to think beyond a call for empathy. It is about being a decent human. Understanding the people around you are loved by other people just as you are loved by other people. They matter. You matter. We all matter. To forget that is at our own peril.

Take the time to listen to a stranger, a neighbor, a friend. Your salad will be even more flavorful.





I want to share an article Slate wrote today. I found it rather interesting. This was a unique perspective that I feel is important to take into consideration during all of this movement.  The Seven Main Reasons Democrats Shouldn’t Donate to Jill Stein’s Recount Fund I have been following this closely since last week. I even went to her donation page and stared at it for a long while debating a contribution. At the time she had only raised about 200k, maybe a little under. Ultimately, I did not donate. At that time I felt there were too many unknowns. However, I continued to follow this. I have been googling the progress each day. I am feeling: incredibly cautious optimism. I do not want to be disappointed again. Today I felt a twinge of excitement when I read the petition had been filed in Wisconsin. At the same time I reminded myself not to feel anything much over this.

This evening I again found myself considering making a donation. Then I saw the Slate article. I don’t know that I agree with everything, but I feel some valid points were made. Especially number 7. In a meeting I went to last weekend we discussed that upcoming senate election. Foster Campbell, Dec 10th. (Although, please take a look at his issues on the link to his campaign page.) I have donated to the ACLU and joined. I am also attending a fundraiser for the ACLU on the 9th. Followed up two days later with another group meeting (if you are local and want to join me and my partner in crime gal pals, let me know I will share info with you. Dudes welcome, I just happened to car pool with some of my favorite ladies)

I DO feel that our election system is rather hodgepodge. From primaries with voting and caucuses to the general elections with paper vs electronic and voter id/registration laws. These are all concepts too in depth to delve into in this post. It is a nightmare overall. We DO need to examine the consistency and integrity. However, I feel this strange pit in my stomach that this is just going to end up with a lot of people (anyone who doesn’t have faith in a Trump/Pence White House, myself included in that) disappointed all over again. Maybe it is a weird intuition. Maybe it is just that I am jaded.

I think we need to take a step back along with a deep breath, remembering that this doesn’t mean we are going to have some historic upheaval, regardless of what our dreams have been filled with during our nightly slumber. (Again, me included) The buzz going on around this is palpable. I have read other people’s hope and excitement. As much as I WANT to believe in that, the realist in me is not sold. If I am wrong and this comes to fruition, I will humbly admit I should have jumped on the recount train. I am not disavowing the attempt. Nor the inclination to make a donation. This is written by a woman who has already booked her hotel and flight for the women’s march the day after inauguration. I am not one to shy away from being vocal or taking action. I have experienced that twinge to act twice now for this particular cause. I am just concerned of hopes being utterly smashed once again. Personally, I do not want to go through that all over again so soon. Cautious optimism…..And who knows, I may make that donation yet. While reminding myself not to feel anything in particular about this action.